Muhammad Ali film comes to Studio A series

Muhammad Ali walks through the streets of NYC with members of the Black Panther Party, Sept 1970  David Fenton/Archive Photos/Getty Images

Muhammad Ali walks through the streets of NYC with members of the Black Panther Party, Sept 1970  Photo credit: David Fenton/Archive Photos/Getty Images

“The Trials Of Muhammad Ali” covers the explosive crossroads of Ali’s life. When Cassius Clay becomes Muhammad Ali, his conversion to Islam and refusal to serve in the Vietnam War leave him banned from boxing and facing a five-year prison sentence. Ali’s choice of belief and conscience over fame and fortune resonates far beyond the boxing ring, striking issues of race, faith and identity that continue to confront us all today.

This phenomenal documentary film by Bill Siegel comes to Nashville, and will be presented as part of a series of Community Cinema free lunchtime screenings at public television’s WNPT Studio A on Wednesday, February 19 at 11:30 a.m. Community Cinema, which takes places in dozens of cities through the country, celebrates its sixth year in Nashville with the 2013-14 season. It was previously held at the downtown Nashville Public Library.

Studio A, in the NPT Arts Center in the Wedgewood/Houston Neighborhood, is home to numerous NPT productions and events, including A Word on Words and NPT Reports Town Halls, as well as the rehearsals for NPT Arts Center tenants Tennessee Repertory Theatre and Nashville Shakespeare Festival, and the TN Rep’s popular look-ins and Ingram New Works Festival. New seating provided by the Frist Foundation can accommodate more than one-hundred guests.

“Studio A is a hidden treasure and one we’re excited to invite the community in to,” says Joe Pagetta, NPT director of media relations and online strategies, who coordinates Community Cinema. “Community Cinema’s slate of films each year is always stellar, provocative and entertaining, and this season is no exception. We encourage you to take a little extra time, have lunch with us, and partake in some lifelong learning with these films.”

The current season of documentary film series taking place at NPT Arts Center includes five films over six months. Community Cinema, a national civic engagement initiative by ITVS featuring screening of films from the Emmy Award-winning PBS series “Independent Lens,” is partnering with Nashville Public Television (NPT) and takes place this season in NPT’s Studio A, inside the NPT Arts Center at 161 Rains Avenue in Nashville. The Nashville Film Festival, a tenant in the NPT Arts Center, will also serve as a presenting partner. The screenings are free, include a complimentary light lunch, and occur at 11:30 a.m. one Wednesday a month from December to May (excluding April). Screenings of the approximately one-hour films will conclude with a facilitated discussion.

Attendees should RSVP to screenings by the Monday prior to each screening at Films already shown this year include “The State of Arizona” (Carlos Sandoval, Catherine Tambini/USA) and “La Marthas” (Cristina Ibarra/USA). “The New Black” (Yoruba Richen/USA) closes out the slate on May 21; and “Medora” (Andrew Cohn, Davy Rothbart/USA) will be shown on March 26.