Film Forward: Advancing Cultural Dialogue | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Film Forward: Advancing Cultural Dialogue

The film series includes screenings of eight films such as "Fruitvale Station," "20 Feet from Stardom" and "Dancing in Jaffa," filmmaker Q&As and roundtable discussions.

  • Ongoing: until Thursday, March 6, 2014
  • Sunday:
  • Monday:
  • Tuesday:
  • Wednesday:
  • Thursday:
  • Friday:
  • Saturday:
  • Where: Mississippi Museum of Art, Tougaloo College, Millsaps College, Duling Hall and Delta State Univ.
  • Cost: Free
  • Categories: Stage and Screen (All), Film

Sundance Institute and the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities will host Film Forward: Advancing Cultural Dialogue, free screenings of eight films with moderated discussions, panels and artist roundtables in Jackson and Cleveland, Mississippi through the Mississippi Film Office and Crossroads Film Society.

For a full schedule of events in Mississippi visit and to view content from past trips visit Over the past three years Film Forward has reached more than 46,000 people in more than 11 countries and 12 US cities.

Film Forward, a partnership of Sundance Institute and four U.S. federal cultural agencies, is a touring program that offers film screenings, workshops and discussions designed to foster dialogue and cross-cultural understanding. It uses the power of cinema to promote broader cultural understanding, inspire curiosity and enhance awareness of shared stories and values across generations, religion, ethnicity and borders. The partnering federal agencies are the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities and The Institute of Museum and Library Services. Common themes explored in the films include communities in conflict, overcoming adversity and the transformative power of art. In each location, Film Forward seeks audiences that have limited access to independent film, students and the local filmmaking community. In Mississippi, the program will explore the regional tradition of storytelling, blues music, literature and filmmaking; and delve into the topic of tolerance.

“The films in the Film Forward series are stories that absolutely had to be told; not that needed or wanted to be told, but that someone had to tell. We all have stories; this series teaches us about passion and about vision, about acting on a belief and about the power of film.” said Ward Emling, Director of the Mississippi Film Office. “All of these films come from a very driving place and will have impact. Each of these films has the power to change us as a people and in our singular lives.”

“Film inspires imagination, encourages civic engagement and underscores the rich diversity of human experience,” said Keri Putnam, Executive Director of Sundance Institute. “We are honored to collaborate with Mississippi Film Office and Crossroads Film Society to present this rich and thought-provoking Film Forward program.”

“I was compelled to make Valentine Road and use this film as an educational tool for schools to start dialogue around compassion,” said filmmaker Marta Cunningham. “Through Film Forward, I am excited to meet audiences in Mississippi to talk about the themes, challenges and issues that unite us all.”

“We are pleased to join Sundance Institute, the Mississippi Humanities Council and other partners to make these outstanding films available to audiences in Mississippi,” said Carole Watson, deputy chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities. “Film Forward provides great opportunities to initiate community and civic dialogues that further understanding of ourselves, our neighbors, and other cultures.”
Sundance Institute staff members traveling with the program are: Film Forward Director Meredith Lavitt, Film Forward Manager Jacqueline Carlson, Sundance Film Festival Programmer Charlie Reff and Sundance Institute Editorial Manager Nate Von Zumwalt.

Following Film Forward’s visit to Mississippi, the program will visit California (San Diego); Mexico (Tijuana); Michigan (Detroit, Dearborn, Ann Arbor); Pennsylvania (Harrisburg, Philadelphia, Lancaster); Taiwan; China; Bosnia & Herzegovina; and Indonesia.

Mississippi Screening Schedule

2pm Feb 15 – Fruitvale Station (Jackson, Museum of Art, Grand Hall)
5pm Feb 15 – 20 Feet from Stardom (Jackson, Museum of Art, Grand Hall)
2pm Feb 16 – Dancing in Jaffa (Jackson, Museum of Art, Grand Hall)
7pm Feb 18 – If You Build It (Jackson, Millsaps, Murrah Hall)
6pm Feb 20 – Fruitvale Station (Jackson, Tougaloo, Bennie Thompson Conf. Ctr)
10am Feb 21 – The World Before Her** (Jackson, Tougaloo, Bennie Thompson CC)
7pm Feb 21 – Valentine Road** (Jackson, Museum of Art, Grand Hall)
10am Feb 22 – Panel on Tolerance** (Jackson, Millsaps, Gertrude C Ford Academic Complex)
2pm Feb 22 – Valentine Road** (Jackson, Millsaps, Murrah Hall)
7pm Feb 22 - The World Before Her** (Jackson, Duling Hall)
2pm Feb 23 - The World Before Her** (Cleveland, Delta State, BPAC)
5pm Feb 23 – Valentine Road** (Cleveland, Delta State, BPAC)
10am Feb 24 - The World Before Her** (Cleveland, Delta State,BPAC)
12:30pm Feb 24 –The Power of Storytelling (Cleveland, Delta State,TBA)
TBA Feb 24 Valentine Road** (Cleveland, Delta State,BPAC)
7pm Feb 25 – Dancing in Jaffa (Jackson, Millsaps, Murrah Hall)
6pm Feb 27 – The Rocket (Jackson, Tougaloo, Bennie Thompson Conf. Ctr)
6pm March 6 – Circles (Jackson, Tougaloo, Bennie Thompson Conf. Ctr)

** indicates filmmaker will be in attendance for Q&A;

This event was posted Feb. 12, 2014 and last updated Sept. 16, 2014


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