The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Massachusetts Multicultural Film Festival 2020

Message from Shawn Shimpach, MMFF Director: "It has been a very eventful past week here in Amherst, with evolving updates in our collective efforts to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus and deal with a large-scale public health crisis arriving frequently and rapidly.  As a result of current and ongoing efforts, it is with a heavy heart that we must inform you that the remainder of the Massachusetts Multicultural Film Festival season has been canceled.  I believe this is the first time in our 27 year history that such a large portion of the Festival has had to be canceled and I am terribly disappointed that we will not be able to share with you any more of the amazing films and exciting events we had planned, but it is the right choice given the current, ongoing public health crisis. We hope to be able to reschedule some of the filmmaker visits in the future and we will begin looking forward to an exciting new season in spring 2021.  Thank you for your support, attendance, and love of movies.  Please take good care of yourself and each other and be well".


"Imagine Better"

The Interdepartmental Program in Film Studies is pleased to announce the 27th annual Massachusetts Multicultural Film Festival, "Imagine Better".

What we imagine fuels our intentions. The 27th annual Massachusetts Multicultural Film Festival asks us to Imagine Better. This season we present films from around the world offering creative, often startlingly original visions that rethink approaches to myriad environmental challenges encounters with otherness various kinds and our very understanding of fantasy, history, family, friends, and neighbors. If the future we imagine is the future we get, then we desperately need to imagine better: we need to better our powers of imagination so that we can imagine better possibilities. Collectively, the works in the season's program suggest just how we might do that as they imagine alternatives to familiar patterns of thinking, relating, and being. Traversing imaginative stories and fantastic encounters from Israel and Palestine to Iceland and Japan, from intersectional Chicago to a field in Maine seen through multiple perspectives, the films of this year’s Festival creatively cross borders and cross-up border enforcement, celebrate youth and honor age, and they show how opportunities are created by imagining possiblities. They ask us, they show us, and they hope that we can learn to Imagine Better.

Films will be screened on Wednesday evenings at 7:30 pm starting on February 26, 2020, through April 22, 2020, in the Flavin Family Auditorium SOM 137 (unless otherwise noted). All events are accompanied by critical, contextualizing introductions by scholars and filmmakers and all are, as always, free and open to the public.

All events are free and open to the public. 

Presented by the Interdepartmental Program in Film Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Shawn Shimpach, Festival Director

Daniel Pope, Co-curator


Shawn Shimpach

A note on COVID-19 preparedness:

The Massachusetts Multicultural Film Festival is closely monitoring the developments of the novel coronavirus and is following University procedures.  The March 11 screening of Thirteen Ways is cancelled, and the MMFF will resume its programmed schedule on March 25 with Bento Harassment.  The MMFF plans to continue with the rest of this season’s exciting program, and we look forward to seeing you there. See the UMass Amherst coronavirus information page for updates.