Chiaroscuro International Film Series

The Chiaroscuro International Film Series kicks off its 11th season with five celebrated films from around the world. The theme for this year’s award-winning roster of films is “Journeys.” Each film explores the idea of the journey—external, internal, metaphorical or otherwise.

The programs begin at 2 p.m. on scheduled Sundays, January through March. Programs will be held in the state-of-the-art theater at the Urban Institute of Contemporary Art (UICA) in downtown Grand Rapids, and include a short film by a local student, an international feature presentation and a brief panel discussion exploring the themes and techniques found within the film. A reception will follow with refreshments in the theater lobby, where participants can mingle with others and build upon the ideas presented earlier in the program. All programs are free and open to the public.

The 2017 feature films and their screening dates are:


January 15: Mustang (Ergüven, 2015) Turkey/France

Five young orphaned sisters face challenges growing up as girls in a conservative society. Watch trailer.


January 29: Güeros (Palacios, 2014) Mexico

Restless teens search for an elusive folk-rocker in Mexico City during the student strikes of 1999. Watch trailer.


February 12: Of Horses and Men (Erlingsson, 2013) Iceland

Vignettes of life in rural Iceland show the intertwined lives of humans and equines. Watch trailer.


February 26: Timbuktu (Sissako, 2014) Mauritania

A cattleman and his family face the wrath of Islamic fundamentalists after a tragic accident. Watch trailer.


March 12: About Elly (Farhadi, 2009) Iran

A young teacher disappears before being introduced to a potential suitor in northern Iran. Watch trailer.

Founded in 2006, the Chiaroscuro International Film Series is a nonprofit cultural and educational organization fostering a deeper understanding of world cultures through the medium of film. The community of West Michigan continues to grow and thrive, attracting talent from around the world. By encouraging awareness and appreciation of diverse perspectives and experiences, Chiaroscuro’s mission helps build the region into a truly welcoming, cosmopolitan destination.

Everyone is welcome for Sunday afternoons of film, food and cultural exchange. The series offers an engaging way to experience the world without leaving town.

What: Chiaroscuro International Film Series
Where: Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts
When: Sundays at 2:00 p.m. Jan. 15 & 29, Feb. 12 & 26, Mar. 12
Cost: FREE and open to the public


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