Since March 2002, Fresno Filmworks has screened first-run independent and international movies on the second Friday of each month. Each spring since 2005, Filmworks also has presented the annual Fresno Film Festival. Our primary home is the historic Tower Theatre, located in the heart of Fresno and the central San Joaquin Valley.
Filmworks began in mid-2001 with a gathering of people interested in film. We explored multiple ways of creating such a venue in Fresno. As part of our initial research, we looked at the city’s available empty theaters as well as alternative theaters all over the United States. We made many decisions during the early months that remain critical to our self-definition, including our nonprofit status; our community-focused orientation; a commitment to multiculturalism; and a desire for a complete film experience that includes conversation and education.
We held an initial fund-raiser on December 9, 2001, that was attended by approximately 80 people. We then began showing films in 16mm at the Fresno Art Museum in March 2002. We soon decided that we wanted to be able to show first-run films in 35mm that otherwise would not make it to Fresno. To that end, we moved to the Tower Theatre, a decision that increased our costs but also increased our audience. The Tower Theater is centrally located in a multicultural neighborhood, and remains perfect for our objectives of educating the community about the importance of film as an educational and cultural medium.
Our monthly showings are typically at 5:30 and 8 p.m. We charge $10 for general admission and $8 for seniors and students. Show times and ticket prices vary for the Fresno Film Festival, which runs through multiple days each spring and includes Q&A sessions from visiting filmmakers from all over the world, panel discussions, social gatherings, and more.
Filmworks has been enormously successful at both bringing great film to the Central Valley and, more importantly, at creating broad community support for our endeavor. We hope you will join us.
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