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AETN, Fayetteville Public Library, KUAF 91.3FM partner to bring Community Cinema to Northwest Arkansas

The Arkansas Educational Television Network (AETN), Fayetteville Public Library and KUAF 91.3FM have partnered to bring Community Cinema, a free monthly screening and discussion series, to Northwest Arkansas beginning Sept. 23.
Screenings will be held at Fayetteville Public Library, 401 West Mountain Street, Fayetteville, on Sundays from 2-4 p.m. A community discussion will follow each screening.
The largest public interest outreach program in public or commercial television, Community Cinema, produced by the Independent Television Service (ITVS), features a sneak peek of documentaries set to broadcast on the award-winning PBS series “Independent Lens.” Community Cinema screens films monthly from September through June, and can be found in more than 100 communities nationwide. After each screening is a discussion with leading community-based organizations, special guest speakers, interactive workshops, local resources and other programming designed to help attendees learn more and get involved.
This season, Community Cinema takes on controversial issues from current news headlines through films such as “As Goes Janesville,” a three-year chronicle about the debate over the future of America’s middle class; “Love Free or Die,” a portrait of Gene Robinson, the first openly gay elected bishop in the high church traditions of Christendom; and “Soul Food Junkies,” a look at the black community’s love affair with soul food, its significance, and its health consequences.
ITVS’s Community Cinema series also continues to align its programming with the Women and Girls Lead initiative – a multiyear public media initiative to focus, educate and connect citizens worldwide in support of the issues facing women and girls – now nearing the end of its second year. Four programs focusing on gender equity and women and girls leadership will be featured this season: “Half the Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity for Women Worldwide,” “Solar Mamas,” “Wonder Women: The Untold Story of American Superheroines” and “The Revolutionary Optimists.”
Audience engagement with the content and issues presented in Community Cinema will be supported by an innovative website that directly connects individuals with film-specific resources and ways to get involved. The new communitycinema.org features embeddable “Take Action” widgets, monthly opinion polls, national event listings, and individual city pages.
Films for the 2012-13 season include:
•    “Half the sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity for Women Worldwide,” Sept. 23. A landmark series based on the book by The New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, “Half the Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity for Women Worldwide” follows celebrity activists America Ferrera, Diane Lane, Eva Mendes, Meg Ryan, Gabrielle Union and Olivia Wilde as they travel through six countries to meet inspiring, courageous individuals confronting oppression and developing real, meaningful solutions for women and girls through health care, education and economic empowerment.
•    “As Goes Janesville,” Oct. 14. America’s middle class is dwindling, and the debate over how to save it is nowhere fiercer than in the normally tranquil state of Wisconsin. In Janesville, as jobs disappear and families are stretched to their breaking point, citizens and politicians are embroiled in an ideological battle about how to turn things around.
•    “Solar Mamas,” Nov. 11. Rafea – a 30-year-old Jordanian mother of four – is traveling outside of her village for the first time to attend a solar engineering program at India’s Barefoot College. She will join other poor women from Guatemala, Kenya, Burkina Faso and Colombia in learning concrete skills to create change in their communities.
•    “Soul Food Junkies,” Jan. 13. Soul food lies at the heart of African-American cultural identity. The black community’s love affair with soul food is deep-rooted, complex and, in some cases, deadly. “Soul Food Junkies” puts this culinary tradition under the microscope to examine both its significance and its consequences.
•    “The Powerbroker,” Feb. 17. Whitney M. Young Jr. was one of the most celebrated and controversial leaders of the civil rights era. As executive director of the National Urban League, he took the struggle for equality directly to the powerful white elite, gaining allies in business and government, including three presidents.
•    “Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines,” March 17. Trace the fascinating evolution and legacy of the original comic book Amazon, Wonder Woman. From her creation in the 1940s to the superhero blockbusters of today, pop culture’s representations of powerful women often reflect society’s anxieties about women’s liberation.
•    “The Island President,” April 21. Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed is confronting a problem greater than any world leader has ever faced – the literal survival of his country and everyone in it. His is the most low-lying country in the world; a minor rise in sea level would erase it from the map.
•    “The Revolutionary Optimists,” May 19. Amlan Ganguly teaches the children of Kolkata’s slums to become leaders in improving their own community’s health and sanitation. Using street theater, dance and data as their weapons, the children have cut malaria and diarrhea rates in half, increased polio vaccination rates, and turned garbage dumps into playing fields.
•    “Love Free or Die,” June TBD. “Love Free or Die” follows a man who has two defining passions that the world cannot reconcile: his love for God and for his partner Mark. The film is about church and state, love and marriage, faith and identity – and openly gay Bishop Eugene Robinson's struggle to dispel the notion that God’s love has limits.
Additional information is available at aetn.org/communitycinema or by calling AETN at 800-662-2386.
The Fayetteville Public Library’s mission is to strengthen the community, empower citizens with free and public access to knowledge, inspire imagination, foster learning, be powerfully relevant and be completely accessible. Additional information is available at faylib.org.

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