Mercyhurst to screen six new films via On Screen/In Person program

Mercyhurst College’s Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center (PAC) has been chosen as a venue for the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation’s new On Screen/In Person program, designed to bring the best in new independent American films and their filmmakers to communities across the mid-Atlantic region.

PAC Director Michael Fuhrman worked with the foundation in selecting six films to screen during the PAC’s 2011-2012 season. The first – “Trust: Second Acts in Young Lives” – will be shown as an offering of the Guelcher Film Series on Wednesday, Sept. 7, at 2:15 and 7:15 p.m. in the PAC. Tickets are $6 for adults, $5 for seniors and students, $4 for President’s Cardholders and free for Mercyhurst College students.

“Trust” tells the story of 18-year-old Marlin, a struggling Honduran immigrant to the United States who has lived through some of the harshest cruelties imaginable. Committed to a psychiatric hospital, Marlin reveals her secrets to a counselor who recommends she join the Albany Park Theater Project, a teen theater company that makes original plays from company members’ stories. Propelled by her experience with the theater company, Marlin transitions from a traumatized to empowered young woman.

“This will be an exciting time for Erie audiences who seek out new films,” said Fuhrman. “It reminds me of when we started the Guelcher Film Series some 16 years ago. We were screening films that weren’t shown in Erie and literally turning people away from an 800-seat theater. Then, with the explosion of the home video industry, our patrons were able to acquire access to many of the films we screened, removing the thrill of adventure. Now, with the support of the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, we are returning to our roots, bringing to Erie novel art house films along with directors and actors who will introduce their films.”

That’s right. As the On Screen/In Person brand conveys, filmmakers will accompany their films to the respective screening locations as an opportunity to enhance the viewing experience. “Trust” filmmakers Nancy Kelly and Kenji Yamamoto, who have made critically acclaimed documentary and narrative films that have aired on PBS, Showtime and Sundance, among others, will be in Erie for the Sept. 7 screening of their film, sharing their vision with audiences at the PAC and students on campus. Fuhrman said he would also attempt to arrange speaking engagements before community groups if the filmmakers’ schedule allowed.

The other On Screen/In Person films slated for screening as part of the Guelcher Film Series at Mercyhurst College this season include:

OCTOBER 2011
Little Town of Bethlehem
Director, Jim Hanon

Little Town of Bethlehem shares the story of three men of different faiths, and their lives in Israel and Palestine. The film examines the struggle to promote equality through nonviolent engagement in the midst of incredible violence that has dehumanized all sides. Their story explores each man\'s decision to risk everything, in order to bring an end to violence in their lifetime.

NOVEMBER 2011
In Good Time, The Piano Jazz of Marian McPartland
Director, Huey

In Good Time, The Piano Jazz of Marian McPartland tells the story of McPartland\'s journey from playing piano at home as a child in England to becoming a jazz legend. Arriving in America after World War II with her husband Jimmy McPartland, she established herself as one of the leading musicians in the male dominated jazz world of the 1950s. McPartland, now 92, tells her own story through interviews filmed over 4 years along with performance and radio show footage. With Billy Taylor, Elvis Costello, Diana Krall, Bill Frisell, Nnenna Freelon, Renee Rosnes, Dick Hyman, and others.

FEBRUARY 2012
Money Matters
Director, Ryan Richmond

Money Matters is a coming-of-age story about a 14 year-old biracial girl, Monique Matters, as she tries to navigate faith and sexuality questions of adolescence, a dysfunctional single-mother household and the rough waters of our nation\'s capital\'s best kept secret -- the inner city. Monique never knew her white father, now a priest, and as her mother\'s disturbing past comes to light, she must somehow reconcile the relationships and circumstances surrounding her very existence.

MARCH 2012
Family Talk
Director, Sara Terry

Victims and perpetrators of Sierra Leone\'s brutal civil war come together for the first time in an unprecedented program of tradition-based truth-telling and forgiveness ceremonies. Through reviving their ancient practice of fambul tok (family talk), Sierra Leoneans are building sustainable peace at the grass-roots level -- succeeding where the international community\'s post-conflict efforts failed. Filled with lessons for the West, Family Talk explores the depths of a culture that believes that true justice lies in redemption and healing for individuals -- and that forgiveness is the surest path to restoring dignity and building strong communities.

APRIL 2012
BLAST!
Director, Paul Devlin

Welcome to astrophysics Indiana Jones style! Five-time Emmy winner Paul Devlin follows the story of his brother, Mark Devlin PhD, as he leads a tenacious team of scientists trying to figure out how all the galaxies formed by launching a revolutionary new telescope under a NASA high-altitude balloon. They hope to look back in time to reveal a hidden Universe of never-before-seen star burst galaxies, providing clues to the Evolution of Everything. From catastrophic failure to transcendent triumph, BLAST! exposes the surprising real life of scientists.

For more information, contact the PAC Box Office at 824-3000.
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