City of Mesa News Article
Free Community Cinema Series returns for spring season
By: Kevin Christopher
02/11/14 11:43 AM

Feb. 11, 2014
Public Information & Communications
Contact: Kevin Christopher
Tel. 480-644-4699  
Mesa, AZ –The City of Mesa Office of Diversity, City of Mesa Human Relations Advisory Board, Mesa Arts Center, ITVS Community Cinema and Eight Arizona PBS present “Community Cinema,” a series of documentaries set to broadcast on the award-winning PBS series Independent Lens.  Each preview screening is followed by panel discussions and other programming designed to educate and engage audience members, and help people get more involved.
The first event of the spring is the screening of “Las Marthas” on Thursday, Feb. 20 from 5:45 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Mesa Arts Center.  In the lingering aftermath of the U.S. - Mexico War, the border town of Laredo, Texas created an annual debutante ball unlike any other. “Las Marthas” follows two Mexican American girls carrying this gilded tradition on their shoulders during a time of economic uncertainty and tension over immigration. Prior to the film, guests will enjoy a performance by Ballet Folklorico Quetzalli – AZ from 5:45 p.m. to 6:10 p.m. Following the film, post-screening discussion will be led by Marcelino Quiñónez, Director of Events and Programs at Arizona Latino Arts and Cultural Center.
The season includes screenings of three other films:

The Trials of Muhammad Ali
March 20 – Mesa Arts Center
March 22 – Main Library
The Trials of Muhammad Ali covers the famed boxer's toughest bout of all: his battle to overturn the five-year prison sentence he received for refusing U.S. military service. The film explores Ali's exile years when he was banned from boxing and found himself in the crosshairs of conflicts concerning race, religion, and wartime dissent.
April 17 – Mesa Arts Center
Medora, Indiana is a once-booming community beset by a crippled economy and a dwindling population. This documentary follows the town's down-but-not-out varsity basketball team over a season, capturing the players' stories on and off the court - as the team's struggle to compete parallels the town's fight for survival.
The New Black
May 15 – Mesa Arts Center
May 17 – Main Library
Centering on the historic fight to win marriage equality in Maryland, The New Black takes viewers into the pews, the streets and kitchen tables as it looks at how the African American community grapples with the divisive gay rights issue. The New Black is part of the Women and Girls Lead campaign.
For more information, visit .
For more information about screenings at the Main Library, visit

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