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AEMS Documentary and Independent Film Series
at the Spurlock Museum

AsiaLENS is a film screening and discussion series offering campus and community audiences an opportunity to view documentary and independent film on issues reflecting contemporary life in Asia.

Presented admission free by the Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies, Spurlock Museum and Asian Educational Media Service, audiences engage with local and visiting experts who introduce the films and lead post-screening discussions.

Fall 2019 screenings are held at 7pm on the second Tuesday of the months of September, October and November at Spurlock Museum, located at 600 S. Gregory Street, Urbana, IL.

AsiaLENS screenings are funded in part by the Spurlock Museum's Y.T. Lo and S. de Mundo Lo Scholar's Studio Endowment and B.A. Knight Endowment.

Full schedule for Fall 2019 is listed below.

Information on past screenings:Fall 2008, Spring 2009, Fall 2009, Spring 2010, Fall 2010, Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Spring 2019


AsiaLENS Upcoming Fall 2019 Calendar:

Tuesday, September 10, 2019 - 7:00 pm
Spurlock Museum, 600 S. Gregory Street, Urbana, IL

Tuesday, October 8, 2019 - 7:00 pm
Spurlock Museum, 600 S. Gregory Street, Urbana IL

Drokpa: Nomads of Tibet
Tuesday, November 12, 2019 - 7:00 pm
Spurlock Museum, 600 S. Gregory Street, Urbana, IL

A Film by Patrick Daly and Joel Fendelman.
2016. 90 minutes.

Introduction and post-screening discussion with Heather M. Gifford
Predoc Fellow, Department of Sociology, University of Illinois.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019 - 7pm
Spurlock Museum, Knight Auditorium, 600 S. Gregory Street, Urbana, IL



Based upon an original script by Patrick Daly and Joel Fendelman, Remittance is a realistic portrayal of low-wage migrant workers in Singapore shot at real locations with a cast including actual domestic workers. Following Marie, a foreign domestic worker from the Philippines, the film immerses us in the joys and hopes of the characters, while facing insurmountable setbacks, anxieties, and frustrations. Through the transformations Marie goes through as a woman dealing with conflicting obligations and aspirations, viewers better understand a global story of the commodification of labor and exportation of mothers from poor third world countries to first world nations.

View a trailer of the film at the Remittance website
Distributed by Outcast Films.

A film by Ann S. Kim and Priya Giri Desai.
2018. 74 minutes.

Post-screening discussion with Sulagna Chakraborty, PhD student, Program in Ecology, Evolution & Conservation Biology and Mara Thacker, South Asian Studies & Global Popular Culture Librarian.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019 - 7pm
Spurlock Museum, Knight Auditorium, 600 S. Gregory Street, Urbana, IL

Co-sponsored by International and Area Studies Library.



In India, how do you find love if you are HIV-positive? Dr. Suniti Solomon, who discovered India’s first case of HIV in 1986, and founded India’s premier HIV/AIDS clinic finds a way, by matchmaking her HIV-positive patients. Shot over eight years, Lovesick interweaves Dr. Solomon’s personal and professional journeys with the lives of two patients: Karthik, a reticent bachelor, and Manu who, like many women in India, was infected by her first husband. Told with humor and compassion, Lovesick is a surprising and hopeful story about the universal desire for love.

View a trailer of the film here.
Lovesick website
Distributed by Women Make Movies.


Drokpa: Nomads of Tibet
Directed by Yan Chun Su.
2016. 79 minutes.

Post-screening discussants:
Mark Frank
, PhD, East Asian Languages and Cultures, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
Hilary Brady Morris, PhD Candidate, Musicology, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019 - 7pm
Spurlock Museum, 600 S. Gregory Street, Urbana, IL

Presented as part of International Week.



The grasslands of the Tibetan plateau are home to the source of Asia’s major rivers. Nearly half of humanity depends on this water for survival. Tibetan nomads, known as DROKPA have roamed on this land for thousands of years. Set in the high plateau of eastern Tibet, Drokpa is an intimate portrait of the lives and struggles of an extended family of Tibetan nomads whose life in on the cusp of irreversible change as once lush grasslands are rapidly turning into deserts, revealing the unprecedented environmental and sociopolitical forces that are pushing the Tibetan nomads to the edge of their existence.

View a trailer of the film here.
Drokpa: Nomads of Tibet website
Distributed by Collective Eye Films.





Last Updated August 23, 2019

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