Public Invited to JJC Fine Arts Department’s First Film Fest Oct. 18, 19

The Joliet Junior College Fine Arts Department will host its first film festival, free of charge, on Oct. 18 and 19 at the Black Box Theater in K-1001, on the Main Campus, 1215 Houbolt Road in Joliet.

Violence interrupter Ameena Matthews with Producer/Director Steve James, Producer Alex Kotlowitz, and Co-Producer/Sound Recordist Zak Piper. (Photo by Aaron Wickenden/Courtesy of Kartemquin Films)

The fest, open to anyone, will showcase two documentaries and one feature film. At the end of each showing, guest speakers will lead a discussion and answer questions from the audience.

“Amasong Chorus: Singing Out,” will be screened on Friday, Oct. 18 at 7 p.m.; “Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story” will be presented on Saturday, Oct. 19 at 3:30 p.m.; and “The Interrupters” will be shown on Saturday, Oct. 19 at 7:30 p.m.

Though tickets are free, space is limited, so guests need to reserve seats by calling ahead of time at 815-280-2200 or stopping by the JJC box office on the Main Campus, K-1002.

Giselle Atterberry, film festival organizer and fine arts professor, said the festival was put together to give back to the community and its goal is to inspire attendees with the selected films.

“We want to spur curiosity and invention. We want to see film ignite creativity,” Atterberry said. “This festival also gives us the opportunity to remind the community of what we do here: inspiring students with compelling examples of artistic expression.”

Atterberry said if the film festival is well received, the department might host another one next year. An Awards of Excellence grant, from the JJC Foundation, was used to fund the film festival this year.

Guests are encouraged to come early and view the JJC Faculty Art Exhibition in the Laura A. Sprague Gallery, J-1004, before the film screenings.

For more information about JJC’s Fine Arts Department, log on to

About the Films and Speakers

“The Amasong Chorus: Singing Out” is a documentary about a lesbian and feminist chorus formed in the Champaign-Urbana area in the 1990s. Produced by Jay Rosenstein, the film follows the group’s early struggles and successes. Rosenstein is a Peabody and Emmy Award winning independent filmmaker. He will attend, and will lead a discussion following the documentary’s screening on Friday, Oct. 18 at 7 p.m.

“Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story,” a feature film, is a semi-biographical depiction of the life of martial arts master Bruce Lee, who passed away 40 years ago. Tammy Perkins of JJC’s Fine Arts Department will be the guest speaker following the film on Saturday, Oct. 19 at 3:30 p.m.

“The Interrupters,” a documentary, is about gang violence in Chicago and those who work to stop it. This film has received a number of national awards, was shown nationally on PBS, and was a selection for the 2011 Sundance Film Festival in Utah. Ricardo “Cobe” Williams, one of the violence interrupters in the film, will appear at JJC’s film festival following the documentary’s screening on Saturday, Oct. 19 at 7:30 p.m.

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