Film Forward and IMLS seeks Maine museums and libraries for 2014 tour of independent films

29 Jul 2013 11:52 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

IMLS is a partner in an international exchange program called Film Forward, which brings independent films to communities throughout the United States and the world in an effort to enhance the appreciation and understanding of diverse cultures. Film screenings are followed by audience dialogue and IMLS is particularly interested in identifying museums and libraries as venues for these programmatic opportunities.

Any museum or library or other organization is welcome to submit an RFP, though the project is targeting the following states for the 2014 tour: Arkansas, California, Florida, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Washington. I will also be contacting state librarians and state museum associations in those particular states.

We are seeking potential Program Collaborators around the US to collaborate with the Sundance Institute to host a FILM FORWARD program in 2014.

FILM FORWARD is an international cultural exchange program designed to enhance cross-cultural understanding, collaboration and dialogue around the globe by engaging audiences through the exhibition of film and conversation with filmmakers. FILM FORWARD is an Initiative of Sundance Institute and The President’s

Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

FILM FORWARD launched in 2010. Prior to that time, the AFI in association with the federal governmental agencies ran the program as AFI 20/20. In the last three years FILM FORWARD has visited 21 locations around the world from China, Morocco, India, and Turkey to Tennessee, California, Arizona and Puerto Rico. 26 independent films including WINTER’S BONE, AMREEKA, BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD and ON THE ICE and documentaries including CHASING ICE, LAST TRAIN HOME, BUCK and SENNA have screened to diverse communities, students and filmmakers. Over 30 filmmakers associated with these films have participated in engaging local audiences in question and answer sessions, workshops, roundtable discussion and meet and greet opportunities.

FILM FORWARD’s goal is to reach audiences that do not have access to independent film and create cultural conversations to break down barriers and bridge similarities between cultures. Our experiences have reinforced the very reason that we believe in this program: We saw this in Nashville, Tennessee as homeless youth told us they felt empowered to tell their stories after seeing LA MISSION and in Imperial Valley, California as audience members said they appreciated seeing aboriginal people being celebrated and not stereotyped. In short, we have seen the power of storytelling to connect with audiences here and abroad, and to light the fires of curiosity about other cultures and new ways of thinking. The experience is enriching for both the local audiences and the filmmakers - who are all learning and benefiting from these cultural interactions.

“We’ve been blessed to host Film Forward three times…Needless is to say that Film Forward made the PRFS a better organization, teaching us how to connect with audiences and spark profound conversations around independent film.”

- Guillermo Vazquez, Co-Founder, Puerto Rico Film Society

For more information on FILM FORWARD, please visit and read blogs by filmmakers, collaborators and audiences, browse through the photo galleries and watch the film trailers. We hope this program is of interest to you and look forward to your proposal.

Please feel free to address any questions to Meredith Lavitt via email at

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