Dee Rees: Choosing The Hard Things

Regrettably, Dee Rees has cancelled her trip to Indiana on November 16 due to an unforeseen shift in her schedule around the release of her film Mudbound.

IU Cinema’s screenings of Mudbound (2017) and Pariah (2011) will continue as scheduled without her attendance. The Jorgensen Guest Filmmaker Program on November 16 at 3:00 p.m. is cancelled.

IU Cinema is excited to be one of a very small number of venues given the opportunity to screen Mudbound theatrically before it premieres on Netflix on November 17. Regretting her absence, Dee Rees will provide a special video introduction to the film.


An alumna of New York University’s graduate film program and the Sundance Screenwriting and Directing Lab, Dee Rees is a writer/director whose feature film Pariah premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. Pariah was honored with Sundance’s U.S. Dramatic Competition Excellence in Cinematography Award, the Independent Spirit Awards’ John Cassavetes Award, and the Gotham Award for Best Breakthrough Director. Rees chooses to create characters and worlds that we have not seen on screen before, often taking the hard path to deliver her stories.

In 2015, her film Bessie, starring Queen Latifah, premiered on HBO and won four Primetime Emmy® Awards. Her episodic television work includes episodes for Empire and Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams, an upcoming science fiction television anthology series. Her new film, Mudbound, premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival to much acclaim and will be available on Netflix. Rees has received several honors in recent years, including being named one of Filmmaker Magazine’s “25 New Faces of Independent Film” and noted among The New York Timeslist of “Directors to Watch.” The success of Mudbound will certainly expand upon these accolades exponentially as Rees continues to tell audiences the hard stories that need to be told. Special thanks to Brian Graney, Walton Muyumba, and Netflix.

Danny Glover: Actor, Producer, Humanitarian

Regrettably, Danny Glover has cancelled his trip to Indiana on September 17 due to unforeseen circumstances regarding his filming schedule.

His visit was to include an appearance at The Good Catholic premiere at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater and two events at IU Cinema. Mr. Glover is incredibly disappointed to miss another chance to meet Bloomington fans and to engage with the good work of the Black Film Center/Archive, IU Cinema, and the Buskirk-Chumley Theater.

All events will continue as scheduled except for his 1:00 p.m. on-stage conversation at IU Cinema, which has been cancelled. Mr. Glover hopes to return to Bloomington at a future date.

For questions regarding The Good Catholic premiere, please contact the BCT Box Office at (812) 323-3020. For inquiries regarding the IU campus events, please contact IU Cinema at or 812-855-7632.


Danny Glover is one of the most-acclaimed actors of our time, whose career spans more than 35 years and includes classics like Places in the Heart, The Color Purple, the Lethal Weapon series and the acclaimed To Sleep with Anger. In addition, Glover has produced numerous projects for film, television, and theater; among these are Good Fences, 3 AM, Freedom Song, Get on the Bus, Buffalo Soldiers, To Sleep with Anger, and Mooladé, as well as the series Courage and America’s Dream. He has also been an ardent supporter of new indie voices and important small films, like The Good Catholic, which will be released in September 2017 with Glover in a key supporting role.

Since co-founding Louverture Films and acting as CEO, Glover has been a champion of independent films of historical relevance, social purpose, commercial value, and artistic integrity. Louverture partners with progressive filmmakers from around the world while proactively supporting the employment and training of cast and crew from communities of color in the United States. Some of the titles they have produced include Abderrahmane Sissako’s Bamako, Africa United, Trouble the Water, Soundtrack for a Revolution, The Black Power Mixtape 1967–1975, The House I Live In, This Changes Everything, White Sun, and Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s 2010 Cannes Palme d’Or winner Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives and Cemetery of Splendour. Special thanks to Pigasus Pictures, John Armstrong, and Zachary Spicer.

The Good Catholic

All screenings of The Good Catholic will take place at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater.

Daniel (Zachary Spicer) is a young, idealistic priest who loves his work more than anything. While he struggles to find balance between the dueling philosophies of his mentors, Father Victor (Danny Glover), an old school, no nonsense traditionalist, and Father Ollie (John C. McGinley), a chain-smoking, carb-addicted Franciscan, Daniel’s passion for his calling never waivers … until he meets Jane. The complicated and mysterious Jane (Wrenn Schmidt) introduces Daniel to an entirely different set of possibilities. As new bonds form and old ones are tested, Daniel must decide what his true calling really is, and whether he has the courage to answer it.

The Scar of Shame/Renèe Baker Project

The Scar of Shame/Renèe Baker Project is a commissioned world premiere of a Renèe Baker score for the 1927 race film The Scar of Shame. Motifs in Baker’s score are inspired by the work of Phil Moore, most prominently his 1939 Suite for Strings composition. Moore was a largely forgotten jazz pianist, orchestral arranger, band leader, and recording artist whose collection of papers and scores are held within the Black Film Center/Archive at Indiana University. Baker has an international reputation for her compositions and is known for bringing new life and audiences to the films of early Black filmmakers. The project is presented by IU Cinema, Black Film Center/Archive, Office of the Vice Provost for Research, Collaborative Research, and Creative Activity Fund, the Film Scoring for Visual Media program in the Jacobs School of Music, College Arts and Humanities Institute, and The Media School. Special thanks to Brian Graney.

