The ribbon cutting during the opening night of the third annual Center Film Festival at the State Theater at State College on Monday, November 1, 2021.

The 2022 Center Film Festival will present some of the most important and commented films of the year.

This year’s selection of feature films, documentaries, short fiction, experimental narratives and more will be screened at the State Theater at State College and the historic Rowland Theater in Philipsburg from October 31 through November 6. A virtual program will also feature films available to watch anytime online during the festival.

The festival’s lineup includes, among others, Denmark-based Iranian director Ali Abassi’s crime thriller “Holy Spider,” a 2023 Academy Award nominee for Best International Feature; Ukrainian drama “Klondike,” Ukraine’s Oscar submission and winner of the Drama Film Competition for Directing at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival; and many more great films from around the world, country and the state of Pennsylvania.

The festival will also feature a wide selection of films available for viewing online and a Q&A panel with filmmakers and experts will follow each in-person viewing.

“This year’s films speak to us about what’s happening in the world,” said Pearl Gluck, filmmaker and professor at Penn State’s Bellisario College of Communications, which organizes the festival. “They address important issues such as women’s rights, climate change, migration, incarceration, race, gender and sexual orientation. Seeing the impact of these issues through the lens of a filmmaker makes them more immediate.

Since its inception in 2019, the Center Film Festival has sought to showcase global films with local relevance and local films with global relevance.

“We want films with global themes that are also local, that will spark conversations among cross-generational and multi-dimensional audiences in central Pennsylvania,” Gluck said.

Screening of films like ‘Holy Spider’ – a dark story about a serial killer determined to ‘morally cleanse’ the streets of Iran’s holy city, Mashhad – in Center County at a time when Iran is experiencing a revolution unprecedented campaign led by women against the Islam Republic is particularly significant for Gluck and the festival organizers.

“A movement that responds to the targeting of women in the Islamic Republic in a way so clearly depicted in the film is a phenomenal way to create global awareness and a broader understanding of the issues and challenges women face in the world. home and abroad,” said Lior Sternfeld, associate professor of history and author of “Between Iran and Zion: Jewish Histories of Twentieth-Century Iran,” who serves on the festival’s programming committee.

Gluck also notes the importance of the festival’s “Made in PA” feature, which includes a selection of excellent films shot in and around central Pennsylvania, and she highlights the inclusion of films made by students and graduates of the Penn State University.

“The Center Film Festival continues to grow every year. The Rowland Theater is thrilled to be the first spark for this festival, which puts Philipsburg on the map for filmmakers and their films,” said Rebecca Inlow of Rowland Theatre.

“We hope our local community will take advantage of this chance to see potential Oscar nominees, meet the filmmakers and watch films, some of which feature local stories.”

Films such as “Art and Pep” (Art, who founded Chicago’s first gay bar, hails from DuBois) and “Of Medicine and Miracles” (the story of Emily Whitehead) feature downtown residents of Pennsylvania.

“It’s so exciting to have a festival of this caliber in our own backyard, telling our own stories,” Gluck said.

The Center Film Festival is supported by local partners and sponsors who are committed to showcasing Center County’s growing appeal as a hub for the arts and to growing the local economy through the arts, including the Happy Valley Adventure Bureau and Donald P. Bellisario College at Penn State. Communications.

“Obviously we have a lot to offer here in Center County – these great filmmakers want their work shown here. We can glean from them and they can glean from us,” Gluck said.

During the festival, local and guest artists will offer masterclasses to area high school students.

There will be prizes and giveaways at each screening. At the grand finale on Nov. 6 at the State Theater, the festival will honor Penn State graduate director/producer Stan Lathan with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Tom and Kari Whitehead, a Penn State alumnus and faculty member, will be honored as the second annual recipients of the Chandler Living Legacy Award for their role in capturing their daughter Emily’s cancer journey through home videos, images that anchor the documentary “Of Medicine and Miracles.

For schedules, event information and tickets, visit centrefilm.org.