Oscar-winning movies aren’t always blockbusters. Sometimes, Academy Awards go to movies most Iowans have never heard of, let alone seen. Tonight (Friday), a film festival opens at the Des Moines Art Center that will feature 13 films over two days, including two Oscar-nominated “short” films. Jill Pihlaja, the Art Center’s education director, says different films will be shown each day.Tonight’s line-up includes the eight-minute film “The Stairway to St. Paul’s,” based on interpretations of the Led Zeppelin classic rock song “Stairway to Heaven;” the 14-minute film “Zamboni Man,” a romantic comedy about an ice rink worker who longs for a graceful ice dancer; and the 15-minute video “Dental Farmer” about a progressive doctor who runs a free dental clinic on his farm in Appalachia and grows Jerusalem artichokes in his garden. Pihlaja says not all of the films are light in subject matter. The film “Asylum” is about a woman fleeing from Africa to avoid female circumcision. Pihlaja says “Asylum” is one of two films on the docket for this weekend that was nominated for an Oscar, the other is “Nibble.” Tonight’s showings begin at 6:30 and there is an admission fee of five-dollars. Tomorrow’s films begin at 1 P.M. and there is -no- admission fee. For more information, call the Des Moines Art Center at (515) 277-4405 or visit “www.DesMoinesArtCenter.org”.
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