Film Studies

Select Tuesdays
Your choice of 1:30pm or 7:00pm

$80 per person for Museum Members
$96 per person for non-members

Film Studies are a series of five-week courses of films selected from the finest in classic and contemporary cinema presented with critical context. Presented by Film Studies Coordinator, Diane Thelen.

Film Studies are available as in-person screenings in the Leonhardt Auditorium, as well as via streaming on your computer or TV.
Each week of the series, VBMA educators will send registered Film Studies students an email that contains a handout about the current film as well as a link and instructions on how to stream from home.
Participants can choose to view the film at the VBMA during their designated time, or from home.

For troubleshooting viewing films via Amazon Fire TV click here.

Presenting Sponsor: Roberta G. Olsen

Supporting Sponsor: Mr. and Mrs. Richard G. Unruh, Jr.

Patron Sponsor: Ann Bowling Endowment for Film Studies

Additional Support: Rehmann Financial and Business Advisory Services, Sue and Charlie Thomas

VBMA Film Studies Coordinator, Diane Thelen

Diane Thelen, Film Studies Coordinator

October 11 – November 8, 2022

Hidden Nature: Awesome Lessons of People Embracing Life on Our Planet

This series is offered in conjunction with VBMA’s exhibition Changing Nature: A New Vision, Photographs by James Balog. Films highlight topics drawn from both Mother Nature and human nature. The series opens with Chasing Ice (2012), Balog’s extraordinary film documenting the effects of climate change on the world’s glaciers. It is the story of one man’s mission to change our understanding and perceptions on climate, through the use of his eye-opening photography.

Hidden Nature – 1:30 pm class       Hidden Nature – 7:00 pm class

November 15 – December 13, 2022

In the Name of Love: Journeys Taken to Give and Get Love

 If you’re looking for love, sometimes it really takes stepping out of your comfort zone. Love doesn’t abide by any fixed formula, and if your heart and mind are open, you may be surprised at what you’ll find! These stories from around the world are sure to remind us that giving and getting love can be rewarding and energizing. The Secret Life of Words (2005) proves even on an off-shore oil rig, one can find love. This Irish-Spanish drama won four of Spain’s prestigious Goya awards and stars Canadian Sarah Polley, who is equally renowned for her directing skills.

In the Name of Love – 1:30 pm class       In the Name of Love – 7:00 pm class

January 10 – February 7, 2023

Seeing is Believing: Amazing Stories Based on Real People and Real Events

 Film lovers will find inspiration in learning true stories of people making their way in the world and facing life’s challenges with courage. As the old saying proves, “truth is stranger than fiction” and that’s never more evident than in this selection of fascinating films. One we’ll be viewing is Te Ata (2016), the inspirational story of Mary Thompson Fisher, a Native American Chickasaw woman who crossed many cultural barriers to bring her own brand of storytelling to the nation and to the world.

Seeing is Believing – 1:30 pm class       Seeing is Believing – 7:00 pm class


February 14 – March 14, 2023

Mysteries of the Heart: Stories of Unique and Unexpected Connections

Love doesn’t always have to be the romantic kind, but instead might be a special connection between two beings that runs very deep. Whether friends from childhood days or two people who simply happen to connect in the most random way, the bonds that form are powerful and enriching. A film we’ll be viewing is the startling new sci-fi romantic comedy from Germany, I’m Your Man (2021). It is sure to both amuse and confound you with all the possibilities it presents.

Mysteries of the Heart – 1:30 pm class       Mysteries of the Heart – 7:00 pm class

March 21 – April 18, 2023

Finding Your Voice: Celebrating the Healing Power of Music 

We so often talk about the curative power of music; and the films included in this series may just make you burst out in song! Music in cinema sets a tone and implants subtle expectations in us, about how we will get emotionally engaged with a film. Whether it’s the words of a song that we relate to, or a memory that it triggers, music is always crucial to a successful film, even ones that aren’t billed as “musicals.” Come enjoy an entertaining true story from the UK called Fisherman’s Friends (2019), the tale of a traditional folk-singing group from Port Isaac, CornwallTheir love of the sea is transferred into the wonderful sea shanties they sing.

Finding Your Voice – 1:30 pm class       Finding Your Voice – 7:00 pm class

Join the VBMA Film Society!

The Film Society is the auxiliary level of membership that provides members access to a rich and varied collection of more than 3,000 notable classic, foreign, and art house films, drawn from the many years of the Museum’s Film Studies Program. The DVD film library is temporarily closed.

Learn More