Following new CDC COVID-19 recommendations, which state fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask or physically distance indoors or outdoors, the Museum will be updating its staff and visitor policies as follows with immediate effect:

  • Masks are recommended to be worn in the Museum for anyone aged 2+ but will not be required.
  • No temperature checks are required.


The VMBA presents a robust offering of films and film series throughout the year.
Asbury Shorts
Christo Documentary: The Gates
Film Studies
Flick Picks
Mona Lisa is Missing

Ticket sales support ongoing educational programs at the VBMA. All sales are final.

To register, click the links below, or contact:
Ellyn Giordano, Registrar:; (772) 231-0707, ext. 136
Denise Giannino, Public Programs Manager:; (772) 231-0707, ext. 139

Film Studies

Film Studies are 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. For the 2021-2022 season, Film Studies will return with in-person film screenings in Leonhardt Auditorium at the museum.
Film Studies occur on Tuesdays at 1:30pm or 7pm.
Tuition: $80 per person, members; $96 per person, non-members.
To register call 772.231.0707 x 116; online registration coming soon.

Reel Talks are a new feature of the Film Studies program and will occur once per course on a Thursday at 6pm in Holmes Great Hall. Invited guest speakers will present on themes and films featured in each course in formats consisting of lecture, conversation, and question and answer. Reel Talks are included with Film Studies tuition and are open only to those enrolled in Film Studies.

Presenting Sponsor: Roberta G. Olsen

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

Reel Talk Sponsor: Fae Kopacka

Patron Sponsors: Ann Bowling Endowment for Film Studies, Sue and Charlie Thomas
Additional Support: Rehmann Financial and Business Advisory Services
VBMA Film Studies Coordinator, Diane Thelen

Diane Thelen, Film Studies Coordinator

October 12 – November 9, 2021 | Film Studies 1: It’s Only a Number: Tales on Aging from Around the Globe
The experiences of older adulthood have begun to garner more attention in the film industry. This course celebrates the universal process of getting older and getting on with life through the journeys of people from around the globe. In a mix of stories based in drama and comedy, participants are sure to identify with some of the characters.


Thursday, October 28, 2021 | 6pm | Reel Talk: Fade to Gray: Stories of Aging in Film
Dr. Timothy Shary, Professor of Communications at Eastern Florida State College, presents an overview on the theme of aging in film. Dr. Shary identifies key features of films on aging, such as relationships, journeys and mortality starting with the newly released film Supernova (2020). Discover more about complex cinematic depictions of aging in this lecture in conjunction with the Film Studies program.

Timothy Shary

November 16 – December 14, 2021 | Film Studies 2: Saddle Up: Perspectives on the Western Film Genre
From the advent of the film industry to well into the twenty-first century, Westerns have always been an integral part of American cinema due to audiences’ fascination with distinctive facets of the American landscape and the lives of people living it. This course presents a combination of new films and older gems with varied perspectives of America’s vision of itself in connection with the exhibition American Perspectives: Stories from the American Folk Art Museum Collection.


Thursday, December 2, 2021 | 6pm | Reel Talk: Resilience and Reckoning: Visual Legacies and the American West
Dr. Mindy Besaw, Curator of American Art at Crystal Bridges, presents new research on the visual legacies of the American West. Artwork by Native American artists highlight innovation, adaptability, resiliency, and creativity in the face of dramatically-changing circumstances in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. At the same time, European-American artists painted and sculpted popular images of a mythic West of grand unpopulated landscapes, wild cowboys, and Native peoples as subjects. By prioritizing Native American self-representation, Dr. Besaw aims to reevaluate the contributions of Native artists and examine the lasting power of European-American art, and ultimately tell a more inclusive and complex story.

Mindy Besaw

January 4 – February 1, 2022 | Film Studies 3: Tapestries: Stories of Struggle and Success in Our Diverse World
The twisting turns our lives take become the threads of a tapestry, interwoven with the people we meet on our journeys. The critically acclaimed films in this series portray the interconnected nature of humanity, and the universal resonance of personal stories of people across the globe in their search for love, fame, a home, and new identities.


Thursday, January 20, 2022 | 6pm | Reel Talk: Women’s Stories: Race and Change Across Cultures and Generations
Dr. Kitty Oliver, an oral historian, presents a series of women’s stories and how they deal with race, ethnicity, and gender in their everyday lives. These stories are told through video, radio programs, literary readings, and oral histories. This presentation compliments the global stories of women’s lives in films such as Daughters of the Dust (1996).

