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FILM FORWARD 2012 Kicks Off in Arizona!

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We are excited to return to Arizona for Year 2 of FILM FORWARD next week for a full program of workshops, screenings and filmmaker discussions at diverse locations throughout Southern Arizona. In the spirit of cross-cultural dialogue, a diverse mix of workshops and screenings with three FILM FORWARD filmmakers from different parts of the world will participate: 


Ali Samadi Ahadi, director of THE GREEN WAVE, will travel from Lebanon (where he is shooting his next film!) via Germany to conduct a multi-media workshop/discussion on Social Media, Documentary Filmmaking and the Arab Spring with professors from University of Arizona Film, Journalism and Middle-Eastern. This event is open to the public and students from all over Arizona are expected to attend.  Ali will also participate in two post-screening discussions – one at The Loft Cinemas and one special screening at Tohono O’odham Recreation Center in Sell Arizona, a Native American community 2 hours outside of Tucson. 


Andrew MacLean Okpeaha, director/screenwriter of ON THE ICE will join from Alaska, en route to NYC, as he travels non-stop with the launch of the ON THE ICE theatrical release! Andrew will participate in three post-screening discussions for audiences ranging from African Refugees at Grace St. Paul Church, to Native American Community College Students at Tohono O’odham Recreation Center, to artists, filmmakers and a diverse cross-section of  Tucson community members at The Loft Cinemas. Owl Johnson of the Native & Indigenous Program at Sundance will moderate the discussions with Andrew.  


Mike Mills, director/screenwriter of BEGINNERS, will join from Los Angeles directly from the Oscars, where Christopher Plummer is up for Supporting Actor. Mike will conduct an intensive workshop for UofA Film, Theatre and Acting Students where he will explore the journey and transition from a short filmmaker to a feature filmmaker. Mike will also travel to Sells to screen BEGINNERS with a post-screening discussion with Native American community members at Tohono O’odham Recreation Center. 


A consortium of local Arizona cultural and government organizations will be supporting the FILM FORWARD initiative in Tucson including: Arizona Commission on the Arts (NEA), Arizona Department of Education (Indian Education Program), Gila River Reservation, Arizona State Museum, Tucson Pima Arts Council, Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, El Rio Community Center, Arizona State University and Pima College. 


Official venues in Tucson are: The University of Arizona, Tohono O'odham Nation Recreation Center, Tucson Museum of Art, Tucson Chinese Cultural Center and Grace St. Paul’s Church join The Loft as official Tucson venues for FILM FORWARD. 


Sundance Institute’s Meredith Lavitt, Associate Director, Film Forward, Brittany Ballard, Manager of Film Forward, and Owl Johnson, Manager, Native American & Indigenous Program will be in attendance. Rocco Landesman, the Chairman of the NEA, will be a guest at several of the Arizona FILM FORWARD events, including the Filmmaker Reception on Tuesday, Feb 28th at 5pm at Tucson Museum of Art. Please join us and spread the word! 


More schedule details can be found here: www.sundance.org/filmforward and www.loftcinema.com.
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