A photo from the production of “Note to Self,” a short film by Justin Norman that was selected for Season 4 of “The Film Lounge” to air on Iowa Public Television in early 2020.

Who Made the Cut for Season 4 of ‘The Film Lounge?’

Iowa Culture
Aug 12 · 3 min read

It’s “lights, camera, action” for 10 Iowa artists whose short movies have been selected for the fourth season of “The Film Lounge.”

“The Film Lounge” is a TV program produced by Iowa Public Television in partnership with the Iowa Arts Council and Produce Iowa, both divisions of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs.

It highlights experimental and art films by Iowans, celebrates filmmaking as an art form and recognizes the contributions of filmmaking to the economic and cultural vitality of Iowa. The films are 2 to 20 minutes in various genres, including animation, art, documentary, experimental, music video and narrative.

“‘The Film Lounge’ just continues to grow in popularity,” said Chuck Czech, manager of local programming for Iowa Public Television. “We’re moving into our fourth season and we continue to be amazed at the diversity and quality of the short films being produced by Iowa filmmakers.”

Photo from the set of “Flava,” a sci-fi dramedy selected for “The Film Lounge: Season 4” to be aired on Iowa Public Television in early 2020.

The 10 short films selected for “The Film Lounge: Season 4” are listed below with the filmmakers’ names, communities and film titles and synopses:

Patrick Albanese of Clive
“Unscripted” is a comedy that pokes fun at the concept of over-produced documentaries. Hence, the film is a scripted documentary about an unscripted documentary.

Tarrell Christie of Cedar Falls
FLAVA” is a sci-fi dramedy set in the distant future where a mega superstar sells weapons to citizens. It also shows how capitalism uses tragedy, stereotypes and other negative factors to sell products.

Sam Fathallah of Des Moines
“Soft Eyes”
Soft Eyes” is a short documentary about a nature photographer. The film explores the subconscious mind and the art-making process.

Stephen Folker of Davenport
“Honey Do”

This short art-house film is about a man who sets out to complete his partner’s “honey do” list and learns some lessons along the way.

Benjamin Handler of Iowa City

Soren and Abbie go to the woods for a fun afternoon. Except Soren has a secret grudge and a wicked sense of games to play.

Traci Hercher of Iowa City

Chicago-based healer Diana Harper and the August 2017 total solar eclipse align in this 8-minute short experimental portrait film as the title character undergoes an immense transition in her life and practice.

Justin Norman of Des Moines
“Note to Self”

In a “Note to Self,” a man makes a desperate attempt to fix his life by sending a message to his former self.

Philip Rabalais of Iowa City
“Problems on the Line”

An unnamed protagonist makes a series of unsettling and unsuccessful phone calls that are met with silence, noise and nonsense. In desperation, he dials the authorities only to find himself confronted with the worst possible outcome.

Spencer Smith of Des Moines
“At the Violet Hour”

Influenced by Terrence Malick’s “Tree of Life” and the Steve McQueen film, “Shame,” this experimental narrative short film tackles addiction, depression and loss from personal and universal perspectives.

Stefanie Toftey of Pella
“Concourses and Megastructures”

A New York City story about solitude, this film is a day-in-the-life portrait of a writer working on love stories inspired by architecture and the memories of a past relationship that fuel and torture him.

“The Film Lounge: Season 4” will premiere this winter on Iowa Public Television. Selected filmmakers were awarded a stipend for their contribution to the program which is sponsored by the Iowa Arts Council and Produce Iowa, both divisions of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs

By Jeff Morgan, Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs

Produce Iowa

Iowa’s State Office of Media Production

Iowa Culture

Written by

The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs empowers Iowa to build and sustain culturally vibrant communities by connecting Iowans to resources. iowaculture.gov

Produce Iowa

Iowa’s State Office of Media Production

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