IU Cinema is now offering virtual screenings and Zoom film discussions on its website.
As a result of COVID-19, the organization canceled its events for the rest of the spring semester. So the theater created virtual screenings for some of the previously scheduled films, IU Cinema volunteer Kathie Durkel said.
The cinema’s film streaming is similar to a movie rental. You can purchase a film ticket through the IU Cinema website and receive a link to stream the film. Ticket availability is typically a little over a week. The film is available to stream for three to five days after ticket purchase.
For this Thursday's film, tickets are $12 because it is a new release. It varies based on the film, founding director Jon Vickers said in an email. Tickets for screening earlier this semester were between $4 to $8.
Some weeks, the cinema will organize an introduction to a certain film on Zoom on Thursday nights followed by a Zoom discussion a few hours later for no additional cost.
In addition to film introductions and discussions, the cinema will also organize conversations with filmmakers or student film programs such as student film festivals on Thursday evenings, Vickers said in an email.
“Though nothing can replace face-to-face, personal exchange, we are trying to keep some form of a communal film experience alive,” Vickers said in an email.
IU Cinema will screen the Portuguese film “Vitalina Varela.” The Zoom introduction and discussion are on Thursday, but you can purchase a ticket to stream through April 8.
The film was previously part of IU Cinema’s International Arthouse Series originally scheduled for April 26 and May 2.
Darlene J. Sadlier, a professor emerita of Spanish and Portuguese, will introduce the film on Zoom with Vickers. She said the online connection is reassuring during the pandemic.
“For all of us, this is a new world,” Sadlier said. “This is all very challenging, and Jon has taken that incredible step to go into an area and try to develop something that will keep us all in touch.”
The first online filmmaker discussion will be with actor and IU alumnus Jonathan Banks at 6:55 p.m. April 9.
Durkel said it is important to continue to screen films, even if it’s not in the theater.
“The cinema is such a wonderful place,” Durkel said. “It’s just a very, nice welcoming community of film buffs, and it’s just something that I really miss.”