Documentary Series


IOWA CITY, IA – The Englert Theatre has partnered with local nonprofit organizations to present a series of documentaries which address gender and racial inequality. “American Promise,” “Miss Representation” and “Girls Rock!” will air on the Englert’s big screen during set dates from mid-February through mid-March.

The 102-year-old historic theatre- central to the arts and entertainment scene of the downtown area- is celebrating 10 years as a non-profit organization in 2014. As part of their mission as a community arts center and performance space, the Englert regularly partners with local nonprofits to help them present arts events.

“My hope is that through the support of the Advising Center, and co-sponsors such as The Center for Diversity and Enrichment, [we] can enact some real change around these populations,” said Shell Feijo, Academic Advisor at the University of Iowa “This screening is a step in that direction.”

“American Promise”, being screened for free, will bring to light the issue of racial inequality in the private education sector, while “Miss Representation” and “Girls Rock!” explain the matter of gender discrimination and its effects on women in The United States, with proceeds will benefitting Scattergood Friends School and the formation of a Girls Rock! Iowa City Camp respectively.

“All of the documentaries in this series are excellent examples of how documentary film, as an art form, can provide a foundation for understanding complex issues like race, gender and privilege,” said Englert Development Director Katie Roche. “All of the nonprofits we are partnering with to present these films were passionate about the subject matter reaching an Iowa City area audience. The Englert agreed to make these events possible not only because we agreed that the subject matter was topical and important, but because nearly every day we witness first hand how the performing arts can motivate positive social change.”
The details:

“American Promise”
Directed by Michèle Stephenson and Joe Brewster
Presented by College Advising for Students of Color and The Center for Diversity and Enrichment
Tuesday, February 11 – 6p.m.

A middle-class, African-American couple in Brooklyn, document their son, Idris, and his best friend, Seun through the span of their thirteen year journey at Dalton, one of the most prestigious private schools in the country. The Sundance Film Festival award winning picture documents the two boys’ divergent paths from kindergarten through high school graduation at the nearly all-white student body.

“Girls Rock!”
Directed by Arne Johnson and Shane King
A screening to benefit the formation of a Girls Rock! Iowa City Camp.
Presented by Girls Rock! Iowa City Camp
Sunday, February 23 – 2p.m.
$10 suggested donation

“Girl’s Rock” follows several Rock ‘n’ Roll Camp attendees as they participate in a summer program which aims to instill empowerment and confidence in young girls through musical expression and creativity. Co-founded and organized by Portlandia’s Carrie Brownstein, the camp has expanded to nearly two-dozen international locations, with an Iowa City location to soon be established.
“Miss Representation”
Directed by Jennifer Siebel Newsom
A screening to benefit Scattergood Friends School
Presented by the Englert Theatre
Sunday, March 9 – 2p.m.
$10 suggested donation/12 & under free

Director Jennifer Siebel Newsom exposes how the limited and unfair portrayal of women and girls in the mainstream media has contributed to the drastic underrepresentation of females in American society. “Miss Representation” explores how the media emphasizes value of a woman by her appearance, youth and sexuality, and how this discrimination affects women’s place in society. The United States ranks 90th in the world for women in national legislatures, an example of how far women’s rights has to come.

The Englert Theatre is a community arts center and performance space that enhances the vitality of Iowa City’s historic downtown as its last historic theater. The Englert Theatre provides diverse programming, educational opportunities and exposure to the performing and visual arts. The organization strives to highlight the talents of local performers, artists and ensembles as well as hosting regional, national and international touring performances.

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