Sundance Institute to Bring 10 Free Film Screenings to Tucson, Presented in Collaboration with the L

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TUCSON, ARIZONAFilm Forward: Advancing Cultural Dialogue, an initiative of the nonprofit Sundance Institute created in partnership with U.S. federal cultural agencies, will present free screenings of 10 award-winning films throughout the city of Tucson, it was announced today by Keri Putnam, Executive Director of Sundance Institute. The free screenings will run Sunday, June 5 through Thursday, June 9 at a variety of locations, presented in conjunction with The Loft Cinema and the Tucson Pima
Arts Council.

A joint venture of Sundance Institute and the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH) in cooperation with the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), Film Forward connects contemporary U.S. and international films and filmmakers with diverse global audiences and features documentary and narrative films. To date, Film Forward has brought films and filmmakers to Tunisia, Turkey, Nashville, China, New York, Washington, D.C. and, most recently, Mount Pleasant, Michigan.

“Tucson is rich in diversity as well as one of the nation’s leaders in support of the arts. For three years its Loft Cinema has been a valuable partner in our mission-driven, community-based Art House Project,” said Putnam. “We are excited to see so many local cultural organizations embrace the Film Forward initiative and we are very much looking forward to five rewarding days of screenings and conversation,” Putnam added.

Descriptions of the 10 films can be found below. The five-day schedule of free events includes:

Sunday, June 5
7:00 p.m. Screening of A Small Act followed by Q&A with producer and cinematographer, Patricia Lee
The Loft Cinema
3233 E. Speedway

7:30 p.m. Screening of Afghan Star
Tucson Jewish Community Center
3800 East River Road

Monday, June 6
12:00 p.m. Private screening of Winter’s Bone for military personnel followed by a Q&A with the film’s line
producer, Kate Dean
Davis Monthan U.S. Air Force Base
1990 S Craycroft Road

7:00 p.m. Screening of Winter’s Bone followed by a Q&A with the film’s line producer, Kate Dean
The Loft Cinema
3233 E. Speedway

7:00 p.m. Screening of Freedom Riders with special guests University of Arizona student May Mgbolu,
one of 40 students from throughout the nation who recently retraced the route of the 1961 Freedom
Riders, and Jimmy Hart, Director of African American Studies for TUSD, with the special participation of
YWCA Social Justice Project participants
The Dunbar Project
325 West 2nd Street

Tuesday, June 7
4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Free Filmmaker-to-Filmmaker Workshop with Patricia Lee, producer and
cinematographer of A Small Act
Topic: Using dramatic narrative techniques in documentary filmmaking.
Joel D. Valdez Main Library
101 North Stone Avenue, Lower Level Meeting Room.

6:00 p.m. Screening of Son of Babylon
Joel D. Valdez Main Library
101 North Stone Avenue, Lower Level Meeting Room.

7:00 p.m. Screening of BOY
The Loft Cinema
3233 E. Speedway

Wednesday, June 8
7:00 p.m. Screening of Last Train Home
Tucson Chinese Cultural Center
1288 West River Road.

7:30 p.m. Screening of Udaan
Tucson Museum of Art
140 N. Main Ave.

Thursday, June 9
7:00 p.m. Screening of Amreeka
The Loft Cinema
3233 E. Speedway

8:00 p.m. Screening La Mission
Cinema La Placita
110 S. Church Avenue

About the Films
The films to be screened in Tucson represent fresh explorations of universal themes. Boy, La Mission, Udaan and Winter’s Bone navigate the transition to adulthood and re-define family in broadly different circumstances; Amreeka and Last Train Home depict contemporary challenges of immigration for those seeking work and a better life; Afghan Star explores the story of youthful dreams and the clash of global pop culture in a traditional Muslim society; Son of Babylon focuses on the enduring nature of family love in a society decimated by war. Finally, A Small Act shows the impact of one individual’s choice to give, within a global context. Film Forward mirrors the diversity of backgrounds and viewpoints it promotes, underscoring the importance of mutual understanding and respect for other cultures and traditions that is at the heart of cultural exchange.

U.S.A. Arts Organizations
The President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH) bridges the interests of American federal agencies and the private sector, supports special projects that increase participation and excellence in the arts and humanities, and helps incorporate these disciplines into White House objectives. First Lady Michelle Obama is the Honorary Chairman of the PCAH.

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) is a public agency dedicated to supporting excellence in the arts, both new and established; bringing the arts to all Americans; and providing leadership in arts education.

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) serves and strengthens our Republic by promoting excellence in the humanities and conveying the lessons of history to all Americans. The NEH is the nation’s leading supporter of research education, preservation and public programs in the humanities.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) is an independent federal grant making agency dedicated to creating strong libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas. The IMLS works at the national level and in coordination with state and local organizations to sustain heritage, culture, and knowledge; enhance learning and innovation; and support professional development.

