First Time’s a Charm: Global Lens Comes to Iowa!

In October of 2008, my wife and I—along with our 2 cats and everything we owned—drove a Budget rental truck across the country, from New York to San Francisco. We would have loved to have taken our time and done some sightseeing, but we were under a bit of a time constraint, so we pretty much stuck to Interstate 80 during the day, and after the sun went down, finding the closest Super 8 (very highly recommended, and many of them allow cats!). On our second night, we stayed in Peru, IL, before pressing onward the next morning. If, however, we had ended up making our big cross-country move exactly 3 years later, I definitely would have driven the extra 2 hours to ensure that we spent that night in Iowa City so we could catch a Global Lens 2011 film at the University of Iowa’s incredible Bijou Cinema!

All of us here at GFI are particularly excited about the Bijou Cinema hosting the series as it marks the very first time that Global Lens has been shown in the state of Iowa. Thanks to the enthusiasm of the wonderful Christina Buckles (Programming Director and Comparative Literature PhD student) and the Bijou’s dedicated volunteer staff, the University of Iowa’s student-run cinema is bringing Global Lens 2011 to the greater Iowa City community from October 29th to November 10th. The Bijou has been screening independent, art house, foreign, and classic cinema year-round since it was first established in 1972, and we’re so glad to now be a part of their creative and diverse programming.

The Bijou Cinema kicks off their Global Lens 2011 program this Saturday, October 29, with this year’s Chairman’s Choice film, OPERA JAWA, which originally toured in the 2008 series and was brought back this year by popular demand. If you’re familiar with Iowa City, the Bijou is located on the corner of Madison and Jefferson Streets downtown (that would be here), and you’ll find their Global Lens screening schedule on our film calendar. And if you happen to be around in December, make sure to catch their midnight screening of the original Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, which features one of my top 10 favorite scenes ever. Ever.

The Global Lens film series was launched in 2003 to support the distribution of unique and critically acclaimed cinematic works from around the world. Since its founding, the series has provided a platform for exceptional storytelling and opened a window into the diverse world in which we live. Now in its eighth year, Global Lens continues to attract dynamic new audiences and discover extraordinary new films, building upon the unique perspectives that have come to define the Global Film Initiative’s library of films.

All proceeds from the Global Lens film series support international filmmaker grants, educational programming and resources, touring film exhibitions and other philanthropic initiatives and programs sponsored by the Global Film Initiative.

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