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Tucson film expert hosts virtual 'Napoleon Dynamite' reunion Friday

Tucson film expert hosts virtual 'Napoleon Dynamite' reunion Friday

A virtual reunion of the cast of “Napoleon Dynamite” will raise money for a good cause, Friday, Dec. 4, thanks to the special event skills of Tucson film historian Herb Stratford.

Stratford organized and hosted the pre-recorded event, that features nearly all of the cult classic’s primary cast members, including Jon Heder (Napoleon), Efren Ramirez (Pedro), Tina Majorino (Deb), Jon Gries (Uncle Rico), Haylie Duff (Summer) and Shondrella Avery (LaFawnduh).

The reunion will be free to watch through YouTube, but viewers will be encouraged to donate to The Hunger Project, an organization dedicated to ending world hunger, with programs in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

In addition to the YouTube component, several of the cast members have donated items for raffle to fans who have given $75 or more.

“Napoleon Dynamite” tells the story of a quirky outcast and his equally quirky friends as they navigate their way through the high school experience.

The film, directed by Jared Hess, debuted at the Sundance Film Festival in 2004 and went on to become a surprise mainstream hit, grossing more than $46 million on a $400,000 budget.

Stratford interviewed Heder, Ramirez and Gries in September 2019 at the Fox Tucson Theatre.

The reunion will be in the same spirit as other virtual reunions that have taken place during the COVID-19 pandemic, including several arranged by actor Josh Gad.

The “Napoleon Dynamite” reunion will post at 6 p.m. Friday. For more information, visit

Contact reporter Gerald M. Gay at 573-4679 or

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