Curating Diversity: Community Engagement through Film Programming

Orchestra playing below silent film


Imagine Fund Arts, Humanities, and Design Chair (2023–2025)

Maggie Hennefeld (Cultural Studies & Comparative Literature)
Lorenzo Fabbri (French & Italian)

This project is dedicated to promoting cultural education and social justice by screening rare, unseen, marginalized, and archival cinema at a range of venues across the Twin Cities and University of Minnesota system campuses. Funded for two years (Fall 2023–Spring 2025) by The University of Minnesota Imagine Fund, this initiative brings together a diverse team of collaborators and focuses its efforts on planning two film festivals: Il Cinema Ritrovato on Tour and the Twin Cities Black Europe Film Festival. Animated by a love of cinema and commitment to making visible excluded images from the past and the present, we work with filmmakers, international film archives, and local film venues to expose students and audiences to the richness of cinema history. Our events facilitate public education, collective community, and open conversation about how cinema can help us to imagine different worlds and alternative futures. 

This project’s greatest hope and long-term goal is to establish a Film & Media Research Center with 35mm film projection, digital editing labs, state of the art classrooms, and archival repertory programming on the U of M’s campus, ultimately making the University a global hub for exploring the intersections of media, archives, race, gender, and politics.