SFA to screen ‘John G. Avildsen: King of the Underdogs’

NACOGDOCHES, Texas – The Stephen F. Austin State University School of Art and the Friends of the Visual Arts will present a free, one-night screening of “John G. Avildsen: King of the Underdogs,” directed by filmmaker and SFA alumnus Derek Wayne Johnson, at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 3, at The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House.

Featuring interviews and footage of filmmaker Martin Scorsese along with Matthew McConaughey, Sylvester Stallone, Ralph Macchio and scores of other Hollywood hitmakers who starred in Avildsen’s films, the documentary is an examination of the Oscar-winning director who brought to life some of cinema’s most beloved motion pictures.

Avildsen’s films have inspired millions of ‘underdogs’ and shaped popular culture for decades, yet most people don’t even know his name. Discover the unknown legend behind “Rocky” and “The Karate Kid” in this official biography about a prolific filmmaker who directed seven actors to Academy Award nominations and earned his own Oscar for Best Director, according to IMDb.

Johnson will be available for a question-and-answer session following the film screening. Johnson is originally from Carthage and recently joined the SFA School of Art as an assistant professor of filmmaking.

The School of Art’s Friday Night Film Series is sponsored in part by filmmaking Professor William Arscott. The Cole Art Center, SFA’s historic downtown gallery, is located at 329 E. Main St. For more information, call (936) 468-1131.