Iowa

Friend Your College Film Programmer, Pronto!

Courtney Sheehan gives a behind-the-scenes account of running a college film program in Iowa and suggests that filmmakers and distributors should seek out these venues now, before they disappear.


It's not Grinnell but you get the picture (photo by Jim Linwood).

Every minute you let your nearest college film program go by without becoming acquainted with its schedule, leadership, and selection process, is a day you miss of fresh, often free cinema (and popcorn), and a chance to get eyes on your latest masterwork. Courtney Sheehan gives a behind-the-scenes account of running a college film program in Iowa and suggests that filmmakers and distributors should seek out these venues now, before they disappear.

Imagine if someone gave you over $50,000 to use for programming the film schedule at a movie theater for nine months. The theater doesn’t charge admission so your curatorial choices aren’t constrained by the pressure to sell tickets. You get to decide how many films to show, when to show them, and whether to show them on 35mm or digitally. You are effectively your own boss.

Taking an Abstract Idea and Creating a Narrative

How the filmmakers behind "King Corn" crafted a compelling documentary about an inanimate subject matter


Stalking heads: In "King Corn," Ian Cheney (left) and Curt Ellis sow their own acre of crops. (Photo credit: Sam Cullman)

How do you make a compelling and funny narrative out of a subject as seemingly banal as food? As Erica Bernstein reports, documentarian Aaron Woolf's solution was to give two young friends $5,000, send them to Iowa, and tell them not to leave until they found a good story (or ran out of money). The result of this experiment is a smart, inventive, and visually stunning film called King Corn, which continues to open in theatres in selected cities across the country this December. To view the trailer, visit our "Watch" page.

King Corn is a slightly apocalyptic documentary that explores where we come from—or where our food comes from, at the very least. By interweaving a filmmaker-as-subject story of two guys, a cornfield, and some ammonia fertilizer with disparate elements, the film expertly tackles the complicated overarching issues related to farming subsidies in the United States.

Iowa

Fields of Opportunities


Iowa is best known for early political caucuses, Old Settlers Picnics, the fictional River City of Meredith Wilson’s musical Music Man, Kevin Costner’s Field of Dreams, and although not quite as famous, the corncam website. Yes, corncam.

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