Annual International Film Festival to Screen Six Foreign Films

International film enthusiasts will have the opportunity to see six foreign films during Nebraska Wesleyan University’s sixth annual International Film Festival, February 14-17.

The festival will feature Spanish, Japanese, Chinese, German, and Belgian productions. All films will be shown with English subtitles and discussions will follow each screening.

The festival is free and open to the public. All films will be held in Olin A and Olin B lecture halls, located one block east of 50th Street and St. Paul Ave. Some films contain material for mature audiences.

The following is a schedule of events:

Thursday, February 14

7 p.m., Chico & Rita, Spanish film, not rated.

Oscar-winning director Fernando Trueba and Spain’s legendary illustrator Javier Mariscal celebrate their passion for the music and culture of Cuba with an epic story of love, passion, and heartbreak. Chico is a young piano player with big dreams. Rita is a beautiful singer with an extraordinary voice. Music and desire unite them as they chase their dreams and each other from Havana to New York to Paris, Hollywood and Las Vegas. (2010)

Friday, February 15

7 p.m., Jiro Dreams of Sushi, Japanese film, rated PG.

A story of 85-year-old Jiro Ono, considered by many to be the world’s greatest sushi chef. He is the proprietor of Sukiyabashi Jiro, a 10-seat, sushi-only restaurant inauspiciously located in a Tokyo subway station. Despite its humble appearances, it is the first restaurant of its kind to be awarded a prestigious 3 star Michelin review, and sushi lovers from around the globe make repeated pilgrimage, calling months in advance and shelling out top dollar for a coveted seat at Jiro’s sushi bar. (2011)

Saturday, February 16

2 p.m.,  También la Iluvia (Even the Rain) Spanish film, not rated.

A Spanish film crew helmed by idealistic director Sebastian and his cynical producer Costa come to Bolivia to make a revisionist epic about the conquest of Latin America — on the cheap. Carlos Aduviri is dynamic as “Daniel,” a local cast as a 16th century native in the film within a film. When the make up and loin cloth come off, Daniel sails into action protesting his community’s deprivation of water at the hands of multi-national corporations. (2010)

7 p.m., Mang jing (Blind Shaft) Chinese film, not rated.

Blind Shaft tells the story of itinerant miners Song Jinming and Tang Chaoyang who risk their lives under dangerous working conditions and develop questionable morals in order to survive. In the dark caves of one of the many illegal Chinese coal mines, Song and Tang murder a co-worker whom they have convinced to pose as Tang’s brother. By forcing the mine’s collapse upon their deceased colleague, and thereby making his death seem accidental, Tang and Song use their colleagues death to extort money from the mine’s management. (2003)

Following the screening, Jennifer Feeley, assistant professor of modern Chinese literature and film at the University of Iowa will lead an audience discussion, focusing on the historical and cultural contexts of the film.

Sunday, February 17

2 p.m., Soul Kitchen, German film, not rated.

Soul Kitchen is a delicious, free-spirited story of food, friends, and rock and roll. The film centers on a likable but hopelessly disorganized restaurateur, Zinos whose café is second home to a motley crew of lovable eccentrics. When his girlfriend Nadine up and moves to Shanghai, a love-sick Zinos decides to fly after her, leaving his restaurant in the hands of his unreliable ex-con brother. This film was the winner of the Special Jury Prize and the Young Cinema Award for Best Film at the Venice Film Festival. (2009)

7 p.m., Le Gamin au vélo (The Kid With A Bike), Belgian film, rated PG.

Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival and a Golden Globe nominee for Best Foreign Language Film, this deeply moving film delves into the emotional life of troubled 11-year-old Cyril. When his father abandons him, Cyril obsessively searches for his bicycle — placing his last bit of hope in this symbol of their relationship. The Kid With A Bike is a film about a child, abandoned to the elements, learning to become good. (2011)

For further questions about the film festival, contact Sara Jane Dietzman at sdietzma@nebrwesleyan.edu or call 402.465.7550.

film fest

I always look forward to your annual film festival since you started these events. as a filmaker and producer of pbs docs, I thank you for bringing these films to Lincoln every year. I'll be there.

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