IU Cinema marks fifth anniversary with notable Jorgensen Guest Filmmakers

'Godfather' films, 'The Wizard of Oz' and 'Groundhog Day' marathon also scheduled

  • Jan. 7, 2016

EDITOR'S NOTE: This release was updated on Jan. 11, 2016, to include the cancellation of Lucien Castaing-Taylor's appearances.


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University Cinema will kick off its Jorgensen Guest Filmmaker Lecture Series in 2016 with a visit from Jeremy Kagan, a director, writer and producer for film and television.

Now celebrating its fifth anniversary, IU Cinema has brought roughly 200 filmmakers to Bloomington audiences since director Peter Bogdanovich presented the first Jorgensen Guest Filmmaker Lecture on Jan. 28, 2011. Half of those guests have come to the university through the generous support of the Ove W Jorgensen Foundation.

"We are excited to offer another semester of extraordinary opportunities for our audiences to engage with notable and inspiring visiting filmmakers," said Brittany D. Friesner, associate director of the IU Cinema.

"Our guests this spring run the gamut in terms of experience and genres -- from independent feature-film director Kris Swanberg to abstract artist Joseph Bernard -- so we certainly look forward to a semester of filmmaker events that will appeal widely to students, faculty, staff and the surrounding community," she said.

Kagan will deliver his Jorgensen lecture at 3 p.m. Feb. 11. That evening he will answer questions following a 6:30 p.m. screening of "The Chosen," joined by the star of the 1981 film, Robby Benson.

Benson, a professor of practice in The Media School at Indiana University, will deliver his own Jorgensen Lecture at 3 p.m. the following day. Benson has starred in films such as "Ice Castles," "Ode to Billy Joe," "Running Brave" and "One on One," for which he also wrote the screenplay. Over the years, he has applied his many talents as a Broadway performer, a producer and director for film and television, a composer of popular songs and the author of two books, including an acclaimed memoir in 2012. Students also fondly remember him as the voice of the Beast in the animated Disney classic "Beauty and the Beast."

Kagan won an Emmy in 1994 for directing the hospital drama "Chicago Hope." He also directed episodes for "The Guardian," "Boomtown," "The West Wing," "Ally McBeal" and "Picket Fences." His TV movie credits include "Color of Justice," "Roswell," "Descending Angel" and "Conspiracy: The Trial of the Chicago Eight." On the big screen, Kagan is known for directing "The Big Fix" and "Heroes." He recently finished filming the feature "Shot," about gun violence in the United States.

Jorgensen Guest Filmmakers for spring

Jorgensen Guest Filmmaker Lectures at IU Cinema are free and open to the public. Tickets are not required, but seating is limited. All of the talks begin at 3 p.m. Additional details will be updated on the IU Cinema website closer to each event.

  • Thursday, Feb. 11, Jeremy Kagan -- In addition to his Jorgensen lecture and appearance at "The Chosen" later in the evening, the veteran director is scheduled to introduce a screening of his Depression-era film drama "The Journey of Natty Gann" at 9:30 p.m. Feb. 12.
  • Friday, Feb. 12, Robby Benson -- The multifaceted filmmaker will attend a screening of his sports drama "One on One" at 7 p.m. on the same date. He also is scheduled to join Kagan for a question-and-answer session Feb. 11 after "The Chosen," which explores friendship and Jewish identity in 1940s Brooklyn.
  • UPDATE: Tuesday, Feb. 16, Lucien Castaing-Taylor -- This anthropologist, artist and director of the Sensory Ethnography Lab at Harvard had been scheduled to speak at IU Cinema. His sweeping Western "Sweetgrass" will be screened at 7 p.m. Feb. 15 and his harrowing fishing film "Leviathan" will go on at 7 p.m. Feb. 16. Castaing-Taylor had to cancel his Jorgensen Lecture and appearances after these documentary films. 
  • Friday, March 11, Joseph Bernard -- An experimental artist, Bernard is the creator of more than 100 abstract and colorful Super 8 films. He will participate in a question-and-answer session after the screening of his newly restored and digitized shorts at 6:30 p.m. March 11.
  • Friday, March 25, Kris Swanberg -- This Chicago-based director and actress is known for her naturalistic independent films. She also will answer questions after screenings of "Empire Builder" at 7 p.m. March 24 and "Unexpected" at 6:30 p.m. March 25. Both of her films deal with themes of pregnancy, identity and change. Swanberg also will introduce Morris Engel's "Little Fugitive" at 9:30 p.m. March 25.

Other guest appearances

In addition to the Jorgensen Lectures, IU Cinema will host several other notable visitors as part of its spring 2016 schedule. A full listing of other films with guests appears on the IU Cinema website. Discussions will follow 7 p.m. film screenings at these two free but ticketed events:

  • Monday, Feb. 29, Greg Louganis -- Diving legend Louganis won gold medals in the springboard and platform competitions in both the 1984 and 1988 Olympic Games. "Back on Board" is a candid documentary that reflects not only on his triumphs but on his personal and financial struggles, often linked to his pioneering status as a gay, HIV-positive athlete.
  • Thursday, March 3, Gail Mutrux and David Ebershoff -- Mutrux is a producer of "The Danish Girl," a 2015 film adapted from Ebershoff's novel by the same name. The film is based on the true story of two artists, Gerda Wegener and her husband Einar, who had the first gender reassignment surgery and adopted the identity of Lili Elbe. Mutrux worked closely with the Kinsey Institute to research the project, as well as the 2004 film "Kinsey."

More spring highlights

"Aside from our wealth of visiting filmmakers, this spring at IU Cinema, we also look forward to giving our patrons the chance to savor the best in international and repertory cinema, to be inspired by IU student film productions and to enjoy silent film with live musical accompaniment," Friesner said.

In February, the silent Western "The Return of Draw Egan” will be accompanied by a live student orchestra and a world-premiere score written by IU Jacobs School of Music master’s student Ari Fisher. Fisher is the first recipient of the Jon Vickers Film Scoring Award.

Spring 2016 also will be a season of fan favorites and fun. "The Wizard of Oz" and "The Godfather" trilogy are on the schedule in January. And, to celebrate Groundhog Day, IU Cinema will hold a free, drop-in event with continuous showings of the 1993 Bill Murray comedy "Groundhog Day" starting at 6 a.m. Feb. 2 and wrapping up just past midnight. For a complete schedule, consult the IU Cinema website.

Tickets for all spring 2016 events are now available for online purchase. A surcharge of $1 per ticket applies to online orders. Tickets also will be available in person at the IU Auditorium Box Office starting Jan. 11. Patrons are encouraged to obtain tickets in advance (IU Cinema has 260 seats). For more detailed ticketing information, visit the IU Cinema website or call 812-855-1103.

Kris Swanberg

Kris Swanberg

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Media Contacts

Brittany D. Friesner

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