Winona Film Society - Past Film Showings

Promo image for film Artemis.

“Artemis – In Celebration of Seasoned Women”

Sunday / June 4, 2023 / 6:00pm / Free Admission

On June 4, 2023 at 6:00pm, the Winona Arts Center is pleased to host the screening of the documentary film “Artemis – In Celebration of Seasoned Women”. This documentary film celebrates women who defy the notion that “women of a certain age” become invisible in society. “Artemis” busts that myth by showcasing and showing off Winona’s wealth of seasoned female artists, activists, wise owls, biz wiz’s, movers and shakers, makers and bakers. “Invisible Woman Syndrome” (much-hyped by the media) begs the question “invisible to whom”? Produced and directed by award-winning filmmaker Kristine Hipps in association with Engage Winona’s Lived Experience Leaders Project.

Free admission. Light refreshments following the screening.

Black-and-white film still showing Juan Chacón and Rosaura Revueltas in Salt of the Earth.

Salt of the Earth 

and Cinco de Mayo Celebration

Friday / May 5, 2023 / 7:00pm

Featuring the classic 1954 film, Salt of the Earth. This is one of the first films to advance the feminist social and political point of view. Its plot centers on a long and difficult strike based on the 1951 strike against the Empire Zinc Company in Grant County, New Mexico. The film shows how the miners, their families, the company and the police react during the strike. The story of the film’s suppression, as well as the events it depicted, inspired an underground audience of unionists, leftists, feminists, Mexican Americans and film historians. The film found a new life in the 1960s and gradually reached larger audiences through union halls, women's associations and film schools.

Healthy Lake Winona Film by Mary Farrell

Friday / April 21, 2023 / 7:00pm

Sponsored by Frozen River Film Festival

When Lake Winona was being evaluated as an impaired water by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, a group of local citizens formed Healthy Lake Winona in 2014. The group initiated several projects to reduce the problem of too many nutrients in the lake and to improve the quality of Lake Winona. Filmmaker Mary Farrell has documented the group's efforts to address stormwater runoff, invasive species, shoreline erosion and excessive goose population.

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

Photo by Mary Farrell of Lake Winona & shoreline.
Still image from the film They Say Nothing Stays the Same.

They Say Nothing Stays the Same

Friday / April 14, 2023 / 7:00pm

Japanese with English subtitles. 137 minutes. Directed by Joe Odagiri. 2019.

Featuring an array of Japan's top stars, this film follows Toichi (Akira Emoto), an aging ferryman in a remote Meiji-era community. His peaceful, cyclical existence is given meaning by the essential role he plays in transporting people, livestock and goods across the water. 

When news arrives that a bridge is being built upstream, Toichi finds his life transformed in the name of progress. The sudden arrival of a young girl brings one more dimension to his life. This film has been lauded as having “stunning visuals and a stellar cast,” by The Japan Times

Queen of Glory

Friday / March 24, 2023 / 7:00pm

United States, English language with subtitles. 78 minutes. Directed by Nana Mensah. 2021.

Sarah Obeng (Nana Mensah), a doctoral student at Columbia University, is weeks away from following her boyfriend to Ohio when her mother suddenly passes away. Her inheritance is King of Glory, a small Christian bookstore serving the Ghanaian immigrant community in the Bronx. Tasked with arranging her mother’s funeral according to her family’s traditional expectations, Sarah navigates her plans to relocate while grappling with the bookstore.

Still image from the film Queen of Glory.

Aided by an “only in New York” ensemble of Eastern European neighbors, opinionated aunties, and a no-nonsense ex-con employee, Sarah must face all her responsibilities while remaining true to herself.

Winner of a special jury award from the Tribeca Film Festival in 2021, this film is “a witty ode to immigrant daughters and the Bronx.”

The Last Waltz

Friday / February 24, 2023 / 7:00pm / Free Will Donations

Directed by Martin Scorsese. 117 minutes.

The Last Waltz has been heralded as “the finest of all rock movies.”

