The Film Lounge to showcase Iowa films at Iowa City premiere

Film fans can see new episodes of a popular program showcasing Iowa filmmaking during a watch party in Iowa City this month before the episodes air on statewide Iowa PBS later this winter.

Now in its sixth season, The Film Lounge is an annual showcase of short films created by Iowa filmmakers. Through a compilation of shorts and interviews, each episode celebrates the work of Iowa filmmakers, acquaints viewers with the region’s vibrant film communities and explores the art of filmmaking.

The Film Lounge is produced by Iowa PBS in partnership with the Iowa Arts Council and Produce Iowa, both divisions of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, whose experts curate each year’s entries based on their technical and artistic merit.

The Film Lounge Watch Party, Jan. 29

An in-person watch party will be held at 12:30 p.m. Jan. 29 at FilmScene at The Chauncey, 404 E. College St. in Iowa City. The event will include screenings of both one-hour episodes from the new season, featuring a mix of 2- to 20-minute films in a variety of artistic forms. A reception with the filmmakers will follow.

Television broadcasts, Jan. 31 and Feb. 7

The new season of The Film Lounge will make its television premiere on Iowa PBS at 9 p.m. Monday, Jan. 31, followed by the second episode at 9 p.m. Monday, Feb. 7. Each episode will also stream at the same times on Facebook, where viewers can interact with contributing filmmakers and other film fans using the hashtag #TheFilmLounge.

Here’s the lineup for the two new episodes:

Jan. 31, Episode 601

  • “Frozen Out” by Tyler Hill and Hao Zhou of Iowa City brings together scenes from rural Iowa and rural China to explore anxiety, dislocation and self-exile. In October, it won a Student Academy Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
  • “Doubt” by Godfreed Ebong of Cedar Rapids uses the experience of a mixed martial arts fighter to create a narrative about triumph over adversity.
  • “Lo/ve” by Tempest Montgomery of Iowa City uses abstraction, color and clay to study the conflict of emotion and discover the sources of true joy and fulfillment.
  • Spotlight Feature: Peek behind the scenes at a short film project by Beau Batterson that was filmed entirely in a Cedar Rapids basement with the use of green screens. It's all about creativity on a shoestring budget.
  • “Ghost Creek” by Benjamin Handler of Iowa City reflects on the anxiety, hope and understanding achieved when a city loses the art, culture and community that makes it unique.
  • “Birdsong” by Paul Huenemann of Cedar Rapids is an animated contemplation about what it would be like to retire.

Feb. 7, Episode 602

  • “Earth FM” by Philip Rabalais of Fairfield tells the tale of three scientists who reach into the planet using esoteric audio equipment and make a mysterious and cathartic discovery.
  • “A Seussian Trip” by Katie Jensen, Bruce James Bales and Cynthia O'Hern of Des Moines showcases the art of avant garde fashion.
  • “Green Witch” by Antoinette Lavalle of Des Moines visually depicts a mantra to encourage reflection on the natural world and harmonization with the earth.
  • Spotlight Feature: In this tour of the "the crookedest film festival in the United States," you'll see why the annual Snake Alley Festival of Film in Burlington attracts fans from all over the country to its popular mix of short films, screenplay competitions and table readings.
  • “Debut” by Connor Hopkins of Decorah showcases the subculture of professional wrestling by following one wrestler's journey from novice to pro.
  • “The Atmosphere” by Amenda Tate of West Des Moines captures an experimental performance that uses movement, gesture, presence, space, abstraction and self-interaction to investigate consciousness.

For more information about The Film Lounge, including guidelines to submit films for the following season, please visit the thefilmlounge.org.