By Stephen M. Silverman and Andrea Billups
Updated September 30, 2002 12:00 PM

Oscar winner Robert Duvall opened his Byrnley Farm in Virginia to about 800 local residents and friends this weekend for a gala to raise money for the local Loudon Healthcare Foundation and Loudon Hospital Center, PEOPLE reports.

The gala event capped a two-day weekend with the community-minded actor, 71, also hosting a private screening of his soccer-minded film “A Shot at Glory,” which he made in Scotland. A bagpiper greeted guests on the red carpet.

In the film, Duvall plays a Scottish soccer coach. “The language is a little rough, but the Scottish are like that,” Duvall warned filmgoers. He added that rather than study audiotapes to perfect his accent, as he usually does, he worked 10 months with a dialect coach to perfect a believable brogue for the film. “It’s one of the most difficult accents,” he said.

Duvall, who won his Best Actor Academy Award for 1983’s “Tender Mercies,” shares his horse farm with longtime companion and accomplished equestrienne Luciana Pedraza, and the two have what they call a “dance barn” on their grounds. About four times a week they invite friends over to dance — or else they go alone. “I’m not an expert,” Duvall says of his dancing prowess, “but I have my own style.”

He even has his own dance movie, “Assassination Tango,” filmed in Argentina and costarring Pedraza and Ruben Blades. In the movie, which Duvall wrote, directed and produced, he and Pedraza do a mean tango. “His tango is very tasteful,” she tells PEOPLE. “That inspires me.”