BELLE – Thursday, June 16
BELLE is inspired by the true story of Dido Elizabeth Belle (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), the illegitimate mixed race daughter of a Royal Navy Captain. Raised by her aristocratic great-uncle Lord Mansfield (Tom Wilkinson) and his wife (Emily Watson), Belle’s lineage affords her certain privileges, yet the color of her skin prevents her from fully participating in the traditions of her social standing. Left to wonder if she will ever find love, Belle falls for an idealistic young vicar’s son bent on change who, with her help, shapes Lord Mansfield’s role as Lord Chief Justice to end slavery in England.
FLY BY LIGHT – Thursday, June 23
A group of teenagers board a bus for West Virginia, leaving the streets of Washington, DC to participate in an ambitious peace education program. For the first time in their lives Mark, Asha, Martha, and Corey play in mountain streams, sing under the stars, and confront the entrenched abuse, violence and neglect cycles of their past. But as they return to DC, each young person faces an unforgiving series of hurdles and roadblocks that challenge their efforts to build a better life. Through breathtaking visuals from street corners to mountaintops, Fly By Light is an intimate exploration of the chaotic, confusing, and emotional journey to rewrite a young person’s future.
ZOOTOPIA – Thursday, July 21
In a city inhabited by anthropomorphic animals who have abandoned traditional predator/prey roles in favor of civilized coexistence, uptight rabbit police officer Judy Hopps (voiced by Ginnifer Goodwin) is forced to work with charismatic fox con artist Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman) to crack a major case involving the mysterious disappearance of some carnivorous citizens. But when a few of the missing critters reappear, having reverted to pre-enlightenment savagery, it exposes existing anti-carnivore prejudice among the city’s herbivores that threatens to damage the fabric of their diverse metropolis.
RACE – Thursday, August 25
In the 1930s, Jesse Owens is a young man who is the first in his family to go to college. Going to Ohio State to train under its track and field coach, Larry Snyder, the young African American athlete quickly impresses with his tremendous potential that suggests Olympic material. However, as Owens struggles both with the obligations of his life and the virulent racism against him, the question of whether America would compete at all at the 1936 Olympics in Nazi Germany is being debated vigorously. When American envoy, Avery Brundage, finds a compromise personally persuasive and tolerable enough with the Third Reich to avert a boycott, Owens has his own moral struggle on whether to go. Upon resolving that issue, Owens and his coach travel to Berlin to participate in a competition that would mark Owens as the greatest of the American Olympians even as the German film director, Leni Riefenstahl, locks horns with her country’s Propaganda Minister, Josef Goebbels, to film the politically embarrassing fact for posterity.