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TrekToday - Burton To Serve As Host At Children's Film Festival

Burton To Serve As Host At Children's Film Festival

By Michelle
October 19, 2004 - 10:01 PM

LeVar Burton may be known to Trek fans primarily as Geordi LaForge on Star Trek: The Next Generation, but he is better known to many children as the host of Reading Rainbow. This week in Illinois he will appear at the 21st Chicago International Children's Film Festival, hosting a salute to famed children's writer and artist Shel Silverstein and a screening of Lafcadio, the Lion Who Shot Back.

The Northwest Indiana Times reported that Burton, who has hosted Reading Rainbow on public television since 1983, is eager to see Lafcadio, which is based on Silverstein's first book for children. "Silverstein was one of the best master wordsmiths that God ever breathed breath into," said the actor. "To rediscover a piece of his work in animated form is so exciting to those of us who love the written word."

"It's really essential to be truthful, congruent and consistent" with children, added Burton, because they will "bust you and chew you out" otherwise. Films, he said, can enhance literacy programs; he went "straight to the library" to read Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird after seeing actor Gregory Peck in the movie in his youth.

Burton, who recently directed his Next Generation co-star Brent Spiner (Data) in an episode of Star Trek: Enterprise has completed a children's movie, Blizzard, about an ice skater and a reindeer voiced by fellow Next Gen star Whoopi Goldberg (Guinan) which will be screened during the festival on October 23rd.

The original article is at The Northwest Indiana Times. The Chicago International Children's Film Festival site is here. The opening gala tonight takes place at Northwestern University's Thorne Auditorium.

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