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The Film Lounge

The Film Lounge

The Film Lounge

"The Film Lounge" is a television series that showcases short, independent films by Iowa artists. Each one-hour episode includes a collection of short films (2-20 minutes in length) that represent a range of artistic forms, including documentary, animated and experimental work. The episodes also feature interviews with the contributing filmmakers plus spotlight features that highlight active filmmaking projects across Iowa. 

The series is produced by Iowa PBS in partnership with the  Iowa Arts Council and  Produce Iowa, both divisions of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs. Program objectives include highlighting art and experimental films by underserved Iowa artists; elevating the process of filmmaking as an art form; recognizing the contributions of filmmaking to the economic and cultural vitality of Iowa; and sharing stories important to Iowans.


Help us celebrate the work of Iowa filmmakers in person at a special Sneak Peek Watch Party and see the two one-hour episodes on the big screen at the newly-remodeled Varsity Cinema, 1207 25th Street, Des Moines. These events are free and open to the public and each screening will include a Q&A discussion with participating Iowa filmmakers featured in the episodes.

                   Sunday, January 29, 2023- Episode 701 screens at 1pm at The Varsity Cinema
                   Sunday, February 5, 2023- Episode 702 screens at 1pm at The Varsity Cinema

Or create your own watch party in your living room when the episodes premiere on Iowa PBS. In addition to the broadcasts, The Film Lounge will be available to stream on iowapbs.orgYouTube TV and the PBS Video App.

                   Monday, January 30, 2023- Episode 701 premieres on Channel 11.1 at 10pm
                   Encore presentation on Channel 11.1 on Saturday, February 4 at 11pm

                   Monday, February 6, 2023- Episode 702 premieres on Channel 11.1 at 10pm
                   Encore presentation on Channel 11.1 on Saturday, February 11 at 11pm

The television episodes will continue to repeat throughout the year on Iowa PBS and stay tuned for special in-person screenings at Iowa film festivals across the state.


Episode 701:

“Bed Bugs,” from Kaitlyn Busbee and Benjamin Handler
“Black Excellence,” from Antonio Chalmers and Tone Da Boss
“It is Other,” from Charlie Borowicz
Spotlight feature on The Sioux City International Film Festival
“The Aspirant,” from Adam Orton and Michael A. Levine
“Sea Dogs,” from Spencer Loucks, Lev Cantoral, and Joe Fiala

Episode 702:

“Lesana,” from Russ Curry, Lily Skove, TJ Hellmuth, and McKenzie Stubbert
“Leah’s Year,” from Antoinette Lavalle
“From the Void,” from Michael Minard
Spotlight feature on the newly restored Varsity Cinema
“El Principe Azul,” from Matthew Williams and Juan Luna
“Loveblind,” from Emille Lacsa and LOVESBLIND


Apply to have your film included in an episode of the television series, "The Film Lounge." Judges select the short, independent films by Iowa artists based on:

  • Artistic originality
  • Technical quality
  • Level of engagement


Read the guidelines

Submit your application

Watch Past Seasons

Past Seasons of "The Film Lounge" can be streamed on Iowa PBS. Explore previous episode content online.

Featured Filmmakers

Congratulations to Iowa filmmakers featured in past episodes of "The Film Lounge".

"The Film Lounge" Season 6 - premiered January 2022
  • Godfreed Ebong
  • Benjamin Handler
  • Tyler Hill and Hao Zhou
  • Connor Hopkins
  • Paul Huenemann
  • Katie Jensen, Bruce James Bales, and Cynthia O'Hern
  • Antoinette Lavalle
  • Tempest Montgomery
  • Philip Rabalais
  • Amenda Tate
"The Film Lounge" Season 5 - premiered February 2021
  • William J Locker and Stefan Egeberg Hansen / FRESK
  • Bruce James Bales
  • Jack Sarcone
  • Lucius Pham
  • Justin Norman
  • Jacob Withers
  • Michael Runde, Ben Friedman, Ben Burkholder, and Pat Hunt
"The Film Lounge" Season 4 - premiered February 2020
  • Patrick Albanese
  • Tarrell Christie
  • Sam Fathallah
  • Stephen Folker
  • Benjamin Handler
  • Traci Hercher
  • Justin Norman
  • Philip Rabalais
  • Spencer Smith
  • Stefanie Toftey
"The Film Lounge" Season 3 - premiered February 2019
  • Extravision and Bruce Bales
  • Jack Meggers
  • Jeffery Byrd
  • John Spencer Woerdehoff, Jack Sarcone, and Brody Kuhar
  • Joshua De Lanoit
  • Kaitlyn Busbee and Jamie Boling
  • Matthew Sindt
  • Tarrell Christie
  • Tiny Circus
  • River Breitbach and Joshua De Lanoit
"The Film Lounge: Halloween Style" Season 2 - premiered October 2017
  • Charlie Gandez
  • Harry W. Walker III
  • Michael E. Berg
  • Tarrell Christie
  • Tiny Circus
"The Film Lounge" Season 2 - premiered February 2018
  • Aaron Van Maanen and Holden Feagler
  • Thomas C. Johnson
  • Nella Thomas and William Locker
  • Benjamin Gardner
  • Jack Meggers
  • Ruth Mataya Garcia
  • Graham Cooper
  • Kaitlyn Busbee and Elizabeth June Bergman
  • P. Sam Kessie
  • Juan Acuna Esparza
"The Film Lounge: Halloween Style" Season 1 - premiered October 2016
  • Steve Couch
  • Bruce Walters
  • Juan Acuna Esparza
  • Justin Norman and Shrieking Tree
  • Michael Berg
  • Patrick Tape Fleming
  • Serena Illuminati and Annalibera
  • P. Sam Kessie
  • Beau Batterson and Adam Orton
"The Film Lounge" Season 1 - premiered February 2017
  • Steve Jennings and Kathy Buxton
  • Kristian Day
  • Paul Huenemann
  • Thomas C. Johnson
  • Greg Best
  • John Richard
  • Christopher Ford and Bruce James Bales
  • Josh Thorud
  • Ian Carstens
  • Paul Berge
  • P. Sam Kessie
  • Lisa Schlesinger and Irina Patkanian
  • Andrew Sherburne and Tommy Haines