Film Line-Up for Spring 2017


Film Screenings Fridays 5:30 p.m. Peters Education Center Auditorium (West of Save-Mart Center in the Student Recreation Center Building)

Fresno Filmworks at Tower Theater, 815 E. Olive Ave.  All films screened on campus are free and open to the public. Parking is not enforced after 4 p.m. on Fridays.

January 27: Road to La Paz (2015)

Discussant: Francisco Varone (Director)

Sebastian is 35-years-old and unemployed, with only his father’s old Peugeot 505 to his name. When fate brings him a man in search of a ride, Sebastian sees no other choice but to take the opportunity. The man is Jalil, an elderly devout Muslim, and his destination is La Paz, the capitol of Bolivia some 2,000 miles from Buenos Aires. Both men are at a crossroads, and the journey of La Paz not only takes them to the north but also places them on a touching and often funny road of self-discovery.  In Spanish with English subtitles, 92 minutes.

Sponsors: The Department of Chicano & Latin American Studies and the Department of Political Science

February 3:  Nakom (2016)

Discussants: Trav Pittman & Kelly Daniela Norris (Co-Directors)

Set in present day Ghana, Nakom follows Iddrisu, a talented medical student who is summoned home by his sister after their father’s sudden death. Iddrisu buries his father and temporarily assumes the head of the impoverished household and farm, inheriting not only the delicate task of planting a successful crop, but also a debt left by the deceased patriarch that could destroy the family. Attempting to maintain part of his studies from the confines of a small hut, Iddrisu becomes increasingly frustrated with the incessant needs of those around him and the demanding toil of the land. The contentious relationship with his uncle Napoleon, to whom the sizeable debt is owed, is further complicated by the unplanned pregnancy of Napoleon’s daughter who was sent to live with Iddrisu’s family. Over the course of the growing season, Iddrisu grapples with tradition, familial duty, and the overwhelming sense of urgency to do what he must to secure his own future. In Kusaal with English subtitles, 90 minutes.

Sponsor: Africana Studies Program

February 10-11: Filmworks: Oscar Nominated Short Films  

For the 12th consecutive year, Shorts HD and Magnolia Pictures present the Oscar-Nominated Short Films, opening on Feb. 10th. With all three categories offered – Animated, Live Action and Documentary – this is your annual chance to predict the winners (and have the edge in your Oscar pool)! A perennial hit with audiences around the country (and now the world), don’t miss this year’s selection of shorts. The Academy Awards take place Sunday, Feb. 26th.Trailer:

For program times see

February 17:  Resistance at Tule Lake (2016)

Discussant: Konrad Aderer (Director)

Over 110,000 Japanese Americans were incarcerated in ten camps from 1942 to 1945, in the largest mass imprisonment of citizens in U.S. history. Resistance at Tule Lake tells the long-suppressed story of the “No-No’s” – 12,000 incarcerees who defied the government by refusing to swear unconditional loyalty to the U.S. Although refusal was an act of protest and family survival, the government branded “No-No’s” as “disloyals” and forced them to relocate to the newly militarized Tule Lake Segregation Center. 78 minutes.


Film website:

This film is being screened in collaboration with the Henry Madden Library’s 9066 Japanese American Voices from the Inside collaborative exhibition and series of events which examine the incarceration of 120,000 Japanese Americans in “exclusion areas” authorized by Executive Order 9066 which was signed on February 19, 1942, by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. This action had deep and profound consequences for all the families affected and the communities they left for decades—reverberations that are still felt today. The exhibition explores this complex and searing episode in our history. For more information regarding exhibition highlights and events:

Sponsor: Henry Madden Library

February 24: Agents of Change (2016)

Discussants: Abby Ginzberg (Director) & Dr. Ramona Tascoe (SF student leader featured in the film)

From the well-publicized events at San Francisco State in 1968 to the image of black students with guns emerging from the takeover of the student union at Cornell University in April, 1969, the struggle for a more relevant and meaningful education, including demands for black and ethnic studies programs, became a clarion call across the country in the late 1960’s. Through the stories of these young men and women who were at the forefront of these efforts, Agents of Change examines the untold story of the racial conditions on college campuses and in the country that led to these protests.  The film’s characters were caught at the crossroads of the civil rights, black power, and anti-Vietnam war movements at a pivotal time in America’s history. Today, over 45 years later, many of the same demands are surfacing in campus protests across the country, revealing how much work remains to be done. Agents of Change links the past to the present and the present to the past–making it not just a movie but a movement. 66 minutes

