Thursday, September 24, 2015

UIS annual film series kicks off Sept. 25

The University of Illinois Springfield kicks off its series of independent and foreign films on Friday, with a movie that’s expected to draw a big crowd, according to UIS director of student life Cynthia Thompson. 

The film, “Sam Lay in Bluesland,” was made this year and profiles Lay, a longtime Chicago blues musician who has played with Bob Dylan, Muddy Waters, James Cotton, and other blues greats. At 80, he’s still performing. This documentary, which was deemed “spectacular” by the Chicago Tribune, is not rated.

The second film is an Arabic language film from Saudi Arabia and Germany called “Wadjda.” It’s the story of a spirited girl in Saudi Arabia’s capital who challenges her culture’s views on women and girls.

The last film in the series is the oldest and might be considered a modern classic. “Cinema Paradiso” was filmed in 1988 and is a sweet tale about a young Italian boy who’s inspired by the old movie projectionist in the cinema of his embattled small village. It also is rated PG.

The films are selected by a committee who reviews recommendations submitted by the entire UIS campus, according to Thompson. Typically the series includes four films, but this year it only has three, she said.

When the series was planned, UIS didn’t know what its budget would be due to Illinois’ budget impasse, so organizers planned for one fewer film than usual. Each film is open to the public and free to attend.

This article appeared online on The State Journal-Register on September 23, 2015.

Read the entire article here.