18-20, 2020

The Refocus Film Festival is a multi-day festival that celebrates the art of adaptation. Through thoughtfully curated short and feature film programming, multidisciplinary performances by local artists, and opportunities to connect, Refocus Film Festival brings to Iowa City a vibrant, wholly unique annual festival that spotlights source material—literature, journalism, photography, podcast, comedy and more—and presents its evolution of voice, perspective and medium to the big screen. Passes are anticipated to go on sale in July.


The inaugural Refocus Film Festival will include films, conversations, performances and art all inspired by the work of adaptation, transforming one art form into another. The festival will take place primarily in FilmScene's five theaters at our Chauncey and Ped Mall locations, with additional programming in the downtown district. Movie lovers will rejoice at the opportunity to take in multiple films each day, and each showtime will include a performance from our Troupers—local performers sharing their art to form a kaleidoscopic impression of the many artistic disciplines that inform our big screen experience. In addition, a series of curated dialogues will take us deeper into conversation about how an idea journeys from page to screen. And yes, of course, there will be special guests, parties, and celebration!


We're thrilled to look into the future with hope that our community will be able to gather again and take in the arts. While there is still a chance the public health situation could impact our ability to present this festival, we're moving forward with optimism. If you want to be certain that you're among the first to know when additional information is available, please sign up below. We look forward to seeing you at the movies soon, and at the festival this fall.

Follow us on social media:


But wait, there's more! Music and literature mainstay Mission Creek Festival will launch a smaller, but equally bold event the same weekend in September, after the fest’s original April plans were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The reformatted festival will feature some of the same musicians and writers plus a few special surprises. While the scheduling twist was not originally planned, it will be a celebration fit for the greatest small city of the arts and an appropriate culmination of the Strengthen Grow Evolve capital campaign collaboration between FilmScene and The Englert Theatre.