The lack of diversity or positive portrayal of difference in mainstream movies was often a conversation in the film studies classes I took in college.

Now, in my position at The Grand Cinema, I am constantly inspired by the many independent films we show that tackle these issues head on and work toward better representation in media.

This focus culminates every spring when we work with the Tacoma Community College (TCC), an organization that also sees the importance of celebrating difference through film as a way to celebrate our own community. 

Now in its sixth year, the TCC Diversity Film Series offers special screenings that entertain, inspire, explore and celebrate individual and cultural differences. This year's incredible films highlight physical, ethnic, racial, and cultural diversity with themes that challenge and inspire audiences.

Movies play at The Grand Cinema April 10-27 with limited screenings and related events for the following must-see films:


Meet the Patels

A real life rom-com documentary

I love the great blend of animation and documentary footage from sibling filmmakers Ravi and Geeta Patel. The form-pushing style and tone creates a comedic, often raw glimpse into the life of Ravi Patel, an Indian American who enters a love triangle with the woman of his dreams -- and his parents. This hilarious, heartwarming film reveals how love can be a family affair. Meet the Patels plays only once; it's a gem I highly recommend making time to see.

April 10 | 2:00 PM

TCC Diversity Film Series Gala

Attend the film and join the Tacoma Community College for complimentary refreshments following April 10 screening of Meet The Patels


Straight Outta Compton

Chronicling the rise of the artists that changed hip hop

The rap group N.W.A. emerges from the streets of Compton in Los Angeles in the mid-1980s and revolutionizes Hip Hop culture with their music and stories about life in the hood.

Starring Corey Hawkins, O'Shea Jackson Jr., Jason Mitchell.

April 14 | 2:00 PM, 6:30 PM



A feminist coming of age tale

In a village in Northern Turkey, five daring sisters find ways to rebel against the restraints and arranged marriages thrust upon them by their family.

April 19 | 2:00 PM, 6:30 PM

Landfill Harmonic

The true story how a community turned trash to treasure

A documentary following the Recycled Orchestra of Cateura, a Paraguayan musical youth group of kids whose instruments are made entirely from garbage found in one of South America's largest landfills.

April 21| 2:00 PM, 6:30 PM


Saving Face

Pursuing love that defies tradition

Written and directed by Alice Wu.A Chinese-American woman and her traditionalist mother are reluctant to go public with secret loves that clash against cultural expectations. Shown in English, Mandarin, and Shanghainese.

April 24 | 2:00 PM

The Hand that Feeds

Social justice led by a New York sandwich maker

A documentary following one man as he sets out to end abusive conditions at a popular New York restaurant chain. The power struggle that ensues turns a single city block into a battlefield in America's new wage wars.

Join the Skype Q &A with the film's co-director and producer, Robin Blotnick following the afternoon screening. Based out of Brooklyn, Robin Blotnick and his partner Rachel Lears are the creators of Jubilee Films. Their mission is to tell smart, nuanced, entertaining stories that transcend borders, engage audiences from all walks of life, and challenge popular assumptions.

April 27 | 2:00 PM, 6:30 PM

Tickets for Diversity Series films are regularly priced for the general public ($8 matinee, $10 General Admission with discounts for students, military, seniors and Grand Members).

Admission is reduced for students of Tacoma Community College with picture ID: TCC students pay $2 per ticket for films in the Diversity Series (only available at The Grand's box office).

Tickets are on sale now and we strongly suggest buying in advance since seating is limited and we wouldn't want you to miss out on the chance of seeing these films on the big screen.

Support independent filmmaking and better representation of our community and world!