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Iowa PBS presents season 5 of The Film Lounge

Jan 22, 2021

Celebrate the work of Iowa filmmakers and explore the art of filmmaking with brand-new episodes of The Film Lounge. Iowa PBS and the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs announced today the upcoming fifth season of its popular series that showcases short films created by Iowans. This season includes two new episodes featuring seven short films with varying styles and subject matters. It also features special segments, including the winner of the 2020 Film Lounge Student Challenge.

The Film Lounge: Episode 501 will premiere Saturday, February 6, at 11 p.m. and rebroadcast Sunday, February 7, at 11 p.m. on statewide Iowa PBS. Episode 502 will premiere Saturday, February 13, at 11 p.m. and repeat Sunday, February 14, at 11 p.m. In addition to the broadcasts, The Film Lounge will be available to stream on, YouTube TV and the PBS Video App.

This season of The Film Lounge features the following films:

  • “Enjoy Your Evening” from Justin Norman of Des Moines is a comedy about the awkward experience of small talk with a person you feel obligated to endure, regardless of how grating they become.
  • “salt & sea” from Jack Sarcone of West Des Moines is a lyrical film about the solitary life of Gerald, one of the last living lighthouse keepers in Ireland.
  • “Ultra” from Bruce James Bales of Des Moines is a high-energy documentary that follows Caleb Smith's journey as he skates his way down the California Coastal Highway from San Francisco to Los Angeles.
  • “Hook” from William Locker and Stefan Hansen both of Des Moines is a music video shot entirely with a 360-degree camera to create a vibrant party for the eyes.
  • “Welcome to a Better You” from Jacob Withers of Des Moines is a comedy about a man who comes to believe that the clone his wife ordered to help around the house is there to replace him.
  • “The Call” from Lucius Pham of Des Moines is a music video that juxtaposes hip-hop artist Teller Bank$’s current state of opulence with flashbacks to past times of poverty.
  • “One Stolen Moment” from the Dubuque filmmakers Ben Burkholder, Ben Friedman, Pat Hunt and Michael Runde is a documentary that focuses on four Loras College athletes whose competition schedules — and athletic careers — were disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The season also includes the following special features:

  • “Pressure Pointe” from Aleesa Lavrenko of Postville is an art film that explores the thrill and motivation of ballet that won top honors at the 2020 Film Lounge Student Challenge.
  • “Filmmaking During Lockdown” presents stories of how Iowa filmmakers were able to stay creative during the pandemic.
  • “Celebrating Five Years” highlights filmmakers from previous seasons of The Film Lounge as they discuss their latest work and career developments.

Film buffs can get a sneak peek of The Film Lounge season 5 during virtual watch parties before it airs on television. Watch parties will be held online via OVEE at 4 p.m. on February 6 and 13. More information can be found at

Iowa filmmakers are encouraged to submit work by June 1 for consideration in season 6. Watch past episodes and find more information at

The Film Lounge is produced by Iowa PBS in partnership with the Iowa Arts Council and Produce Iowa, both divisions of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs. The organizations select entries based on technical and artistic merit, and all featured filmmakers are required to be living and working in Iowa to be selected for broadcast. Each one-hour episode includes a collection of films 2-20 minutes in length representing a range of artistic forms, filmmakers discussing their work as an introduction to each film, and a spotlight feature highlighting the film industry in Iowa.

In addition to its statewide broadcast, Iowa PBS .1 is available to livestream on,, the PBS Video App and YouTube TV. Iowa PBS programs, behind-the-scenes extras and more can be enjoyed on, Facebook and YouTube. Viewers can also stream their favorite shows on demand using the PBS Video App, available on iOS, Android and many streaming devices.

For more information about Iowa PBS, please contact Susan Ramsey at 515.725.9703 or

The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs and its three divisions – the Iowa Arts Council, Produce Iowa - State Office of Media Production and the State Historical Society of Iowa – empower Iowa to build and sustain culturally vibrant communities by connecting Iowans to the people, places and points of pride that define our state. The department’s work enables Iowa to be recognized as a state that fosters creativity and serves as a catalyst for innovation where the stories of Iowa are preserved and communicated to connect past, present and future generations.