For Immediate Release                                                                                   
Contact: Kristin Tutino, (585) 258-0253


Rochester, New York (October 14, 2010) – WXXI will host a free monthly screening series featuring films from the Emmy Award-winning PBS series Independent Lens, beginning Thursday, October 28 from 7-9 p.m.TheseCommunity Cinema screenings will run from October 2010 through June 2011, and will be held at WXXI's Studios (280 State Street, Rochester, NY). Each film will be followed by a lively panel discussion to encourage dialogue and action around important and timely social issues. The screenings are free, open to the public, and reservations are not required. To learn more, visit <> or call (585) 258-0200.

Kicking off the series on Thursday, October 28 is Cree filmmaker Neil Diamond’s Reel Injun: On the Trail of the Hollywood Indian, an exciting, insightful and entertaining documentary about the evolution of the image of North American Native people. A group discussion, led by WXXI’s Elissa Orlando with panelists Peter Jemison, Site Manager of Ganondagan State Historic Site and Seneca Artist, and Sharon Willis, Director of the Film and Media Studies Program at University of Rochester, will follow the screening.

Additional Community Cinema film screenings and dates:

Thursday, November 11, 7-9 p.m. Deep Down, by Jen Gilomen and Sally Rubin
Deep in the Appalachian mountains of eastern Kentucky, Beverly May and Terry Ratliff find themselves at the center of a contentious community battle over a proposed mountaintop removal coal mine.

Thursday, December 16, 7-9 p.m.  The Calling, by Daniel Alpert
A look at young Americans — Christian, Jewish, Catholic, and Muslim — preparing to become the nation’s next generation of religious leaders, The Calling explores the forces that are drawing young people to serve their communities and their faith.

Thursday, January 20, 7-9 p.m. For Once In My Life, by Jim Bigham and Mark Moormann
Made up of 28 musicians and singers who all have severe mental and physical disabilities, the Spirit of Goodwill Band challenges preconceived notions of what it means to be disabled.

Thursday, February 24, 7-9 p.m. Me Facing Life: Cyntoia’s Story, by Daniel H. Birman
Follow the story of Cyntoia Brown, who is serving a life sentence for murder at the age of 16. Me Facing Life challenges our assumptions about violence and explores how factors such as biology and family history can doom some young people from the start.

Thursday, March 24, 7-9 p.m. Pushing the Elephant by Beth Davenport and Elizabeth Mandel
Pushing the Elephant captures one of the most important stories of our age, in which genocidal violence is challenged by the moral fortitude and grace of one woman’s mission for peace.

Thursday, April 21, 7-9 p.m. Bhutto by Duane Baughman
An intimate look at one of the most fascinating and important world leaders of our time, Benazir Bhutto. As the first woman to lead an Islamic nation, the former Pakistani Prime Minister’s life story unfolds like a tale of Shakespearean dimensions.

Thursday, May 26, 7-9 p.m. Welcome to Shelbyville by Kim Snyder
On the eve of the 2008 election, the town of Shelbyville, Tennessee finds itself embroiled in a struggle to come to terms with a new wave of immigrants and grappling with what it means to be American.

Thursday, June 23, 7-9 p.m. Two Spirits, by Lydia Nibley
Fred Martinez was one of the youngest hate-crime victims in modern history when he was brutally murdered at 16. Two Spirits explores the life and death of a boy who was also a girl, and the essentially spiritual nature of gender.

WXXI hosts this Community Cinema series along with more than 70 other communities in major cities and small towns. In 2009 Community Cinema held 650 events nationwide drawing in more than 40,000 attendees. More than 800 local and national organizations participated in bringing Community Cinema to the public.  


WXXI is the essential, life-long educational media resource for the Greater Rochester area. WXXI puts the community first with programming that stimulates and expands thought, inspires the spirit, opens cultural horizons and promotes understanding of diverse community issues. Log on to for more information about our services and programs.

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