Six American and four international filmmakers have been invited to participate in Film Forward: Advancing Cultural Dialogue for the second year of this program. This program continues a successful public/private cultural film exchange effort by the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH) and the Sundance Institute in cooperation with its federal cultural partners, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS.
The six American films that will tour throughout the United States and abroad as part of the program are: Another Earth, by Mike Cahill; Beginners, by Mike Mills; Buck, by Cindy Meehl; On The Ice, by Andrew Okpeaha MacLean; Somewhere Between, by Linda Goldstein Knowlton; and Unfinished Spaces, by Benjamin Murray and Alysa Nahmias. The four international films chosen to complete the line up of independent films are: Bran Nue Dae, by Rachel Perkins (Australia); Grbavica, by Jasmila Zbanic (Bosnia and Herzegovina); The Green Wave, by Ali Samadi Ahad (germany)i; and Senna, by Asif Kapadia (United Kingdom).
“We are thrilled to once again bring the Film Forward initiative to communities, both in the U.S. and around the world, who might not be otherwise exposed to these kinds of compelling stories and universal themes,” said Rachel Goslins, Executive Director of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. “The President’s Committee and the program’s federal partners, the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Institute of Museum and Library Services, believe that audiences will connect with each other and the world around them through these carefully curated films.”
The experiences with the first year (2010-2011) of the Film Forward program demonstrated the power of film to create connections through dialogue and engagement with audiences. In China, students said they felt empowered by Freedom Riders and its story of the Civil Right struggle despite the repression of their government. In Nashville, a young boy in a shelter for at-risk youth asked director Peter Bratt how he could become a screenwriter and tell his story. Throughout the year these encounters were typical of the filmmaker’s experiences, whose stories and voice are at the heart of the program. The contemporary independent films and artists in Film Forward reflect different places, a diversity of artistic approaches, cultural traditions and political views that spark curiosity and dialogue.
Collectively, these films characterize innovative exploration of universal themes concerning the evolving nature of the human condition amidst the search of identity and the experience of coming of age. Bran Nue Dae, On the Ice and Somewhere Between depict the transition of fragile but determined souls to adulthood in the midst of oppressive outside forces, while The Green Wave, Grbavica and Unfinished Spaces show the devastating effects of political upheaval on ordinary lives. Beginners and Another Earth explore the relationships we form and its evolution in light of life-changing events. Buck and Senna profile the fascinating lives of Buck Brannaman, an ordinary man who transcends his violent past and ends the legacy of abuse through his extraordinary work with horses and the late, legendary Formula One driver, Ayrton Senna who became a national treasure and symbol of success for Brazil.
Over the next year Film Forward will travel to ten locations including California’s Central Valley; Chickasaw Nation in Oklahoma, Tucson, Arizona, and Puerto Rico. The initiative will also travel overseas to China, Morocco, India and Colombia and will be presented to delegates at UNESCO in Paris, France.