It started out as a farewell concert and became a celebration. Join an unparalleled lineup of rock superstars as they celebrate the historic 1976 farewell performance of The Band—Rick Danko, Levon Helm, Garth Hudson, Richard Manuel, and Robbie Robertson. Guests include Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison, Neil Diamond, Emmylou Harris, Muddy Waters, The Staples, Ringo Starr, Ron Wood, Paul Butterfield, and Ronnie Hawkins.

Please join us as we present the last film from the selection of best films nominated by WAC members as part of the WAC 60th anniversary.


The Winona Arts Center was pleased to host the Frozen River Film Festival on February 6, 7, and 8.

The Balcony Movie

Monday / February 6, 2023

Directed by Paweł Łoziński. 100 minutes.

Can anyone be a movie hero? Can the world be locked in one film frame? Director Paweł Łoziński is watching people from his balcony as they are passing by: sad, thoughtful, glued to their phones, young and old. Neighbours, random visitors or simply passers-by. The filmmaker accosts them, asks questions, talks about how they deal with life. Standing there with his camera for over 2 years he has created a space for dialogue, a lay confessional of sorts, where everyone can stop by and tell their story. The protagonists carry secrets and mysteries, and are not easy to label. Every story is unique, and life always surpasses imagination.


Duo Set

Tuesday / February 7, 2023

Mama Bears

Directed by Daresha Kyi. 88 minutes.

Did you know there are more than 32,000 mothers in America, many from conservative, Christian backgrounds, who fully accept their LGBTQ+ children? They call themselves "mama bears" because while their love is warm and fuzzy, they fight ferociously to make the world kinder and safer for all LGBTQ+ people.


Mama Has a Mustache

Directed by Sally Rubin. 10 minutes.

Mama Has a Mustache is a short, quirky, fully animated documentary about gender and family, as seen through children’s eyes. Driven completely by audio interviews of kids ages 5-10, the film uses these soundbytes combined with clip-art and mixed media to explore how children are able to experience a world outside of the traditional gender binary.


Wild Beauty: Mustang Spirit of the West

Wednesday / February 8, 2023

Directed by Ashley Avis. 99 minutes.

A sweeping, immersive journey into the world of wild horses that illuminates both the profound beauty and desperate plight they currently face in the Western United States. Filmmaker Ashley Avis and crew go on a multi-year expedition to uncover the truth before wild horses disappear forever.


A Man There Was

Saturday / January 28, 2023 / 7:00pm
Details here: An Evening of Music and Film

A Man There Was (Terje Vigen) was released at the same time (1917) many Scandinavian immigrants were arriving in Minnesota and building communities here. The film about a Swedish sailor who takes on a British blockade to find food for his family will have special significance for many families in Minnesota. The film is also considered to be one of the finest examples of Swedish silent film. The running time for the film is about one hour.



Saturday / January 21, 2023 / ~7:15pm
Part of Bon Appetit: A Celebration of Food & Film

French. 112 minutes.

Directed by Éric Besnard. 2022.

Set in 1789 France just before the revolution, a chef seeks to find a new life with the help of a young woman.  Although he has been sacked by his noble master, he finds a way to open his first ever outdoor restaurant and rekindle his love of cooking again.

Babette's Feast

Saturday / January 21, 2023 / 5:00pm
Part of Bon Appetit: A Celebration of Food & Film

Danish and French. 103 minutes.

Directed by Gabriel Axel. 1987.

This 1987 Oscar winner for the Best Foreign film is based on a short story by Isaac Dinesen (Out of Africa). Babette arrives in a small town in Denmark where the townspeople believe in salvation through self-denial, preached by a devout clergyman. She is a refugee from France’s civil war and convinces the townspeople to try something  outrageous—a gourmet French meal.  Will they be able to enjoy this earthly pleasure?


Billy Elliot

Friday / January 13, 2023 / 7:00pm / FREE
60th Anniversary Film

English and French with subtitles. 111 minutes.

Directed by Stephen Daldry. 2000.

This heartwarming story of a young boy from a working-class family who discovers a passion for dancing that will change his life. Billy stumbles on a ballet class on his way to boxing lessons and under the guidance of his teacher, his raw talent takes flight. A triumphant tale of following one’s desire.