Sponsors: Henry Madden Library’s Prentice Womack Fund & Africana Studies Program

March 3: Lunafest    

Discussant: Dr. Jenna Kieckhaefer

LUNAFEST™ is a nationwide festival of short films by…for…about women. LUNAFEST™ runs from October-March, in that time it is shown by more than 100 venues nationwide and is seen by over 20,000 viewers. For one night only Fresno is lucky to hold this festival. Films touch on a variety of issues of interest to women and those who love them. For information about the films:

Co-Sponsor: Cross Cultural and Gender Center

March 10: Filmworks: I Am Not Your Negro (2016)   

In 1979, James Baldwin wrote a letter to his literary agent describing his next project, Remember This House. The book was to be a revolutionary, personal account of the lives and successive assassinations of three of his close friends—Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. At the time of Baldwin’s death in 1987, he left behind only thirty completed pages of his manuscript. Now, in his incendiary new documentary, master filmmaker Raoul Peck envisions the book James Baldwin never finished. The result is a radical, up-to-the-minute examination of race in America, using Baldwin’s original words and flood of rich archival material. I Am Not Your Negro is a journey into black history that connects the past of the Civil Rights movement to the present of #BlackLivesMatter. It is a film that questions black representation in Hollywood and beyond. And, ultimately, by confronting the deeper connections between the lives and assassination of these three leaders, Baldwin and Peck have produced a work that challenges the very definition of what America stands for. 95 minutes.

After the early show only, stay for a post-screening discussion with a trio of panelists from Fresno State: Thomas-Whit Ellis, Melissa Harris, and Dr. Francine Oputa. Ellis is a professor and theatrical director in the Department of Theatre Arts; Harris is a graduate student in the Department of Communication; and Oputa is the director of the Cross Cultural and Gender Center.

March 17:  RiverBlue (2016)

Discussant: Roger Williams (Director)

Following international river conservationist, Mark Angelo, RiverBlue spans the globe to infiltrate one of the world’s most pollutive industries, fashion. Narrated by clean water supporter Jason Priestley, this groundbreaking documentary examines the destruction of our rivers, its effect on humanity, and the solutions that inspire hope for a sustainable future. Through harsh chemical manufacturing processes and the irresponsible disposal of toxic chemical waste, one of our favorite iconic products has destroyed rivers and impacted the lives of people who count on these waterways for their survival. RiverBue brings awareness to the destruction of some of the world’s most vital rivers through the manufacturing of our clothing, but will also act as a demand for significant change in the textile industry from the top fashion brands that can make a difference. 83 minutes,

Sponsors: Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom & Beth Ann Harnish Lecture Series

March 24:  The Heart of Madame Sabali (2015)

Discussant: Ryan McKenna (Director)

The Heart of Madame Sabali is a dramatic film with touches of absurdist comedy, and features surrealist dream sequences and a colorful art design. The story is centered on Jeannette, who has a severe heart condition that keeps her trapped in a suburb of Montreal. After receiving her new heart, Jeannette begins to have strange visions of her donor’s former life. Soon after, she is befriended by her donor’s son, a Malian teenager, who believes she is his mother reincarnated. The story itself is based on the scientific concept of cellular memory, the idea that cells contain memories, and that organ recipients sometimes take on the personality traits of their donors. In French with English subtitles, 79 minutes.

Sponsors: Co-Sponsors: The French Program and the Department of Modern & Classical Languages & Literatures

March 31: Caesar Chavez Holiday: NO FILM

April 7: Lost Birds (2015)

Discussant: Ela Alyamac & Aren Perdeci (Co-Directors)

Lost Birds presents a historical tragedy that takes place in 1915, from the point of view of two children.  The story is about Bedo, played by (Heros Agopyan) and Maryam, played by (Dila Uluca), whose beautiful, warm, and happy lives in Anatolia comes to an end when their grandfather played by ( Sarkis Acemoglu) is taken away by soldiers. Out of extreme fear, their mother, played by (Takuhi Bahar), forbid the children to go outside, but being children, they sneak out to their favorite spot to play, only to come back to an empty home and an empty village. Their fear takes over, and with their bird that they had saved, they embark on a journey toward Aleppo to find their mother, and their fellow villagers. This beautiful film made by an Armenian and a Turkish filmmaker with passion is a cinematographic beauty to watch.  Lost Birds is the first film made in Turkey about the 1915 Armenian genocide. In Turkish and Armenian with English subtitles, 90 minutes

