POWELL, Wyoming — A film series featuring diverse identities will showcase one movie each Wednesday in September to accompany a world-traveling art exhibit coming to Northwest College.
“The Bridge” art collection is traveling the world to help catalyze positive social relationships between Middle East and Western cultures.
In conjunction with the exhibit, free activities are scheduled throughout the month, including a book discussion, music concert and a four-part film series with screening venues that alternate between Powell and Cody. Each movie presentation begins at 6:30 p.m. and will conclude with a group discussion led by special guests.
“The Bridge” film series kicks off Wednesday, Sept. 7, with a 6:30 p.m. screening of “Queens and Cowboys: A Straight Year on the Gay Rodeo” at the NWC Intercultural House, located at 565 College Drive in Powell.
Directed by Los Angeles-based filmmaker, Matt Livadary, “Queens and Cowboys: A Straight Year on the Gay Rodeo,” documents a full season of the International Gay Rodeo Association circuit. The film chronicles a year in the life of LGBTQ rodeo contestants and seeks to overturn gay prejudice and stereotypes. It received the Best Documentary Film Award at the 2014 Santa Barbra Film Festival. The NWC Gay Straight Alliance student club will facilitate a discussion following the film.
“Blue Like Me” will be aired at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 14, at the Cody Theater in Cody, and will be preceded with an introduction by the film’s featured artist, Siona Benjamin. The 28-minute documentary was directed by Hal Rifkin and profiles Benjamin’s work. Born into a Jewish family in Mumbai, India, Benjamin seeks to create works of art that are a culmination of her Jewish roots, pop culture and traditional religious iconography of India. Her work has been exhibited throughout the United States, Europe and Asia, and has been featured in publications including The New York Times, Chicago Tribune and Boston Globe. Benjamin will host discussion after the film.
The third film, “Smoke Signals,” is based on a collection of short stories written by acclaimed Native American writer, Sherman Alexie. It comes to the NWC Intercultural House Wednesday, Sept. 21. Directed by Chris Eyre, “Smoke Signals” is an independent film that glimpses into contemporary Native America through the journey of two young men. This exploration of historical and contemporary Native American stereotypes won the Audience Award for Dramatic Films and the Filmmakers Trophy and was nominated for the Grand Prize at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival. Jason Baldes, from the Wind River Native Advocacy Center, will lead a discussion following the film.
“The Bridge” film series culminates Wednesday, Sept. 28, at the Cody Theater with “Snow Falling on Cedars.” The film illustrates the effects of anti-Japanese sentiments in the United States following World War II through the story of a murder trial escalated by racial tensions. Based on author David Guterson’s novel of the same title, “Snow Falling on Cedars” was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Cinematography in 1999. NWC Instructor of Anthropology and Sociology and third generation Japanese American Wyomingite, Aura Newlin, will facilitate a discussion following the film. Newlin has ties to the Heart Mountain Internment Center through family members who were held there during World War II.
“The Bridge” exhibit that sparked the film series features work by 47 Arab, Jewish and Persian contemporary visual artists asked to explore what they hold in common through their cultures and creeds.
It opens Saturday, Sept. 10, in NWC’s SinClair Gallery with a 6 p.m. reception and program with presentations by former Sen. Al Simpson, Ann Simpson, artists and others associated with the exhibit.
“The Bridge” is brought to Park County by the Foundation for Episcopal Diocese of Wyoming and the Northwest College Intercultural Program.
More information about all the events associated with “The Bridge,” is available at http://www.nwc.edu/international.