Monthly film events kick off on Oct. 28 with ‘America First’ documentary

October 26, 2018

Monthly film events kick off Oct. 28 with ‘America First’ documentary

The 10th annual Oneota Film Festival, co-sponsored by Luther College, is set for Thursday through Saturday, March 7-9, 2019, on the Luther campus and in downtown Decorah.

Local filmmakers and those from around the world can submit their films for judging and possible inclusion at Submissions will be judged by an international jury of filmmakers, educators and professionals. Relevant films must meet the OFF mission: “We focus on the issues of our time, including environmental, social justice, arts, adventure, fitness, eco-travel, food/agriculture and creativity as well as films that address the human condition. We especially look for films oriented to local issues or local impact.”

As a kickoff to the film festival, OFF is hosting monthly film events at various locations in the Decorah community. All monthly showings are open to the public with no charge for admissions.

The first showing is the Univision film “America First: The Legacy of an Immigration Raid,” at 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 28, at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church Fellowship Hall, 701 Iowa Ave., Decorah, Iowa. The documentary by filmmakers Almudena Toral and Andrea Patiño Contreras focuses on Postville, Iowa, 10 years after the largest immigration raid at a worksite in U.S. history. In 2008, the Agriprocessors plant was raided by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, resulting in 389 immigrants being arrested from the largest kosher meatpacking plant in the country. The filmmakers returned to Postville 10 years later to document the effects on the people in the town.

Following the film, Ruth Palmer, a long-time immigration advocate, and Marty Steele, an Accompanying Migrant Minors with Protections, Advocacy, Representation and Opportunities representative, will hold a question and answer session following the film.

Both the film and the discussion are sponsored by OFF and the Northeast Iowa Peace and Justice Center.

A complete list of upcoming events and more information about OFF is at

The Oneota Film Festival was initiated by Luther College in 2008 by Luther alumni Walter Ordway, class of 1969, and Kyrl Henderson, class of 1971. The festival has grown from highlighting documentary films with a sustainability theme to now including films from students and professionals with topics ranging from horror to romantic comedy to animations.

A national liberal arts college with an enrollment of 2,005, Luther offers an academic curriculum that leads to the Bachelor of Arts degree in more than 60 majors and pre-professional programs. For more information about Luther visit the college’s website: