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IU Cinema introduces new filmmaker series


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By Sanya Ali



The IU Cinema will initiate a new filmmaker series into its annual lineup starting this semester.

The first ever “Filmmaker to Filmmaker: Conversations from the Director’s Chair” will put master filmmaker Frederick Wiseman in conversation with emerging filmmaker Robert Greene at 7 p.m. April 5, and will be preceded by a series of screenings of several films from Wiseman’s 50-year career through the months of March and April.

Jon Vickers, founding director of the IU Cinema, said the goals of this event included allowing a newer filmmaker to guide the conversation with a veteran. The goal is to dig deeper into vision, process and career path by having .

“Frederick Wiseman is a hero to Robert Greene and many other documentary and fictional filmmakers,” Vickers said in an email. “This conversation will yield much more than it would with a curator like myself, or film scholar leading. Wiseman plans to watch Robert Greene’s films before the conversation as well.”

The existing event series, the Jorgensen Guest Filmmaker Series, invites one filmmaker to hold a moderated discussion, and the biggest difference now is the 
addition of a second.

“Coordinating two film directors’ schedules to pull this off is much more complicated than I even imagined,” Vickers said. “We believe that the nature of these conversations will be different than our Jorgensen events as the second filmmakers will ask questions that are less journalistic and more focused on vision and craft.”

Similarly to the Jorgensen series, however, this series will introduce viewers to filmmakers they may or may not have heard of, both classic and new, Vickers said.

The series is also crafted to honor the monetary gift from Roberta and Jim Sherman and create a series for the cinema that the donors will be proud of, Vickers said.

The series will also prove beneficial to budding film and media makers and become another IU Cinema signature, Vickers said.

A variety of Wiseman’s works from his 40-film career will be screened at the cinema throughout the month, including “High School” from 1969, “Primate” from 1974 and “Boxing Gym” from 2010.

These initial films will be shown at the Wells Library Screening Room. Following those will be a screening at IU Cinema of “Titicut Follies,” his 1967 debut documentary.

“Wiseman’s films are timeless – giving us insight as an audience to some of the biggest institutions in America,” Vickers said. “These range from high school, to the military, to universities, to the New York Public Library for his 2017 film. His influence is wide, including filmmakers like Robert Greene, who he will share the stage with.”

Greene will be present for the showing of his film “Kate Plays Christine,” released in 2016, at 9:30 p.m. April 5 at the IU Cinema.

“Greene’s films are for a young audience, winning awards at Sundance and several other major festivals,” Vickers said. “This is a great opportunity for students to see how a master filmmaker’s work, or any artist, can bleed into a younger artist’s work.”

Vickers said this type of event will distinguish IU Cinema from other similar art houses, and that the opportunity to see such a prolific documentarian as Wiseman is an opportunity not to be missed.

“This is what we do,” Vickers said. “IU Cinema strives to be many things – Bloomington’s art house cinema, a year-round film festival, a place for student work, a cinematheque showing repertory films from cinema’s great history, a place for the work of alumni filmmakers, a place for academic and student partnerships and a place just to have fun and see something different.”

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