University of Iowa

Bijou Horizons, FilmScene announce foreign film series

February 16th, 2015

Students who see all five films are eligible to win a $1,500 scholarship to study abroad

By Paul Deaton, Iowa City Press-Citizen

The Bijou Film Board and FilmScene are partnering on a spring series of foreign film screenings beginning Tuesday.

The series includes recently released films from Chile, Israel, Afghanistan, Brazil and India, highlighting emerging talents and fresh perspectives from filmmakers around the world.

“Movies are often the first experience we have with places in the world that are outside our own upbringing, outside our worldview,” said Leah Vonderheide, executive director of the Bijou Film Board. “And yet, it’s often hard to find international films on local screens — particularly international films from outside Europe.”

University of Iowa students who see all five shows will be eligible to win a $1,500 scholarship toward a study abroad opportunity, courtesy of UI International Programs.

“International Programs hopes the film series will inspire students to consider study abroad and the wonderful opportunity it offers to experience other cultures, up close and personal,” said Joan Kjaer, director of strategic communications for UI International Programs.

While the study abroad scholarship is targeted toward UI students, the Bijou Horizons Passport Series also will appeal to community members in general, said Nicole Matos, marketing director for the Bijou Film Board.

“Each of the five films will bring a different culture and international experience to Iowa City that will attract anyone interested in diverse global cinema and worldly topics,” Matos said.

The series begins Tuesday with “To Kill a Man” (Chile, 2014), winner of the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. It continues with “Zero Motivation” (Israel, 2014) on March 2; “The Patience Stone” (Afghanistan, 2013) on March 24; “The Boy and the World” (Brazil, 2013) on April 7; and “Siddharth” (India, 2013) on April 21.

“The Passport film series will feature high-quality creative work from parts of the world we’re less commonly exposed to,” Kirkman said. “We imagine the films will be just as interesting to community members as to students.”

Another goal of the series was to bring a variety of international films to Iowa City to enhance the community’s knowledge of world topics, art and entertainment, Matos said.

“Each of these aspects will enrich the cultural diversity of cinema within Iowa City,” she said.

The Bijou Horizons series expands on a creative collaboration between FilmScene and International Programs that began in 2014.

“One important aspect of the Bijou Film Board this year is that we screen all of our films at FilmScene,” Matos said.

The project ultimately provides a unique opportunity to build on FilmScene’s mission of enriching the cultural vitality of the Iowa City area through films that challenge, inspire, entertain and educate, said Joe Tiefenthaler, FilmScene executive director.

“Starting with our nonprofit’s relationship with the UI’s student-led Bijou Film Board and their Horizons committee, and branching out to UI departments and businesses in the area, we can bring international issues, topics and art to you,” Tiefenthaler said.

More information about FilmScene, the five Bijou Horizons films, and tickets to all films are available at http://www.icfilmscene.org. All Bijou films are free for UI students, and $5 for the general public.

The series begins Tuesday with “To Kill a Man” (Chile, 2014), winner of the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. It continues with “Zero Motivation” (Israel, 2014) on March 2; “The Patience Stone” (Afghanistan, 2013) on March 24; “The Boy and the World” (Brazil, 2013) on April 7; and “Siddharth” (India, 2013) on April 21.