FIRST ANNUAL REFOCUS FILM FESTIVAL AND 15TH MISSION CREEK FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHT A FESTIVE SEPTEMBER WEEKEND
Iowa City – It will be a can’t miss weekend for lovers of arts and culture in Iowa City. FilmScene’s new Refocus Film Festival, a multi-day festival celebrating the art of adaptation, will be held for the first time on the weekend of September 18-20 in downtown Iowa City. In addition, music and literature mainstay Mission Creek Festival, will produce a special edition of its event on September 17-19, adding to the excitement. “We’re thrilled to introduce a festival experience that is uniquely Iowa City, combining our rich literary history with our community’s recently rejuvenated appreciation for cinema,” said FilmScene co-founder Andrew Sherburne.
Through thoughtfully curated short and feature film programming, multidisciplinary performances by local artists, and opportunities to connect, Refocus Film Festival brings to Iowa City a vibrant, wholly unique annual festival that spotlights source material—literature, journalism, photography, comedy and more—and presents its evolution of voice, perspective and medium to the big screen. Passes are anticipated to go on sale in July.
Mission Creek Festival will launch a smaller, but equally bold event the same weekend in September, after the fest’s original April plans were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Visit https://missioncreekfestival.com/ for festival updates.
The reformatted festival will feature some of the same musicians and writers plus a few special surprises. “Mission Creek has always been agile, so we are very excited to realign our efforts toward a fall event in celebration of the festival’s fifteenth year,” said festival founder Andre Perry.
The two festivals will share the weekend, which will also include the annual Northside Oktoberfest, leading to vibrant and engaging programming in film, music and literature throughout the downtown Iowa City area over four days.
While the scheduling twist was not originally planned, it will be a celebration fit for the greatest small city of the arts and an appropriate culmination of the Strengthen Grow Evolve capital campaign collaboration between FilmScene and The Englert Theatre. “The pandemic definitely shook our entire cultural calendar upside down, much as it has disrupted the lives and livelihoods of so many Americans,” noted Perry. Then he added, “While there is still a chance the public health situation could prevent us from launching these events, even in September, as cultural organizations, we think it’s important to project hope: a goal for community healing through the arts.”
“Iowa City is ready to welcome a film festival and nurture its growth, and FilmScene is excited to embrace the craft of storytelling, lean in to our community’s love of movies, and present a great first year,” said FilmScene programming director Rebecca Fons who will lead the curation of the festival film lineup. Refocus Film Festival is a programming initiative of FilmScene, Iowa City’s nonprofit movie theater. Interested audiences can find additional information and sign up for notifications at http://www.refocusfilmfestival.com.
Mission Creek Festival is produced by The Englert Theatre, one of Iowa City’s leading performing arts organizations. More information about Mission Creek Festival lives at www.missioncreekfestival.com. Strengthen Grow Evolve is a capital campaign collaboration between FilmScene and The Englert Theatre, seeking a major reinvestment to strengthen the arts through modern and historic venues, innovative programming, and new models of collaboration. Festival investment is one of the programmatic goals of the campaign. To support this effort or for more information, visit http://www.strengthengrowevolve.org.