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January 21, 2011

Film Series set to launch at ULM, Jan. 27

The University of Louisiana at Monroe College of Arts and Sciences and the English Department are pleased to announce the launch of a new ULM Film Series on Thursday, Jan. 27.

The series will feature one film per month, offering selections from the classic cinema, art cinema, independent, foreign, and documentary repertoire. The first screening next Thursday is the 2005 independent film Junebug, in which a newlywed couple visits family in North Carolina. Amy Adams received an Oscar nomination for her performance in the film.

The rest of the line-up includes the renowned Black Orpheus (1959), a retelling of the Greek myth set in Brazil during Mardi Gras; Alfred Hitchcock's classic Rear Window (1954); the hugely popular French film Amélie, about a quirky romance; and the horror flick, Army of Darkness (1994), set in 1300 A.D.

The series is the brainchild of Assistant Professor of English Jana Giles and Instructor of English Amy Johnson.

"We believe a good university deserves a good cinema series," said Giles. "Since film and visual media are such a pervasive part of our everyday lives and those of our students, it's important to be literate in these areas as well as traditional learning forms."

"Film is just another form of storytelling, like poetry and fiction," added Johnson. "A great deal of knowledge is transmitted through the arts, and they are also a great way to get to know more about other regions, cultures, and historical time periods, as well as current events."

The films are meant to be both fun and educational, the organizers say. "We want students to relax and enjoy as well as be intellectually stimulated," said Giles.

Northeast Louisiana has no arts cinema, nor do the campuses at Louisiana Tech University or Grambling University, according to Giles and Johnson.

"To see an art film you have to go to the Robinson Theatre in Shreveport, and it's a lot to ask someone to travel three hours round trip for a movie," said Giles. "This will make ULM unique in the region."

At this time all films are free and open to the public; however, the pair isn't sure what will happen in Fall 2012.

"It's expensive to run a film series," Giles said. "We have to pay royalties per film per showing depending on audience numbers. Thanks to the generosity of the College of Arts and Sciences, we were able to go forward with this series. We aren't sure what this year's budget cuts will mean going forward."

However, both Giles and Johnson are hopeful. "I know a lot of my students are excited about the film series and can't wait to see what's on offer. Some of them are also interested in helping organize the series," said Johnson.

Filmgoers should know that since the series is sponsored by a college campus, the films were chosen with a college-age audience in mind. The series is also designed to be intellectually stimulating and may contain ideas that are challenging or unpopular for some viewers; the films shown do not necessarily represent the views of the university or any of its staff. Concessions will not be offered, and audience members are asked to not bring food or drink.

All films will be shown on at 7:30 pm. on Thursdays in Stubbs 100. For a complete listing of upcoming dates, visit the ULM English Department web site at, or call the department at 318-342-1485.

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