Strictly Ballroom

Friday / December 2, 2022 / 7:00pm / FREE

English. 95 minutes.

Directed by Baz Luhrmann. 1992.

From director Baz Luhrmann (Moulin Rouge, Elvis) comes the hit hilarious romantic comedy that will leave you laughing and cheering for more. This is the magical story of a championship ballroom dancer who will stop at nothing to win, even if it means rewriting the rules. With a great soundtrack and incredible dance sequences, this feel-good film will dance straight to your heart.


Frozen River Film Festival presents Mountainfilm on Tour

Thursday / November 3 / 7:00pm
Friday / November 4 / 7:00pm

Join FRFF for films that explore themes connected to Mountainfilm’s mission of using the power of film, art and ideas to inspire audiences to create a better world.

Choose from the Indomitable Spirit Set on Thursday or the FRFF Curated Set on Friday - or get tickets for both! Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for both screenings. Tickets for Mountainfilm on Tour in Winona are on sale online or at the door.

The cost for each show is $12 per adult ($10 for FRFF members!) and free for students. Click the button below to reserve tickets.

See the complete playlist at

The Road to Mandalay

Friday / October 21, 2022 / 7:00pm / $5
Gallery opens at 6:00 pm

Chinese, Burmese, and Thai with English subtitles. 108 minutes.

Directed by Midi Z. 2016.

Burmese immigrants sneak into Thailand on a well trafficked route across the Mekong River down quiet roads and past bribed checkpoints. Along this treacherous path to Bangkok, Ilan Qing and Guo meet and their fates become entwined. After finding work, the couple focuses their efforts on acquiring fake identity papers but when trouble ensues, their relationship becomes threatened. Reviews call this film “emotionally rewarding.”


Run, Lola, Run

Friday / October 7, 2022 / 7:00pm / FREE
Gallery opens at 6:00 pm

German with English subtitles. 81 minutes.

Directed by Tom Tykwer. 1998.

This thrilling roller coaster ride about two star-crossed lovers starts with their having only minutes to change the course of their lives. Time is running out for Lola. She has just received a frantic phone call from her boyfriend Manni who has lost a small fortune belonging to his mobster boss. If Lola does not return the money in 20 minutes, there will be consequences for Manni. This fast moving, exhilarating film will keep you on the edge of your seat. Winner of the Sundance audience award.

Strictly Ballroom

Friday / September 30, 2022 / 7:00pm / FREE
Gallery opens at 6:00 pm

English. 95 minutes.

Directed by Baz Luhrmann. 1992.

From director Baz Luhrmann (Moulin Rouge, Elvis) comes the hit hilarious romantic comedy that will leave you laughing and cheering for more. This is the magical story of a championship ballroom dancer who will stop at nothing to win, even if it means rewriting the rules. With a great soundtrack and incredible dance sequences, this feel-good film will dance straight to your heart.


Smoke Signals

Friday / September 9, 2022 / 7:00pm
Gallery open at 6:00 pm

English. 89 minutes.

Directed by Chris Eyre. 1998.

Critically acclaimed as one of the best films of 1999, this film was a winner at the Sundance Film Festival. Victor and Thomas have lived their entire lives in the same town on the reservation. Although they have little in common, they embark on a trip together because Victor is urgently called away and Thomas comes up with the money for the trip. What ensues is a funny, adventurous, and unforgettable journey of friendship and discovery.

My Little Sister

Friday / April 1, 2022 / 7:00 pm
Coffeehouse and Gallery open at 6:00 pm

German, French, and English with subtitles. 100 minutes.

Directed by Stephanie Chuat and Veronique Raymond.

Lisa, a gifted playwright, lives in Switzerland with her family but her heart remains in Berlin, where her twin brother Sven, is battling leukemia. He is a famous theater actor and Lisa works to get him back on the stage as he struggles with cancer. Even though her marriage goes awry, Lisa’s biggest concern is her brother who helps her begin to write again.



Friday / March 18, 2022 / 7:00 pm

English and Korean with subtitles. 115 minutes.

