Community Cinema in Studio A Kicks off Dec 4 | Season Includes 5 Films Through May


Community Cinema Studio A


NPT  Presents ‘Community Cinema in Studio A’ Free Lunchtime Screenings

New season of documentary film series to take place at NPT Arts Center; Includes five films over six months.

Community Cinema, a national civic engagement initiative by ITVS featuring screening of films from the Emmy ® Award-winning PBS series “Independent Lens,” will partner with Nashville Public Television (NPT) and take place this season in NPT’s Studio A, inside the NPT Arts Center at 161 Rains Avenue in Nashville.  The Nashville Film Festival, a tenant in the NPT Arts Center, will also serve as a presenting partner. The screenings will be free, include a complimentary light lunch, and occur at 11:30 a.m. one Wednesday a month from December to May (excluding April).

Films this year include “The State of Arizona” (Carlos Sandoval, Catherine Tambini/USA); “La Marthas” (Cristina Ibarra/USA); “The New Black” (Yoruba Richen/USA); “The Trials of Muhammad Ali” (Bill Siegel/USA); and “Medora” (Andrew Cohn, Davy Rothbart/USA).  A full schedule, with a synopsis of each film follows.

Community Cinema, which takes places in dozens of cities through the country, celebrates its sixth year in Nashville with the 2013-14 season. It was previously held at the downtown Nashville Public Library.

Studio A, in the NPT Arts Center in the Wedgewood/Houston Neighborhood, is home to numerous NPT productions and events, including A Word on Words and NPT Reports Town Halls, as well as the rehearsals for NPT Arts Center tenants Tennessee Repertory Theatre and Nashville Shakespeare Festival, and the TN Rep’s popular look-ins and Ingram New Works Festival. New seating, provided by the Frist Foundation, can accommodate more than one-hundred guests.

“Studio A is a hidden treasure and one we’re excited to invite the community in to,” says Joe Pagetta, NPT director of media relations and online strategies, who will coordinate Community Cinema. “Community Cinema’s slate of films each year is always stellar, provocative and entertaining, and this season is no exception. We encourage you to take a little extra time, have lunch with us, and partake in some lifelong learning with these films.”


Wednesday, December 4 at 11:30 a.m.

The State of Arizona
(Carlos Sandoval, Catherine Tambini /USA)

“The State Of Arizona” captures the volatile emotions and complex realities behind Arizona’s headline-grabbing struggle with illegal immigration. Tracking the year after Arizona passes SB1070, its controversial “papers please” law, this unflinching film presents Arizonans on all sides of this divisive issue. Full of drama and unexpected twists, THE STATE OF ARIZONA depicts a state and its people testing the edges of our democratic values and struggling for the very heart and soul of America.

Wednesday, January 22 at 11:30 a.m.

Las Marthas
(Cristina Ibarra/USA)

In the lingering aftermath of the U.S.-Mexico War, the border town of Laredo, Texas created an annual debutante ball unlike any other. Las Marthas follows two Mexican American girls carrying this gilded tradition on their shoulders during a time of economic uncertainty and tension over immigration.

Wednesday, February 19 at 11:30 a.m.

The Trials of Muhammad Ali
(Bill Siegel/USA)

“The Trials Of Muhammad Ali” covers the explosive crossroads of Ali’s life. When Cassius Clay becomes Muhammad Ali, his conversion to Islam and refusal to serve in the Vietnam War leave him banned from boxing and facing a five-year prison sentence. Ali’s choice of belief and conscience over fame and fortune resonates far beyond the boxing ring, striking issues of race, faith and identity that continue to confront us all today.

Wednesday, March 26 at 11:30 a.m.

(Andrew Cohn, Davy Rothbart/USA)

A once-booming rural community with a thriving middle class has seen its factories and farms close as the population dwindles. A deeply personal look at small-town life, “Medora” follows a down-but-not-out varsity basketball team as its struggles to compete parallel the town’s own fight for survival.

Wednesday, May 21 at 11:30 a.m.

The New Black
(Yoruba Richen/USA)
“The New Black” is a documentary that uncovers the complicated and often combative histories of the African-American and LGBT civil-rights movements.  Specifically, the film examines homophobia in the black community’s institutional pillar – the black church and reveals the Christian right wing’s strategy of exploiting this phenomenon in order to pursue an anti-gay political agenda.

About Community Cinema:

Community Cinema is a national civic engagement initiative featuring free screenings and curricula for films from the Emmy Award-winning PBS series Independent Lens. In 100 cities and online, community members come together to learn, discuss, and get involved in key social issues of our time.

About Nashville Public Television:

Nashville Public Television, Nashville’s PBS station, is available free and over-the-air to nearly 2.4 million people throughout the Middle Tennessee and southern Kentucky viewing area, through its main NPT and secondary NPT2 channels, and to anyone in the world through its stable of NPT Digital services, including, YouTube and the PBS video app. The mission of NPT is to provide, through the power of traditional television and interactive digital communications, high quality educational, cultural and civic experiences that address issues and concerns of the people of the Nashville region, and which thereby help improve the lives of those we serve.



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I rarely missed these excellent programs when they were on Saturday and at the main library. However, moving to Wednesday, mid-day, rules out my attendance. I regret this change but hope that many other people will be able to attend.

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