Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Ringling College Announces its Spring Semester CONNECTIONS Documentary Film Series

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Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Ringling College Announces its Spring Semester CONNECTIONS Documentary Film Series 

The spring semester CONNECTIONS films are Stewart Udall: The Politics of Beauty which will be followed by a discussion with its producers; Good Night Oppyand Wildcat.  

SARASOTA, Fla. (March 3, 2023) — Registration is now open for the 2023 spring semester at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute Ringling College (OLLI at Ringling College). The term, which runs March 13-May 5, 2023, once again includes the popular documentary film series CONNECTIONS, held at Sarasota Art Museum of Ringling College of Art and Design, 1001 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota.

The spring semester of CONNECTIONS offers three screenings and a post-screening event. As the name CONNECTIONS implies, the themes of the films showcase the connections humans have with each other, with the physical world, and with other species that share our planet. General admission for each screening is $15.

 
Julie Cotton, a member of the OLLI Advisory Council’s Strategic Program Planning Committee, is the coordinator and host of this series. Cotton has a doctorate in human development and is a former organizational consultant and executive coach. She is an aficionado of documentary films and a skilled facilitator of group conversations.
 
Cotton stated, “The communal viewing experience offers our students the opportunity to connect to many of today’s pressing global issues via the penetrating perspectives of contemporary films. After watching a film together, students can engage in a conversation, which I facilitate, about the film’s content and impact, forging deeper learning and social connections.”
 
The spring 2023 CONNECTIONS films are:  
 
Stewart Udall: The Politics of Beauty, March 13, 2:30-4:30 pm, is the first film ever made about this courageous public servant and arguably the most effective environmentalist in American history. An early advocate for the protection of our planet and its natural beauty, Udall, who was Secretary of the Interior during the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, was the first public official to speak out against global warming and urge Americans to move away from consumerism and toward quality of life. A special “meet the producers” event will immediately follow the film’s screening. PBS veteran producer John de Graaf, producer and director of Stewart Udall: The Politics of Beauty, and Laurence Cotton, the consulting producer, will discuss the making of this documentary. 
 
Good Night Oppy, March 27, 2:30-4:30 pm, is the inspirational true story of the Mars rover Opportunity, sent for a 90-day mission but ending up on a 15-year groundbreaking journey that forged a remarkable bond between the robot and her humans millions of miles away. With unique access and archival footage, Ryan White’s engaging documentary puts special focus on the men and women who guided Oppy through extraterrestrial dust in a delicate, but inspired, balancing act that kept the rover exploring. Oppy’s perseverance serves as a reminder that these machines are made of more than nuts and bolts, built on the hopes, dreams, and curiosity of our whole species. 
 
Wildcat, April 10, 2:30-4:30 pm, shares the emotional and inspiring story of a young British soldier struggling with depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from the war in Afghanistan. In the Amazonian rain forest, where he intends to end his life, he meets a scientist running a wildlife rescue and rehabilitation center. His life finds new meaning when he is entrusted with the life of an orphaned baby ocelot. What was meant to be an attempt to escape from life turns out to be an unexpected journey of love, discovery, and healing.To register, or for more information about becoming an OLLI member, visit www.OLLIatRinglingCollege.org or call 941-309-5111. 
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