Filmscene's mission

FilmScene is More than a Movie Theater

FilmScene is Iowa City’s nonprofit cinema, working in partnership with the Bijou Film Board, a University of Iowa student organization, to present films at two locations on five permanent screens and a seasonal outdoor cinema. From our home in Downtown Iowa City, we enrich the cultural vitality of the surrounding area through community-supported programming that showcases exceptional American and international filmmaking in a vibrant, accessible, equitable, and welcoming space.

Our Mission

FilmScene’s mission is to challenge, inspire, educate, and entertain our diverse communities through the shared discovery of film.

Our Vision

A better community through the shared experience of cinema.

Our Values


We strengthen our mission by cultivating diversity in programming, audience, staff, and board and ensuring equitable engagement. We invest in our employees, volunteers, filmmakers, moviegoers, and supporters to honor their needs and development. 


We are dedicated to innovative film programming, cross-disciplinary work and an embrace of our sense of wonder. We consistently reassess our goals and organizational strategies to ensure we approach the future open to new ideas.


We create connections through cinema. We partner with local and regional leaders, educators, organizations, and businesses where film programming aligns goals and enhances impact. We are equitable and celebrate our individual differences and shared experiences.


We are accessible, respectful and welcoming. We curate programming that is focused on, engages, and is otherwise unavailable to the people of our communities. We champion local filmmakers and their work and nurture Iowa’s next generation of creatives. 


We acknowledge the powers and privileges we hold so that we may use them to create equity where there hasn’t been. We center narratives, voices, and audiences from the margins to ensure a diversity in the cinematic experience. We recognize our role as stewards of a sustainable future.

Our Primary Programing Areas

First Run Films

American independents, acclaimed major releases, documentaries, and foreign films making their theatrical premieres in Iowa City and the surrounding region.

Repertory Selections

Favorites on the big screen, new restorations, deserving revivals and 35mm and 16mm film presentations to treat dedicated cinephiles, develop future generations of movie lovers and expand the canon.

Arts Education

Media literacy, expert-led classes, and informed dialogues promote film appreciation and critical thinking by teaching K-12 youth, University students and lifelong learners how to interpret cinema in a cultural context and analyze film as an art form.

Filmmaker Support

A creative home and venue for film and media artists of all ages working in Iowa. Support services include hands-on workshops, fiscal sponsorship, access to facilities, and other resources as available.

Community Building

Dialogues with film professionals, partnerships with nonprofits and community groups on film-based events, and other activities that engage the public in conversation inspired by and concerning film with the purpose of enhancing vibrant and thoughtful communities.

© 2024 FilmScene