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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

UMass Boston Showing First-Class Independent Films

From Top to Bottom:
Thursday, Feb. 7- The World Before Her
Thursday, Feb. 28- Stevie
Thursday, Mar. 7- Lemon
Thursday, Mar. 28- Where Heaven Meets Hell
Thursday, Apr. 4- China Heavyweights

From Top to Bottom:

Thursday, Feb. 7- The World Before Her

Thursday, Feb. 28- Stevie

Thursday, Mar. 7- Lemon

Thursday, Mar. 28- Where Heaven Meets Hell

Thursday, Apr. 4- China Heavyweights

 

 

The start of a new semester means the return of the UMass Boston Film Series. The series consists of six independent films that will be screened throughout the spring semester in the Campus Center ballroom. Four of the films are Boston Premieres, and all are open to the public and free to attend.

The series will begin Feb. 7 with the Boston premiere of Nisha Pahuja’s documentary, The World Before Her, which follows two groups of young Hindu girls living in India. As one group trains to win the Miss India pageant, the other group trains for combat in a fundamentalist boot camp.

“The question of what it means to be a woman and, in both cases, the common factor being the ever-present male interruption is deeply rooted in the film,” said Chico Colvard, curator of the film series and lecturer in the African Studies department.

Also on the roster is Steve James’ film, Stevie. Stevie, which will screen Feb. 28, is the story of a once troubled child who grows into a dysfunctional adult. The film showcases the events that follow after his arrest for a serious crime.

Sasha Friedlander’s documentary about a group of sulfur miners in Indonesia, Where Heaven Meets Hell, will be screened March 28 for the Boston Premiere.

Yung Chang’s story of impoverished Chinese teens with dreams of becoming professional boxers, China Heavyweight, will be screened April 7.

“These are not weak films by mediocre directors. All are compelling, well-directed, moving pieces by excited, award-winning filmmakers,” Colvard said. “I could forge a universal theme, but the truth is they are tied together by the fact that they are great, stand-alone pieces of art.”

Laura Brownson’s film, Lemon, is expected to make its Boston debut March 7. Lemon tells the story of Lemon Andersen, who is both a Tony Award winner and a felon. Andersen will be in attendance at the debut for the screening and a Q&A session.  

“It’s raw. It’s the hero story and the film that students will likely identity with the most. Everybody dreams the impossible dream, and this man had the audacity to believe he could move out of his depressed situation through poetry,” Colvard said.

“For a movie fanatic, having both the subject and filmmaker present is like being a kid in a candy store and adds another, more intimate level to the experience. Lemon Andersen is inspirational and captivating. If you pick only one film to go to then it should be this one.”

There will be Q&A sessions with each of the filmmakers of the other four films as well. The sixth film selection, screened April 25, will be chosen in the near future from the 11th Annual International Film Festival Boston.

“Although there had been other film series in the past, they mainly focused on one discipline. I wanted to create a series that would be all inclusive and focus on multiple disciplines instead of being so specific to one group,” said Colvard about launching the film series last fall.

Colvard worked with faculty members on incorporating the series into their lessons, and he teaches a lecture that focuses on curating the series.

“This gives the university the opportunity to bring students to the films and bring the films into the classroom while building a larger sense of community through the arts,” Colvard said. “I believe that every university on the planet deserves to have the best films, and UMass Boston is no exception.”