The Fresno State CineCulture Series kicks off its spring 2017 lineup of film screenings with “Road to La Paz” at 5:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 27.

Most CineCulture screenings are at 5:30 p.m. on Fridays during the spring semester in the Peters Education Center Auditorium (5010 N. Woodrow Ave. in the Student Recreation Center). Some screenings are held with Fresno Filmworks at Tower Theatre (815 E. Olive Ave.). See the full list below. All films screened on campus are free and open to the public. Parking is not enforced after 4 p.m. on Fridays.

Jan. 27: “Road to La Paz” (2015)

  • Discussant: Director Francisco Varone
  • Sponsors: Department of Chicano and Latin American Studies and Department of Political Science
  • Sebastian is 35-years-old and unemployed, with only his father’s old Peugeot 505 to his name. When fate brings him a man in search of a ride, Sebastian sees no other choice but to take the opportunity. The man is Jalil, an elderly devout Muslim, and his destination is La Paz, the capitol of Bolivia some 2,000 miles from Buenos Aires. Both men are at a crossroads, and the “Road to La Paz” not only takes them to the north but also places them on a touching and often funny road of self-discovery.  In Spanish with English subtitles, 92 minutes.

    February 3:  “Nakom” (2016)

  • Discussants: Trav Pittman and Kelly Daniela Norris, co-directors
  • Sponsor: Africana Studies Program
  • Set in present day Ghana, “Nakom” follows Iddrisu, a talented medical student who is summoned home by his sister after their father’s sudden death. Iddrisu buries his father and temporarily assumes the head of the impoverished household and farm, inheriting not only the delicate task of planting a successful crop, but also a debt left by the deceased patriarch that could destroy the family.

    Attempting to maintain part of his studies from the confines of a small hut, Iddrisu becomes increasingly frustrated with the incessant needs of those around him and the demanding toil of the land. The contentious relationship with his uncle Napoleon, to whom the sizeable debt is owed, is further complicated by the unplanned pregnancy of Napoleon’s daughter who was sent to live with Iddrisu’s family.

    Over the course of the growing season, Iddrisu grapples with tradition, familial duty, and the overwhelming sense of urgency to do what he must to secure his own future. In Kusaal with English subtitles, 90 minutes.

    Feb. 10-11: Filmworks: Oscar Shorts  

    For the 12th consecutive year, Shorts HD and Magnolia Pictures present the Oscar-Nominated Short Films, opening on Feb. 10. With all three categories offered – animated, live action and documentary – this is your annual chance to predict the winners (and have the edge in your Oscar pool)! The Academy Awards take place Sunday, Feb. 26. A trailer can be viewed here. For program times, see Fresno Filmworks.

    Feb. 17:  “Resistance at Tule Lake” (2016)

  • Discussant: Konrad Aderer, director
  • Sponsor: Henry Madden Library
  • Over 110,000 Japanese-Americans were incarcerated in 10 camps from 1942 to 1945, in the largest mass imprisonment of citizens in U.S. history. “Resistance at Tule Lake tells the long-suppressed story of the “No-No’s” – 12,000 incarcerees who defied the government by refusing to swear unconditional loyalty to the U.S. Although refusal was an act of protest and family survival, the government branded “No-No’s” as “disloyals” and forced them to relocate to the newly militarized Tule Lake Segregation Center. This film is being screened in collaboration with the Henry Madden Library’s Japanese Oral History Project. 78 minutes.

    Feb. 24: “Agents of Change” (2016)

    • Discussants: Abby Ginzberg and Frank Dawson, co-directors
    • Sponsor: Henry Madden Library’s Prentice Womack Fund and Africana Studies Program

    From the well-publicized events at San Francisco State in 1968 to the image of black students with guns emerging from the takeover of the student union at Cornell University in April 1969, the struggle for a more relevant and meaningful education, including demands for black and ethnic studies programs, became a clarion call across the country in the late 1960’s. Through the stories of these young men and women who were at the forefront of these efforts, “Agents of Change” examines the untold story of the racial conditions on college campuses and in the country that led to these protests.

    The film’s characters were caught at the crossroads of the civil rights, black power, and anti-Vietnam war movements at a pivotal time in America’s history. Today, over 45 years later, many of the same demands are surfacing in campus protests across the country, revealing how much work remains to be done.”Agents of Change” links the past to the present and the present to the past – making it not just a movie but a movement. 66 minutes

    March 3: Lunafest    

    LUNAFEST™ is a nationwide festival of short films by, for and about women. LUNAFEST™ runs from October-March; in that time it is shown by more than 100 venues nationwide and is seen by over 20,000 viewers. Fresno will hold this festival for one night only. Films touch on a variety of issues of interest to women and those who love them.

    March 10: Filmworks: “I Am Not Your Negro” (2016) 

    In 1979, James Baldwin wrote a letter to his literary agent describing his next project, “Remember This House.” The book was to be a revolutionary, personal account of the lives and successive assassinations of three of his close friends — Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

    At the time of Baldwin’s death in 1987, he left behind only 30 completed pages of his manuscript. Now, in his incendiary new documentary, master filmmaker Raoul Peck envisions the book James Baldwin never finished. The result is a radical, up-to-the-minute examination of race in America, using Baldwin’s original words and flood of rich archival material.

