Center Aisle Cinema

Just like books, film has the power to inform and inspire.

Each month at the Columbia Public Library, we offer a free screening of a thought-provoking documentary to help our community delve deeper into contemporary issues. Through this series, we frequently show films that have been celebrated by the True/False Film Fest as well as other highly-acclaimed film festivals. We also partner with POV, PBS’ award-winning nonfiction film series, to bring you the most relevant and groundbreaking documentaries of the year.

Mark your calendars now with our upcoming film screenings. Better yet, sign up for our email newsletter so that you receive reminders for upcoming programs directly in your inbox! You can also check out previous Center Aisle Cinema films in the library catalog.

Upcoming Film Programs

Big Men
Wednesday, September 12, 2018, 6:30 p.m.
Columbia Public Library, Friends Room

What happens when desperately poor people discover an incredibly valuable resource coveted by multinational corporations? This year’s One Read documentary selection, “Big Men” is a window into a secret world, where shady characters make oil deals worth billions of dollars and heavily armed militants and mercenaries lurk. Filmed with unprecedented access, this film by Rachel Boynton follows a small group of American explorers at Dallas-based oil company Kosmos Energy over a four-year period as it develops the first commercial oil field in Ghana. A 2014 True/False Film Fest selection. (2014, 102 minutes)


Bill Nye: Science Guy
Wednesday, October 10, 2018, 6:30 p.m.
Columbia Public Library, Friends Room

Bill Nye is a man on a mission: to stop the spread of anti-scientific thinking across the world. The former star of the popular kids’ show “Bill Nye: Science Guy” is now advocating for the importance of science, research and discovery in public life. With intimate and exclusive access—as well as plenty of wonder and whimsy—this behind-the-scenes portrait of Nye follows him as he takes off his Science Guy lab coat and takes on those who deny climate change, evolution and a science-based worldview. Directed by David Alvarado and Jason Sussberg and shown in collaboration with POV, PBS’ award-winning nonfiction film series. (2018, 90 minutes)


Brimstone & Glory
Wednesday, November 14, 2018, 6:30 p.m.
Columbia Public Library, Friends Room

The National Pyrotechnic Festival in Tultepec, Mexico, is a site of festivity unlike any other in the world. Conflagrant revelry engulfs the town, while artisans show off their technical virtuosity. For the three-quarters of Tultepec residents who work in pyrotechnics, the festival anchors their way of life. It is an explosive event with unrestrained delight and real peril. Plunging headlong into the fire, this visually stunning film honors the spirit of Tultepec’s community and celebrates celebration itself. A 2017 True/False Film Fest selection. Directed by Viktor Jakovleski and shown in collaboration with POV, PBS’ award-winning nonfiction film series. (2018, 60 minutes)