Sponsor: The Armenian Studies Program


Filmworks: April 14: The Salesman (2016)

Academy Award winner for Best Foreign Language Film, “The Salesman,” an Iranian thriller directed by Asghar Farhadi, presents the dramatic story of Emad and Rana, a couple acting in a theatrical production of Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman.”  Farhadi subtly recreates issues from the play in the lives of Emad and Rana.  The film opens as the couple is forced to evacuate their apartment when the foundation begins to collapse.  In their new home they find themselves living with the past left behind by the previous tenant. Tensions run high between Emad and Rana, as they struggle to face the reality of events that will drastically change their lives forever. Starring Taraneh Alidoosti, Shahab Hosseini and Babak Karimi. Rated PG-13, 125 minutes. In Farsi and English with English subtitles. Closed Captioning and other assistive listening services are not available for this film.

April 21:  Together With You (2002)

Film will begin at 5 p.m.

Discussant:  Dr. Ed EmanuEl

Chen Kaige composes a richly imagined film about love, ambition, and destiny in China’s high-pressure world of classical music. When violin prodigy Xiaochun and his father head to Beijing seeking fame and fortune, they soon discover a fierce world of cutthroat ambition. But when Xiaochun is “adopted” by a famous music tutor, success finally seems within reach- until a shocking discovery begins to unravel his entire world, and the boy must make the most difficult choice of his life. In Mandarin with English subtitles, 110 minutes.

April 28: The Crow’s Nest (Malacrianza) (2014)

Discussant: Arturo Menéndez (Director)

The Crow’s Nest, written and directed by Arturo  Menéndez is a Salvadorian/Canadian film that tells the story of a lowly piñata vendor from a small town in El Salvador and the struggles that befall him after an extortion letter is left on his doorstep. The letter instructs him to deliver $500 in 72 hours or he will be killed. The amount seems near impossible for the seemingly destitute Don Cleo, as he navigates through his reality, neighborhood, relationships and the few aspirations he still has.

Don Cleo exhausts every opportunity to raise the money, gathering as much as possible from friends and acquaintances. Yet, as much as he tries, Don Cleo finds himself in more trouble than when he started. With no other hope to survive, Don Cleo decides to face his fears and stands up to his transgressors.

Malacrianza is the first fiction film from El Salvador since 1969 which has also had the first worldwide release. The film was released on October 4, 2014, at the AFI Silver Latin American Film Festival. 70 minutes.

Co-Sponsor: The Department of Chicano & Latin American Studies

May 5: A Stray (2016)

Discussant: Musa Syeed (Director)

In Minneapolis’ large Somali refugee community, Adan has nowhere to go. His mom kicked him out, and his friends are tired of his headstrong ways. As a last resort, he moves into the mosque, praying for a little help. Surprisingly, God seems to answer. Adan quickly lands a good job, devout friends, and a newfound faith. When Adan nearly hits a stray dog on the job, he’s forced to take it in for a night. But one of his new mosque friends considers the dog impure, and he throws Adan out. With Adan back on the streets, surrounded by his old crew, ex-­girlfriends, prying FBI agents, and his estranged family, the dog may be his only friend as he tries to keep his faith and get through the night. 82 minutes.

Sponsor: Africana Studies Program

Week 16: May 12: Filmworks: Chasing Trane (2016)

Chasing Trane, a documentary feature explores the life, work, and influence of jazz icon John Coltrane. Featuring interviews with legendary musicians such as Carlos Santana, Wynton Marsalis, and Common—and also featuring Coltrane’s own rare interviews, as narrated by Denzel Washington—the film chronicles the saxophonist and composer’s personal life and his contribution to music throughout his short yet powerful career. Using never-before-seen photos, home movies, and interviews, this film fully illustrates the life of the beloved Trane, one of jazz music’s biggest stars. From documentary filmmaker John Scheinfeld, who directed “The U.S. vs. John Lennon” and documentaries on diverse subjects such as Brian Wilson, Harry Nilsson and the Marx Brothers. Not rated, 99 minutes. Closed Captioning and other assistive listening services are not available for this film.

CineCulture Club promotes cultural awareness through film and post-screening discussions.

Fresno State encourages persons with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities. If you anticipate needing any type of accommodation or have questions about the physical access provided, please contact us in advance to your participation.

For further information about CineCulture:

Contact: Dr. Mary Husain (Instructor & Club Adviser) at

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