Iowan who traveled the world and showed his home movies at schools is remembered
September 15th, 2012 by Ric Hanson
An Iowa man who brought the world to thousands of Iowa students over three decades will be remembered in Stuart this weekend. Al Bell traveled all over the planet and filmed his adventures, then visited schools across Iowa and made grand presentations. His daughter, Becky Bell-Greenstreet, says the film festival of her father’s work is the second one they’ve held in the past few years. Bell-Greenstreet says Sunday’s event will feature films that were not shown two years ago as there’s now a complete film library of her dad’s movies. Bell made his appearances in schools across Iowa between 1949 and 1979, highlighting his trips to Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas.
She says her father was always well-received whenever he visited a rural Iowa school. “Those gyms and auditoriums were just packed to the rafters,” with kids from kindergarten through high school in one assembly, she says, “and my dad’s job was to teach them about a particular country. She says her dad would go all out for the films and for the assemblies. He would come out in costume and taught the students words in foreign tongues while the movies were well-produced and funny, artistic and sometimes bringing screams of surprise from students. T
he Al Bell Film Festival will be held at the Saints Center in Stuart, opening at noon, with artifacts, costumes, photos, foreign dolls, original posters and films on display. Films will be shown at 1 and 3 PM. Learn more at: “www.albellremembered.com”