Megan Griffiths: Transforming Script onto Screen

Megan Griffiths is a writer/director working in film and television. She recently directed two episodes of the Duplass Brothers’ HBO anthology series Room 104. Prior to this, Griffiths completed the thriller The Night Stalker, which she wrote and directed, starring Lou Diamond Phillips as serial killer Richard Ramirez. Her film Lucky Them, starring Toni Collette, Thomas Haden Church, and Johnny Depp, premiered at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival and was picked up for distribution by IFC Films. Griffiths’ film Eden was a breakout at SXSW 2012, winning the Emergent Narrative Director Award, and the Audience Award for Narrative Feature, as well as a Special Jury Prize for lead actress Jamie Chung. Griffiths’ debut feature The Off Hours premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival.

Additionally, Griffiths has produced several other projects, including Lynn Shelton’s Your Sister’s Sister and the Sundance absurdist buddy comedy The Catechism Cataclysm. She and Shelton also co-wrote a feature for “This American Life,” and together, with producer Gregg Fienberg, sold an original pitch to HBO. In her adopted hometown of Seattle, Griffiths was honored with the 2012 Stranger Genius Award for Film, named the 2013 City Arts Film Artist of the Year, and received the 2015 Seattle Mayor’s Award for Film. She serves on the board of the Northwest Film Forum and is an advocate for sustainable film production. Griffiths is currently completing her sixth feature film, Sadie, due for release in 2018.

Eliza Hittman: Two for Two

Photo credit:Tom LeGoff


Eliza Hittman is an Indiana University alumna and award-winning filmmaker, born and based in New York City. Her most recent feature Beach Rats won the 2017 Sundance Film Festival Directing Award for U.S. Dramatic Feature, for which Variety compared Hittman to “ … auteurs ranging from Claire Denis to early Lynne Ramsay.” After attending IU for undergraduate studies, Hittman received an MFA from California Institute of the Arts, School of Film/Video. In 2011, Hittman’s short film Forever’s Gonna Start Tonight was included in Indiewire’s list of “the Best of the Best” at Sundance. In 2013, her debut feature film It Felt Like Love was voted one of the top 10 films at Sundance by Film Comment’s Laura Kern. Also that year, Hittman was listed as one of Filmmaker Magazine’s25 New Faces of Independent Film” and nominated as the Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director and for the John Cassavetes Spirit Award. She has also recently been guest director on HBO’s High Maintenance. IU Cinema is excited to welcome back this highly celebrated indie filmmaker and Indiana University alumna.

Bruce Joel Rubin: A Spiritual Life

Indiana University alumnus, writer, director, and producer Bruce Joel Rubin won an Academy Award® for his original screenplay for Ghost in 1990, which was also nominated for Best Picture. He has written numerous other screenplays including BrainstormJacob’s LadderDeep ImpactThe Last MimzyThe Time Traveler’s Wife, and My Lifewhich he also directed. Ghost – The Musicalfor which he wrote the book and lyrics, has played Broadway, London, and now Moscow. Rubin is a graduate of New York University and has a master’s degree from Indiana University. He was also a curator of film at the Whitney Museum in New York, where he helped establish The New American Filmmakers Series as an important launching pad for independent filmmakers in the early ’70s. Parallel to his filmmaking career, Rubin has been teaching meditation for decades.

This series is co-sponsored by The Media School at Indiana University as part of its Fall 2017 Speaker Series.

Media School

5X Jean-Pierre Melville: Dangerously Cool

When asked, “What is your greatest ambition in life?” Jean-Pierre Melville replied, “To become immortal … and then die.” Since opening in January 2011, IU Cinema has hosted dozens of eminent and celebrated filmmakers. But many seminal titans of the moving picture are no longer with us. In celebration of the centennial of Melville’s birth, IU Cinema introduces a new regular film series titled 5X, aimed at offering a peek into the canon of the celluloid legends who may not be able to join us in person, but whose influence is felt every time our screen lights up.

In this inaugural 5X series, we present five of Jean-Pierre Melville’s 13 feature films, from the ‘godfather’ of the French New Wave. Born Jean-Pierre Grumbach—later borrowing his surname from author Herman Melville—he was given his first 9.5mm movie camera at six years of age, graduating to 16mm by the age of 12. Like the New Wave directors who considered him a mentor, his film education came from devouring cinema as a moviegoer, preferably Hollywood films. Though he loved the classical studio directors like William Wyler and John Huston, Melville worked independently, even building his own studio. Mostly remembered for his intense, spare, 1960s gangster films, Jean-Pierre Melville had a startlingly varied career as a maverick of French independent cinema. “I don’t know what will be left of me 50 years from now. I suspect that all films will have aged terribly and that the cinema probably won’t even exist anymore.” We don’t think so!

Kids These Days

Growing up is never easy. It is a murky path we all must navigate toward coming of age—each of us with a unique set of challenges, advantages, and insights. Regardless of era, every generation is told it is the solution, as well as to blame for all the world’s ills. Hey, no pressure, right? The Kids These Days series highlights films from the last few decades spotlighting the shared human experience of adolescent explorations of friendship, sexuality, loneliness, violence, and love.

Essential B&W Indies From the ’90s

The 1990s were among the prime decades for arthouse cinema and many filmmakers—seasoned and emerging—chose a black-and-white aesthetic for their feature films. Some of these have become seminal works and continue to be referenced, like Béla Tarr’s Satantango (1994), which is receiving a 4K restoration and 2018 re-release. In addition to the directors featured in this series, Steven Spielberg, Tim Burton, Steven Soderbergh, Julie Brown, Darren Aronofsky, Patrice Leconte, Rose Troche, Walter Salles, Alexandre Rockwell, Kenneth Branagh, John Boorman, Woody Allen, Christopher Nolan, and Andrzej Wajda all worked with black-and-white celluloid in the ’90s. This series represents only a taste of the otherworlds created with this irreplaceable medium.