WATERVILLE — The Maine Film Center will kickoff the 2017 Cinema Explorations film series at 10 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 14, and Sunday, Jan. 15, with screenings of “The Anthropologist” at Railroad Square Cinema, 17 Railroad St. A Q&A with the film’s director, Seth Kramer, will immediately follow the screening.

At the core of the film are the parallel stories of two women: Margaret Mead, who popularized cultural anthropology in America; and Susie Crate, an environmental anthropologist currently studying the impact of climate change. Uniquely revealed from their daughters’ perspectives, Mead and Crate demonstrate a fascination with how societies are forced to negotiate the disruption of their traditional ways of life, whether through encounters with the outside world or the unprecedented change wrought by melting permafrost, receding glaciers and rising tides.

Seth Kramer directed the film, along with Daniel A. Miller and Jeremy Newberger. Together they are Ironbound Films, which has produced a number of award winning and critically acclaimed documentaries, including “Évocateur: The Morton Downey Jr. Movie,” Emmy nominated “The New Recruits,” and Emmy nominated “The Linguists.”

Additional screenings in the 2017 Cinema Explorations series include “Speed Sisters” on Jan. 28 and 29, “As I Open My Eyes” on Feb. 4 and 5, “Disturbing The Peace” on Feb. 11 and 12, “After The Storm” on Feb. 25 and 26, and “The Babushkas of Chernobyl” on March 4 and 5. All screenings take place at 10 a.m. at Railroad Square Cinema. Screenings will be followed by a community Q&A and include free bagels provided by Bagel Mainea.

Individual tickets to Cinema Explorations screenings cost $8; festival passes (each pass admits one to all six films) cost $30. Railroad Square Cinema punch cards, complimentary tickets, and Maine Film Center membership benefits may also be used.

For more information visit www.railroadsquarecinema.com or call 873-6526.

Cinema Explorations is a venture of the Maine Film Center dedicated to fostering the voices and choices of our community of film lovers. The winter film series is programmed by a local, volunteer steering committee. Program goals are to present works of cinema from around the world that will enrich, educate and entertain filmgoers and encourage the shared experience of communal film viewing and thoughtful discussion. Series support is generously provided by SBS Carbon Copy, Bagel Mainea, Buen Apetito, and Grand Central Cafe.

The Maine Film Center is a non-profit organization devoted to strengthening Maine culture through education, dialogue, and the celebration of film and art. Programs include the Maine International Film Festival, the operation of Railroad Square Cinema, and special events and series such as Cinema Explorations and Monday Night Movies. For more information visit www.mainefilmcenter.org.

“The Anthropologist”

10 a.m. Jan. 14 and 15

website: www.ironboundfilms.com.

At the core of “The Anthropologist” are the parallel stories of two women: Margaret Mead, who popularized cultural anthropology in America; and Susie Crate, an environmental anthropologist currently studying the impact of climate change. Uniquely revealed from their daughters’ perspectives, Mead and Crate demonstrate a fascination with how societies are forced to negotiate the disruption of their traditional ways of life, whether through encounters with the outside world or the unprecedented change wrought by melting permafrost, receding glaciers and rising tides. Unrated. 78 minutes.

“Speed Sisters”

10 a.m. Jan. 28 and 29

The Speed Sisters are the first all-woman race car driving team in the Middle East. Grabbing headlines and turning heads at improvised tracks across the West Bank, these five women have sped their way into the heart of the gritty, male-dominated Palestinian street car-racing scene.

Weaving together their lives on and off the track, “Speed Sisters” takes you on a surprising journey into the drive to go further and faster than anyone thought you could. Unrated. 80 minutes.

“As I Open My Eyes”

10 a.m. Feb. 4 and 5

This music-filled, French-Tunisian production is set in Tunis, summer 2010, a few months before the Revolution, and depicts the clash between culture and family as seen through the eyes of a young Tunisian woman balancing the traditional expectations of her family with her creative life, as the singer in a politically charged rock band. Director Leyla Bouzid’s feature offers a nuanced portrait of the implications of the Arab Spring on the lives of young people in the region, while also creating a complex story about a young woman using art to transform her reality. Unrated. 102 minutes.

“Disturbing The Peace”

10 a.m. Feb. 11 and 12

“Disturbing the Peace” is a story of the human potential unleashed when we stop participating in a story that no longer serves us and, with the power of our convictions, take action to create new possibilities. The film follows former enemy combatants — Israeli soldiers from elite units and Palestinian fighters, many of whom served years in prison — who have joined together to challenge the status quo and say “enough.”

The film reveals their transformational journeys from soldiers committed to armed battle to nonviolent peace activists, leading to the creation of Combatants for Peace. While based in the Middle East, “Disturbing The Peace” evokes universal themes relevant to us all and inspires us to become active participants in the creation of our world. Unrated. 82 minutes.

“After The Storm”

10 a.m. Feb. 25 and 26

“After The Storm” is from the profoundly humanist Japanese director, Hirokazu Kore-eda (“Our Little Sister”). Dwelling on his past glory as a prize-winning author, Ryota wastes the money he makes as a private detective on gambling and can barely pay child support. After the death of his father, his aging mother and ex-wife seem to be moving on with their lives.

Renewing contact with his initially distrusting family, Ryota struggles to take back control of his existence and to find a lasting place in the life of his young son — until a stormy summer night offers them a chance to truly bond again. Unrated. 117 minutes.

“The Babushkas of Chernobyl”

10 a.m. March 4 and 5

In the radioactive Dead Zone surrounding Chernobyl’s Reactor No. 4, a defiant community of women scratches out an existence on some of the most toxic land on Earth. They share this hauntingly beautiful but lethal landscape with an assortment of interlopers — scientists, soldiers, and even ‘stalkers’ — young thrill-seekers who sneak in to pursue post-apocalyptic video game-inspired fantasies. Why the film’s central characters, Hanna Zavorotyna, Maria Shovkuta and Valentyna Ivanivna, chose to return after the disaster, defying the authorities and endangering their health, is a remarkable tale about the pull of home, the healing power of shaping one’s destiny and the subjective nature of risk.

“The Babushkas of Chernobyl” has won 11 prizes during its festival appearances — including four Audience Awards. Unrated. 70 minutes.

For more information, visit www.mainefilmcenter.org.