    I Am Not Your Negro” is a journey into black history that connects the past of the Civil Rights movement to the present of #BlackLivesMatter. It is a film that questions black representation in Hollywood and beyond. And, ultimately, by confronting the deeper connections between the lives and assassination of these three leaders, Baldwin and Peck have produced a work that challenges the very definition of what America stands for. 95 minutes.

    March 17:  “RiverBlue” (2016)

    • Discussant: Roger Williams, director
    • Sponsor: Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom

    Following international river conservationist, Mark Angelo, “RiverBlue” spans the globe to infiltrate one of the world’s most pollutive industries – fashion. Narrated by clean water supporter Jason Priestley, this groundbreaking documentary examines the destruction of our rivers, its effect on humanity and the solutions that inspire hope for a sustainable future.

    Through harsh chemical manufacturing processes and the irresponsible disposal of toxic chemical waste, one of our favorite iconic products has destroyed rivers and impacted the lives of people who count on these waterways for their survival. “RiverBlue” brings awareness to the destruction of some of the world’s most vital rivers through the manufacturing of our clothing, but will also act as a demand for significant change in the textile industry from the top fashion brands that can make a difference. 83 minutes,

    March 24:  “The Heart of Madame Sabali” (2015)

    The Heart of Madame Sabali” is a dramatic film with touches of absurdist comedy, and features surrealist dream sequences and a colorful art design. The story is centered on Jeannette, who has a severe heart condition that keeps her trapped in a suburb of Montreal. After receiving her new heart, Jeannette begins to have strange visions of her donor’s former life. Soon after, she is befriended by her donor’s son, a Malian teenager, who believes she is his mother reincarnated.

    The story itself is based on the scientific concept of cellular memory, the idea that cells contain memories, and that organ recipients sometimes take on the personality traits of their donors. In French with English subtitles, 79 minutes.

    March 31: Caesar Chavez Holiday – NO FILM

    April 7: “Lost Birds” (2015)

    “Lost Birds” presents a historical tragedy that takes place in 1915, from the point of view of two children.  The story is about Bedo, played by Heros Agopyan and Maryam, played by Dila Uluca, whose beautiful, warm, and happy lives in Anatolia comes to an end when their grandfather played by Sarkis Acemoglu is taken away by soldiers. Out of extreme fear, their mother, played by Takuhi Bahar, forbid the children to go outside, but being children, they sneak out to their favorite spot to play, only to come back to an empty home and an empty village. Their fear takes over, and with their bird that they had saved, they embark on a journey toward Aleppo to find their mother, and their fellow villagers. This beautiful film made by an Armenian and a Turkish filmmaker with passion is a cinematographic beauty to watch.  “Lost Birds” is the first film made in Turkey about the 1915 Armenian genocide. In Turkish and Armenian with English subtitles, 90 minutes

    SPRING BREAK: APRIL 10-14: Filmworks April 14 (TBA)

    April 21 (5 p.m.):  “Together With You” (2002)

    • Discussant:  Dr. Ed EmanuEl, Fresno State theatre arts professor emeritus

    Chen Kaige composes a richly imagined film about love, ambition, and destiny in China’s high-pressure world of classical music. When violin prodigy Xiaochun and his father head to Beijing seeking fame and fortune, they soon discover a fierce world of cutthroat ambition. But when Xiaochun is “adopted” by a famous music tutor, success finally seems within reach- until a shocking discovery begins to unravel his entire world, and the boy must make the most difficult choice of his life. In Mandarin with English subtitles, 110 minutes.

    April 28: Latin Film Festival (TBA)

    May 5: “A Stray” (2016)

    In Minneapolis’ large Somali refugee community, Adan has nowhere to go. His mom kicked him out, and his friends are tired of his headstrong ways. As a last resort, he moves into the mosque, praying for a little help. Surprisingly, God seems to answer.

    Adan quickly lands a good job, devout friends and a newfound faith. When Adan nearly hits a stray dog on the job, he’s forced to take it in for a night. But one of his new mosque friends considers the dog impure, and he throws Adan out. With Adan back on the streets, surrounded by his old crew, ex-­girlfriends, prying FBI agents and his estranged family, the dog may be his only friend as he tries to keep his faith and get through the night. 82 minutes.

    May 12: Filmworks: (TBA)

    • Tower Theatre

    CineCulture is a film series provided as a service to Fresno State students, faculty and staff and the community. CineCulture is also offered as a three-unit academic course (MCJ 179) in the Media, Communications and Journalism Department.

    The CineCulture Club promotes cultural awareness through film and post-screening discussions. Fresno State encourages persons with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities.

    For more information, contact Dr. Mary Husain, professor and club adviser, at mhusain@csufresno.edu, or visit the CineCulture website.