Community Cinema offers monthly special sneak preview screenings of films scheduled for upcoming broadcast on the Emmy Award-winning PBS series Independent Lens. All Community Cinema screenings feature panel discussions with leading community-based organizations, special guest speakers, information and resources, and other programming designed to help people learn about and get involved in some of today’s key social issues.

The screenings, which are offered free of charge, will take place at the Missouri History Museum’s Lee Auditorium, located at Lindell Boulevard and DeBaliviere Avenue in Forest Park. The films themselves will be broadcast at later dates as part of Independent Lens on Nine PBS.

2013-2014 Community Cinema Screenings

Join us at the Missouri History Museum for free screenings of the Emmy Award-winning PBS film series Independent Lens, followed by audience-driven panel discussions hosted by Nine Network producer Jim Kirchherr.

The Graduates
October 2, 2013 at 7:00 p.m.
Pressing issues in education today are explored through the eyes of a diverse array of Latino and Latina adolescents from across the United States in this eyeopening documentary on the challenges facing both the students and their families. Episode 1 of this two-hour series, “Girls,” is part of the Women and Girls Lead initiative.

The State of Arizona
November 6, 2013 at 7:00 p.m.
The divisive battle over illegal immigration in Arizona that came to a head with Senate Bill 1070 frames this tense documentary that tracks multiple perspectives – activists, politicians, Latino immigrants, controversial Sheriff Joe Arpaio, ranchers, and others — as America eyes the results.

Las Marthas
by Jehane Noujaim
January 8, 2014 at 7:00 p.m.
In the lingering aftermath of the U.S.-Mexico War, the border town of Laredo, Texas created an annual debutante ball unlike any other. Las Marthas follows two Mexican American girls carrying this gilded tradition on their shoulders during a time of economic uncertainty and tension over immigration.

The Trials of Muhammad Ali
February 5, 2014 at 7:00 p.m.
The Trials of Muhammad Ali covers the famed boxer’s toughest bout of all: his battle to overturn the five-year prison sentence he received for refusing U.S. military service. The film explores Ali’s exile years when he was banned from boxing and found himself in the crosshairs of conflicts concerning race, religion, and wartime dissent.

April 2, 2014 at 7:00 p.m.
Medora, Indiana is a once-booming community beset by a crippled economy and a dwindling population. This documentary follows the town’s down-but-not-out varsity basketball team over a season, capturing
the players’ stories on and off the court — as the team’s struggle to compete parallels the town’s fight for survival.

The New Black
May 7, 2014 at 7:00 p.m.
Centering on the historic fight to win marriage equality in Maryland, The New Black takes viewers into the pews, the streets, and kitchen tables as it looks at how the African American community grapples with the divisive gay rights issue. Part of the Women and Girls Lead initiative.

2013–2014 SEASON – Special Opportunities

Special Classroom and Community Screenings
This season Community Cinema is offering opportunities for deeper community engagement through special classroom and community screenings.

By offering additional screenings to schools, student groups, and community groups we will provide access to high quality video content that promotes discussion and involvement in many of the key social issues of our time.

You are invited to participate by organizing a screening of a full feature or you can select shortform film modules adapted from award-winning ITVS documentaries. This content may be preferable to fit within a class period, school schedule, or particular theme you are interested in. These film modules include standards-based lesson plans for high school and community colleges, non-governmental
organizations (NGOs), and youth organizations. These materials will support the development of critical thinking and writing skills, media literacy and media creation, as well as provide opportunities to engage with local service organizations and take action on today’s most compelling social issues.

Connect your students with the power of film and the strength of community!

New OVEE Platform Enables Online Screenings and Discussions
The 2013-14 season of Community Cinema debuts an innovative new online platform that makes it possible to host real-time screenings and discussions with people in different locations within the community, across the country or anywhere in the world.

Known as OVEE, the new Online Video Engagement Experience platform developed by ITVS, is a web application that allows online video viewers of public television content to interact with one another in real time via social media wherever they may be. The concept is simple: Gather viewers online to converse electronically while watching PBS and Nine Network content.

To learn more about the OVEE experience or to explore upcoming screenings check out

For more information, contact Mike Pagano at 314-512-9125 or
See what the community is saying about past Community Cinema films and events.
View the 2012-13 Community Cinema Season Archive.
Presented by the Nine Network and the Missouri History Museum in collaboration with Independent Lens and ITVS.