Kitty Oliver

​February 8 – March 8, 2022 | Film Studies 4: Crossing the Pond: Exploring Cinema from the UK
From the land of Chaucer and Shakespeare, British actors have been renowned across the globe since before the film era. This course indulges in all things British with classic and contemporary films from “across the pond.” Discover what makes the British voice distinctive on screen from how they sound, to what they have to say.


Thursday, February 17, 2022 | 6pm | Reel Talk: Animating Stories in Television and Film
Join a presentation with Linda Simensky, Vice President of Children’s Programming for PBS, on the making of animated tv and film and learn about a few of the unique features of the British animated film Ethel and Ernest (2016). Ms. Simensky brings her breadth of knowledge on animation through her tenure at PBS, Nickelodeon, and the Cartoon Network, and regularly collaborates with producers, co-production partners and distributors throughout development, production, post-production and broadcast for existing and new animated series.

Linda Simensky

March 15 – April 12, 2022 | Film Studies 5: Eye of the Beholder: Passionate Connections to Art
What or who inspires artists and how do paintings come into being? How do artists and patrons navigate the art world? How does a museum come into existence? The films in this series will examine various aspects of the art world as viewed through personal lenses of artist, muse, curator, and consumer. This course is presented in connection with the exhibition Vero Collects: Hidden Treasures Revealed.


Thursday, March 31, 2022 | 6pm | Reel Talk: Making a Matisse: The Story of the Vence Chapel
Late in his life, Henri Matisse’s art took a cutting-edge turn as he expanded and dramatized  a technique he had experimented with in earlier work. This work came to be known as his “cut outs.” Dr. Barbara Freed, emerita  professor of French Studies and filmmaker, presents research related to Matisse’s cut outs, which were the basis for many of his decorative elements in La Chapelle du Rosaire des Dominicaines de Vence, commonly called the Vence or Matisse Chapel. The Vence Chapel, and Matisse’s relationship with Sister Jacques-Marie, are the subject of the film, A Model for Matisse, written, directed and produced by Dr. Freed.

Barbara Freed

CANCELED Saturday, July 31 | 2pm, Leonhardt Auditorium | The Gates (2007) CANCELED
In February 2005, 7,503 gates made from steel frames and a saffron-colored nylon fabric adorned New York City’s Central Park. This documentary called “The Gates,” by Christo and Jeanne-Claude, chronicles the work that went into New York City’s biggest public art project. Artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude overcame various municipal and political hurdles. Once completed, the installation elicited a full range of reactions from celebrities and non-famous alike.
This program is free, no reservations required.

Saturday, March 26, 2022 | 2pm | Mona Lisa is Missing
A man steals the Mona Lisa from the Louvre in 1911. His 84-year-old daughter thought he did it for patriotic reasons. A filmmaker spends more than 30 years trying to find the truth. Producer Justine Mestichelli Medeiros and Writer/Director Joe Medeiros will be on hand for Q&A following the program.

This program is free, no registration required.

*Joe Medeiros will present the lecture “The Unthinkable Theft of the Mona Lisa” as part of the International Lecture Series on March 28, 2021 at 4:30pm. For information and lecture tickets click here.

Saturday, February 12, 2022 | 1:30pm and 7pm | Asbury Shorts Film Concert

Asbury Shorts USA presents the best in award-winning independent and international short films. The 90 minute program is hosted by Asbury Shorts founder Doug LeClaire.

Doug LeClaire worked as a Line Producer and Production Supervisor of national television commercials, independently produced feature films and major cable network promos in the New York metro area for 35 years. He produced television advertising & web content campaigns for Lifetime TV; WE-TV; Comedy Central; MTV; Spike, Oxygen as well as the CBS, NBC, PBS and ABC networks.  He won a “Clio” for an MTV promotional campaign directed by Barbara Kanowitz. Doug directed two award-winning shorts in the 1980’s: “The Problem,” and “Surprise.” Both played on HBO. In 1980 Doug founded Asbury Shorts USA, now New York City’s longest running short film exhibition and touring show. He has been an instructor & guest lecturer at The School of Visual Arts; The New York Institute of Technology; The State University of New York; New York University, Monmouth University, Upstate Independents; Film/Video Arts and One Day University.

$25 per ticket.


Either a ticket by phone or a printed ticket must be presented for each person in your party. No one will be granted access to the program without a ticket.

Doug LeClaire, host of Asbury Shorts

Flick Picks

Film recommendations to education and entertain

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