For Release: Immediately
Department of External Affairs
Free Library of Philadelphia
1901 Vine Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103-1189
(215) 567-7710
FAX (215) 567-7850
Contact: Communications and Development
For Release: Immediately
Contact: Communications and Development

Free Library to Host Screenings and Discussions of Unique Films through Collaboration with FILM FORWARD: Advancing Cultural Dialogue

PHILADELPHIA, March 4, 2014—The Free Library of Philadelphia is proud to announce its participation in Film Forward: Advancing Cultural Dialogue, an initiative of Sundance Institute and four U.S. federal cultural agencies. The State Library of Pennsylvania has been selected as one of the program collaborators around the world to host the program.

Film Forward is an international program designed to enhance greater cultural understanding, collaboration and dialogue around the globe by engaging audiences through the exhibition of films, workshops, and conversations. An initiative of the Sundance Institute and the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services, FILM FORWARD promotes cultural dialogue through independent documentary and narrative film, using film’s unique ability to tell stories that explore universal themes to ignite meaningful conversations.

As part of its participation in FILM FORWARD, the Free Library will host screenings and discussions of select, critically acclaimed films at the following library locations:

Twenty Feet From Stardom
Saturday, April 12 at 1:00 p.m.

Wynnefield Library | 5325 Overbrook Avenue
Millions know their voices, but no one knows their names. Twenty Feet From Stardom shines a spotlight on the untold true story of the backup singers behind some of the greatest musical legends of the 21st century. This film recently received the Academy Award for Best Documentary.

The Rocket
Sunday, April 13 at 1:30 p.m.

Parkway Central Library | 1901 Vine Street
A boy who is believed to bring bad luck leads his family and a couple of ragged misfits through Laos to find a new home. After a calamity-filled journey through a land scarred by war, the boy sets off to prove he’s not cursed and builds a giant rocket to enter the most lucrative but dangerous competition of the year: the Rocket Festival. The film’s writer and director, Kim Mordaunt, will be in attendance and lead the post-screening discussion.

The World Before Her
Saturday, April 19 at 11:00 a.m.

Northeast Regional Library | 2228 Cottman Avenue
Moving between two extremes—the intimate verité drama of the Miss India pageant’s rigorous beauty “bootcamp” and the intense regime of a militant Hindu fundamentalist camp for young girls—The World Before Her delivers a provocative portrait of India and its current cultural conflicts during a key transitional era in the country's modern history.

If You Build It
Wednesday, April 23 at 7:00 p.m.
Chestnut Hill Library | 8711 Germantown Avenue

If You Build It spends a year in the life of one of America’s most innovative classrooms. Designer/activists Emily Pilloton and Matt Miller, together with their high school students, unleash the power of humanitarian design to help their struggling community in rural North Carolina.

“The Free Library is excited to host screenings and discussions of such diverse and thought-provoking films through our partnership with FILM FORWARD,” said Siobhan A. Reardon, President and Director. “From our Author Events Series to One Book, One Philadelphia, the Free Library is dedicating to fostering cross-cultural dialogue that is provoked and inspired by works of literature, films, and more. FILM FORWARD is a great addition to our more than 25,000 unique programs each year.”

“Libraries strengthen communities by bringing people together to a safe place where they can connect, exchange ideas, and explore new worlds. They are a perfect venue for the thought provoking films presented through FILM FORWARD,” said Susan H. Hildreth, Director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services. “We applaud the State Library of Pennsylvania for connecting 22 public libraries through FILM FORWARD and encouraging a statewide dialogue on cultural understanding.”

For more information, please call 215-567-7710.

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The 54-location Free Library of Philadelphia system advances literacy, guides learning, and inspires curiosity with millions of digital and physical materials; 25,000 yearly programs and workshops; free public computers and extensive Wi-Fi; and rich special collections, including those at Parkway Central Library and at The Rosenbach of the Free Library of Philadelphia Foundation. The combined holdings of these renowned collections—which include hundreds of thousands of rare books, manuscripts, and ephemera—inspire unique exhibitions and programs throughout the year. With more than 6 million in-person and 9 million online visits annually, the Free Library and The Rosenbach are among the most widely used educational and cultural institutions in Philadelphia and boast a worldwide impact.


Department of External Affairs, Free Library of Philadelphia, 1901 Vine Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103-1189
(215) 567-7710, FAX (215) 567-7850