One of the relatively hidden gems of Tampa Bay's movie culture is the International Cinema Series conducted at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg.
Founded by professor Nathan Andersen, the series goes beyond art house and multiplex programming to bring local cineastes some of the world's most obscure yet important independent cinema. This year's lineup is no exception.
Ten films are scheduled for the fall season, from Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Estonia, Canada, Spain, China and India.
"There's something for everyone in this lineup and it's incredibly diverse," Andersen said in a news release. "The films are global in scope and ambitious...
"Some of the films are very straightforward and compelling stories of people in different places. Others, like Guy Maddin's Forbidden Room or Peter Greenaway's Eisenstein in Guanajuato, really attempt to push the boundaries of what can be done artistically in cinema."
Admission is free to all screenings, which begin at 7 p.m. in the Dan and Mary Miller Auditorium on the Eckerd campus. (Andersen likes pointing out that this is the only theater located in south St. Petersburg.)
This season's lineup includes:
Sept. 11: When Marnie Was There, directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi. Possibly the final production from the Japanese animation giant, Studio Ghibli.
Sept. 18: A Hard Day, directed by Seong-hoon Kim. South Korean crime drama about a homicide detective on a bad luck streak.
Sept. 25: A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence, directed by Roy Andersson. Swedish dark comedy that won the Venice Film Festival's top prize in 2014..
Oct. 2: Güeros, directed by Alonso Ruiz Palacios. Two college students in Mexico City attempt to track down their musician idol, now dying.
Oct. 16: Jellyfish Eyes, directed by Takashi Murakami. Surrealism concerning children with fantastic creatures as friends, and the evil plot involving them.
Oct., 23: Tangerines, directed by Zaza Urushadze. In post-war Estonia, enemies unite to bring in a crop of tangerines. Nominated for Best foreign language film at the 2014 Academy Awards.
Oct. 30: The Forbidden Room, directed by Guy Madden. A woodsman mysteriously appears aboard a submarine trapped underwater for months.
Nov. 6: Court, directed by Chaitanya Tamhane (Marathi, Gujarati, English and Hindi, 116m, 2015)When a sewer worker's dead body is found inside a manhole in Mumbai, an aging folk singer is brought to court and tried, accused of having incited his apparent suicide with a song he had written. This provocative look at modern India has won several jury prizes at major international film festivals.
Nov. 13: Eisenstein in Guanajuato, directed by Peter Greenaway. Soviet cinema icon Sergei Eisenstein is invited to Mexico to direct a pro-Communist movie, as imagined by one of the world's most outrageous filmmakers.
Nov. 20: The Assassin, directed by Hou Hsiao-hsien, who was named best director at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival.
For more information, call (727) 894-7979 or visit eckerd.edu/film/ics/