Directed by Lee Isaac Chung, this is a tender and sweeping story about what roots us. It follows a Korean-American family that moves to an Arkansas farm in search of their own American dream. The family changes completely with the arrival of their sly, foul-mouthed but incredibly loving grandma. Minari shows the undeniable resilience of family and what really makes a home.

All You Ever Wished For

Friday / February 25, 2022 / 7:00 pm

English and Italian. 81 minutes

An enchanted fairy tale romantic comedy from the writer of Rain Man. Follow the travails of New York executive, Tyler, whose business trip to Milan takes an unexpected turn when he is kidnapped for ransom and whisked off to an Alpine village. The rustic cottage where the kidnappers and the victim spend the night is under a gypsy love spell. According to this spell, they will fall in love with the first person they see. It’s a fanciful tale of romance, comedy, and Italian charm.


Decoding the Driftless

Sunday / February 20, 2022 / 2:00 pm

This is an unusually fun and adventurous science-documentary film, with Emmy-winning filmmakers George Howe, Tim Jacobson, Rob Nelson, and Director Jonas Stenstrom of Untamed Science. The Driftless region is an exceptionally rare, scenic, and fascinating landscape, hiding right in the middle of North America.

You’ll soar high over rugged bluffs, skim the surface of primordial rivers, venture deep underground to mysterious secret worlds, marvel at ancient archeological treasures, and hang perilously over massive rock cliffs with endangered peregrine falcons, all while learning the fascinating story of how this landscape came to be. Viewers travel back in time over 500 million years to discover the early geological foundations of the Driftless Region, and then travel forward, learning key geological process that formed the region.

True Mothers

Friday / January 28, 2022 / 7:00 pm

Japanese with subtitles (2020)

Directed by Naomi Kawase 140 minutes

After a long and unsuccessful struggle to get pregnant, Satoko and her husband decide to adopt a child. Over the next six years, the middle-class couple and their son Asato settle into a comfortable routine until the arrival of Hikari, who claims to be the biological mother. Weaving together multiple timelines and genres, the film is a touching celebration of women who assume the duties of love and support.


Queen of Katwe

Friday / January 14, 2022 / 7:00 pm

English with subtitles (2016)

Directed by Mira Nair 124 minutes

A movie based on the true story of a Ugandan chess champion, written by William Wheeler. Starring David Oyelowo and Lupita Nyong’o, the film depicts the life of Phiona Mutesi who lives in Katwe, the slums of Kampala. After learning to play chess, her life changes when she discovers she has an amazing talent for chess.

Not One Less

Friday and Saturday / October 29 and 30 / 7:00 pm

Chinese Language film from China (1999)

Directed by Zhang Yamou 106 minutes

In the crushing poverty of rural China, a young woman is ordered to be a substitute teacher in a remote village. Barely older than her students, she is charged with keeping the class intact or she will not get paid. When one of the student escapes to the city to earn money, she follows him and when her pleas fall on deaf ears, a TV station sympathizes with her and helps her search.

Director Zhang Yamou is the award-winning director of Raise the Red Lantern.



Friday and Saturday / October 15 and 16 / 7:00 pm

Bulgarian Language film from Bulgaria and Greece (2017)

Directed by Andres Walter 101 minutes

Tzanko Petrov, a railroad lineman, finds millions in cash on the train tracks. After turning all the money over to the police, the state celebrates his good deed with a new watch. Julia Staikovam, head of public relations for the corrupt Ministry of Transport, loses his old watch which Tzanko has cherished for years . What follows is a Cinematic parable of the struggle between Tzanko’s humble reality and Julia’s media-obsessed world.

The Farewell

Friday and Saturday / October 1 and 2 / 7:00 pm

Chinese Language film from China (2019)

Directed by Lulu Wang 98 minutes

After learning that her family’s beloved matriarch, Nai Nai , has mere weeks to live, Chinese-born, US -born, Billi , returns to Changchun to find that her family has decided to keep the news from Nai Nai. The family gathers under the guise of a wedding and Billi rediscovers the country she left, and is forever changed by her grandmother’s spirit.