"The Film Lounge" is a television series showcasing short, independent films by Iowa artists. Each one-hour episode includes a collection of short films (two to 20 minutes in length) that represent a range of artistic forms, including documentary, animated and experimental work. The episodes also feature interviews with contributing filmmakers, plus spotlight features that highlight active filmmaking projects across Iowa.

The series is produced by Iowa PBS in partnership with the Iowa Economic Development Authority. Program objectives include highlighting art and experimental films by underserved Iowa artists; elevating the process of filmmaking as an art form; recognizing the contributions of filmmaking to the economic and cultural vitality of Iowa; and sharing stories important to Iowans.

Join us for the Season 8 Sneak Peek Watch Party!

Help us celebrate the work of Iowa filmmakers in person at a special Sneak Peek Watch Party and see the two one-hour episodes from Season 8 before they premiere on statewide Iowa PBS. Join us at The Varsity Cinema, 1207 25th Street in Des Moines. A Q&A discussion with participating Iowa filmmakers will follow each episode screening. This event is free and open to the public, but you must register to reserve your seat.

The Film Lounge Watch Party
The Varsity Cinema, 1207 25th Street, Des Moines
Sunday, January 28, 2024
1:00 PM Episode 801
2:00 PM Filmmaker Q&A / Intermission
2:30 PM Episode 802
3:30 PM Filmmaker Q&A
Episode 801 screens at 1 p.m. and features these short films:

“No Exit” weaves together carefully timed movements and slapstick routines in a two-dimensional space. Created by Auden Lincoln-Vogel, Iowa City

“Parts & Pieces” follows a family’s love for rare British cars from the Triumph Motor Company that becomes part of the family. Created by Bruce James Bales, Des Moines

“Shut the Box” is a seemingly innocent childhood game that brings a sense of being alone, trapped and the lengths some would go for love or to have a family. Created by Kevin Shepherd, Brittany Benedict and Michael Huntington, Newhall

Spotlight on the Oneota Film Festival held in downtown Decorah.

“We Tried a Long Shot” is a comedy that shows the difficulty of pulling off the shot while also accomplishing it.  Created by Mike Miersen, Jacob Meade and John Miersen, Iowa City.

“Miss Christine- Google University” is a music video featuring the iconic Surf Ballroom that tells a story about time travel, human identity, and the malleable nature of reality. Created by Christine Moad, Nichols.

Episode 802 screens at 2:30pm and features these short films.

“PACK” is an experimental documentary that strives to match the energy and artistic vision that goes into creating a work of art. Created by John Hennessy Baker, Des Moines<

“Carry It with Me” is a short narrative drama about one young woman picking up the pieces after a breakup.  Created by Alyson O’Hara, Des Moines

“Sayah” documents the struggles of a young woman navigating career decisions in a world seemingly not designed for her. Created by Hannah Rosalie Wright, Des Moines

Spotlight on the Mediaverse Studios in Marengo, Iowa.

“Alice” explores the importance of communication and intentional listening in all relationships. Created by Matthew Williams, Davenport

“Blades of Betrayal” is an action short inspired by long-form Samurai stories about the heritage of Japan. Created by Paul Murphy and Gavin Smith, Indianola

Watch Season 8 on Iowa PBS:
Episode 801 Broadcast Premiere | Monday, January 29, 10 p.m.
Episode 802 Broadcast Premiere | Monday, February 5, 10 p.m.
Or online any time after the premieres at iowapbs.org

The Film Lounge submissions are judged by a panel on:

  • Artistic originality
  • Technical quality
  • Level of engagement

Read the guidelines for season 8.

Watch Past Seasons

Past Seasons of "The Film Lounge" can be streamed on Iowa PBS. Explore previous episode content online.