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University of Iowa News Release


Oct. 24, 2007

International Writing Program Cinematheque presents free screenings Oct. 28

The University of Iowa International Writing Program (IWP) Cinematheque series will present a free screening of the influential 1971 Maltese film "Gagga" (The Cage) and the short 2000 film "Promise" from Singapore at 8 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 28, in Room E105 of the Adler Journalism Building.

"Promise," which follows the lives of several couples trying to make good on the promise of the Singapore government to fully fund the education of the first baby born in the new millennium, was based on a short story by current IWP participant Verena Tay.

"Gagga" will be introduced by Simone Inguanez, a lawyer from Malta who has also published two collections of poetry.

A study of political and religious fanaticism in Malta in the 1960s, "Gagga" was the first film directed by Mario Azzopardi, who has since worked primarily in television, including episodes of "In the Heat of the Night," "Highlander," "RoboCop," "The Outer Limits" and "Stargate: Atlantis."

Although "Gagga" was a student film, it is now considered a landmar, the first feature made in Malta with dialogue in the Maltese language.

Inguanez participates in the IWP through the support of the U.S. Embassy in Floriana, Malta. Tay's website is She participates in the IWP through the support of the National Arts Council of Singapore, the Singapore International Foundation, the Substation arts center and other sources.

The IWP introduces talented writers to American life; enables them to take part in American university life; and provides them with time, in a setting congenial to their efforts, for the production of literary work. Since 1967, more than 1,100 writers from more than 120 countries have attended the IWP, including Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk from Turkey.

This fall the IWP is hosting writers from more than 30 countries through November, including the program's first participants from Malta and Montenegro. The schedule will provide many opportunities for the public to meet and interact with the writers in social events, formal and informal readings, lectures, performances, film screenings and panel discussions.

Biographies of all the IWP writers are accessible at A description of the program and the 2007 residency period is accessible at

The evolving calendar of events is accessible at and on the IWP site. These calendars will be updated regularly as new events are added.

For UI arts information and calendar updates, visit To receive UI arts news by e-mail, go to, click the link "Join or leave the list (or change settings)" and follow the instructions.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACT: Winston Barclay, 319-384-0073 (office), 319-430-1013 (cell),