Harry Dean Stanton Fest Will Go on Following Actor’s Death

“Usually we celebrate his work, but this year we will celebrate his life,” festival founder says

Harry Dean Stanton is no longer with us as of Friday, but the Harry Dean Stanton Fest will go on, the annual event’s founder told TheWrap on Monday.

“We will be proceeding with the festival as scheduled. In fact, it feels more important to do so now than ever. Usually we celebrate his work, but this year we will celebrate his life,” Lucy Jones, founder of the annual Lexington, Kentucky-based fest said.

Jones added that, while the festival made its programming choices months in advance, some of them will carry a particular resonance following Stanton’s death, culminating with the screening of Stanton’s 1999 film “The Straight Story.”

“A number of the programming choices that we made months ago feel all the more poignant in light of his loss,” Jones said. “We will open the festival with ‘Lucky’ and close it with him looking toward the heavens in ‘The Straight Story.'”

The festival has celebrated the work of Kentucky native Stanton, who attended the University of Kentucky in Lexington, since 2011.

This year’s festival is scheduled to begin Sept. 28. In addition to Stanton, this year’s festival will also feature a tribute to Stanton’s longtime friend, Sam Shepard, who died in July.

Stanton died Sept. 15 at age 91 at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles from natural causes.