As we welcome in the new year we are excited to begin our journey with Film Forward. Last year’s program was our first, and was an exciting one filled with exploration, dialogue and learning. Our experiences have reinforced the very reason that we believe in this program: We saw this in China as students told us they felt empowered after seeing Freedom Riders, despite the repression of their government.
We saw this in Turkey as audience members said they could relate to the story of an immigrant being stereotyped and disenfranchised in Amreeka. And we saw this when a boy at a Nashville center for at-risk youth asked director Peter Bratt how he could become a screenwriter and tell his story. In short, we have seen the power of storytelling to connect with audiences here and abroad, and to light the fires of curiosity about other cultures and new ways of thinking.
FILM FORWARD 2012 will travel to nine locations between February and September of 2012. Of those nine locations, 5 will be returning locations, allowing us to deepen our reach and impact within these locations and build on our collaborations. We look forward to returning domestically to Tucson, Arizona and Puerto Rico and internationally we are excited to revisit China, Morocco and Paris, France.
New locations for FILM FORWARD 2012 are: Imperial Valley, California; Sulphur, Oklahoma to work with the Chickasaw Nation; Colombia and India.
The locations reflect a diversity in populations and perspectives and with much anticipation we look forward to introducing the 2012 FILM FORWARD slate of 10 films and 11 filmmakers to these communities. The films represent stories from the following countries: United States, Australia, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Iran, Brazil, China and Cuba.
Of the 10 films, six are U.S. and four international, five of which are documentaries and 5 of which are narratives. The films collectively address the universal themes of coming of age and identity and transformation (both political and personal) and present unique voices and story styles. Building on the energy of the first year of FILM FORWARD, we are excited to witness the conversations and cultural connections that will unfold over the next 10 months.
Please check back from time to time to experience FILM FORWARD through photographs, blogs, tweets and other updates from the filmmakers, program collaborators, audience members and staff. We encourage you to share your thoughts, inspirations, and insight along the way.