Free international film series focuses on women

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The feminine perspective on life, love, beauty and justice can be seen through the media of film during the 2011 Chiaroscuro international film series, which this year features films by women directors.

"Women Behind the Camera," will screen six feature films at the Urban Institute for Contemporary Art, 41 Sheldon SE, Grand Rapids, from January 16 through April 17. Showings are on Sundays, beginning at 2:30 p.m. with a short film by local talent preceding the feature film, which is followed by a panel discussion and refreshments. All films are open to the public with free admission.

Chiaroscuro is coordinated by educators from local universities and members of the community, with a mission to promote cultural diversity and awareness through the presentation of international films and round-table discussions. It was co-founded in 2005 by Zulema Moret, Grand Valley State University director of Latin American Studies and associate professor of Spanish, and Gretchen Minhaar, a Grand Rapids architect and artist.

The work of local filmmakers is also featured in the shorts, including "Wacked," a 4-minute film directed by Grand Valley student Vincent Persichetti, paired on January 16 with the feature film "The Secret Life of Words/La Vida Secreta de las Palabras," directed by Isabel Coixet. Another short is actually a 9-minute series of films from the international Animation Workshop Group, youth summer workshops that explored animation, visual literacy and collaborative filmmaking. The workshops were led by Deanna Morse, a film and video professor, in the School of Communications at Grand Valley State University, and
Gretchen Vinnedge, education coordinator at the Community Media Center in Grand Rapids.

Other Grand Valley faculty will participate in some of the panel discussions, including:

• Yan Liang, assistant professor of Chinese, following the February 27 screening of "Letter to an Unknown Woman" (China), directed by Jinglei Xu.

• Zulema Moret for the March 20 discussion of "Bluebeard/La Barbe Bleue" (France) directed by Catherine Breillat.

• Chad Lingwood, assistant professor of Middle East history, will be part of the April 17 panel for "The day I became a Woman/Roozi ke zan shodam" (Iran) by Marzieh Meshkini In her directorial debut.

For complete details on the films in the series visit www.chiaroscurofilmseries.com.

Contact Zulema Moret, in the Grand Valley State University Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, at (616) 331-2286.