Sundance Institute
Founded by Robert Redford in 1981, Sundance Institute is a global, nonprofit cultural organization dedicated to nurturing artistic expression in film and theater, and to supporting intercultural dialogue between artists and audiences. The Institute promotes independent storytelling to unite, inform and inspire, regardless of geo-political, social, religious or cultural differences. Internationally recognized for its annual Sundance Film Festival and its artistic development programs for directors, screenwriters, producers, film composers, playwrights and theatre artists, Sundance Institute has nurtured such projects as Born into Brothels, Trouble the Water, Son of Babylon, Amreeka, An Inconvenient Truth, Spring Awakening, Light in the Piazza and Angels in America.

The Loft Cinema
The Loft is a nonprofit, community-supported cinema that honors the vision of filmmakers, celebrates ideas and promotes the appreciation and understanding of the art of film. It is Tucson’s premiere venue for art films – independent, foreign, alternative and classic narrative films and documentaries. Since The Loft was purchased in 2002 and transitioned into a nonprofit arts organization, the cinema has hosted more than 100 filmmakers and scholars and screened films from more than 50 countries.

Tucson Pima Arts Council (TPAC)
The Tucson Pima Arts Council is the designated arts agency for the City of Tucson and Pima County. This year TPAC awarded more than $272,000 in grants to 52 arts organizations throughout the greater Tucson community. TPAC also oversees the public art programs for the city, county and other entities, including 14 projects completed and seven awarded during the past year. Other TPAC priorities include the community arts program, which serves neighborhoods and rural areas by funding residencies for professional artists and underserved youth. TPAC also presents the annual fall Open Studio Tour and the spring Lumie awards. TPAC advocates for and promotes arts and culture as a vital part of Southern Arizona.

Film Forward Films

A Small Act / USA(Director: Jennifer Arnold)—A young Kenyan’s life changes dramatically when his education is sponsored by a Swedish stranger. Years later, he founded his own scholarship program to replicate the kindness he once received.

Afghan Star / Afghanistan/UK (Director: Havana Marking)—After 30 years of war and Taliban rule, Pop Idol has come to television in Afghanistan: millions are watching and voting for their favorite singer. This film follows the dramatic stories of four contestants as they risk their lives to sing.

Amreeka / USA (Director and Screenwriter: Cherien Dabis)—When a divorced Palestinian woman and her teenage son move to rural Illinois, they find their new lives replete with challenges. Cast: Nisreen Faour, Melkar Muallem, Hiam Abbass, Yussuf Abu-Warda, Alia Shawkat, Joseph Ziegler.

Boy / New Zealand (Director and screenwriter: Taika Waititi)—When his father returns home after many years away, 11-year-old Boy and his little brother Rocky must reconcile reality with the fantasy dad they created in their imagination. Cast: Taika Waititi, James Rolleston, Te Aho Eketone.

La Mission / USA (Director and Screenwriter: Peter Bratt); A traditional, Latino father in San Francisco’s Mission District struggles to come to terms with his teenage son’s homosexuality. Credited by Latino media as being both authentic and genuine to various aspects of American Hispanic cultures. Cast: Benjamin Bratt, Erika Alexander, Jeremy Ray Valdez, Talisa Soto Bratt, Jesse Borrego.

Last Train Home / Canada (Director: Lixin Fan)—Getting a train ticket in China proves a towering ordeal as a migrant worker family embarks on a journey, along with 200 million other peasants to reunite with their distant family.

Son of Babylon / Iraq (Director: Mohamed Al Daradji; Screenwriters: Mohamed Al-Daradji, Jennifer Norridge, Mithal Ghazi) In the days after the fall of Saddam Hussein, a young Kurdish boy and his grandmother venture through Iraq on a quest to find their missing father/son. Cast: Yasser Talib, Shazda Hussein, Bashir Al-Majid.

Udaan / India (Director Vikramaditya Motwane; Screenwriter: Motwane)—Following his expulsion from boarding school, Rohan returns to the small industrial town of Jamshedpur. After 8 years away, he finds himself closeted with an authoritarian father and a younger half brother whom he didn’t even know existed. Udaan explores deep-rooted family dynamics and a triumph of the human spirit.
Cast: Rajat Barmecha, Ronit Roy, Aayan Boradia, Ram Kapoor.

Winter’s Bone / USA (Director: Debra Granik; Screenwriters: Debra Granik and Anne Rosellini)—An unflinching Ozark Mountain girl hacks through dangerous social terrain as she hunts down her missing father while trying to keep her family intact. Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, John Hawkes, Dale Dickey, Garret Dillahunt, Kevin Breznahan..
Cast: Rajat Barmecha, Ronit Roy, Aayan Boradia, Ram Kapoor.

# # #

Media Contacts:

Sundance Institute:
Brooks Addicott
Sundance Institute:
John Murphy
The Loft Cinema:
Jeff Yanc
Tucson Pima Arts Council:
Sally Kromes
520.624-0595 x16


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