Sheema Kalbasi is an award-winning Iranian poet, documentary filmmaker, human rights activist, and outspoken defender of ethnic and religious minority rights. Like many poets, she writes about love and loss, but she also channels Iranian heritage by writing about exile and the courage of women who protect their children from a hateful existence. She has worked for the United Nations and taught disadvantaged Pakistani children as well as Baha'i refugee children.

She recently released a new documentary, "Women on the Front Line," which details the determination and struggles that Iranian women faced for the past 30 years. The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at the University of Maryland, College Park, is screening the doc at a free event beginning at 5:30 p.m. A panel discussion with Kalbasi will follow.


Across town at another university, another documentary is being screened. "Married in Spandex" (the titled alone has us intrigued) follows the lives of Amanda and Rachel, who have ventured from the their home in the City of Brotherly Love to a small town in Iowa for their wedding day. The couple is determined to make the wedding a special family affair rather than a political statement about family values. But while they have planned the day of their spandex-clad dreams, will it be supported by their friends and family?

This documentary asks some heavy questions, but it is still first and foremost a love story.

There will be a screening at the GW Law School Student Conference Center (2000 H St. NW) at 6:30 p.m. followed by a panel discussion with the directors. This event is free.