The Santa Monica College Public Policy Institute will present “Public Policy in the Movies,” a community discussion on public policy issues in films, at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 24 in Room 123 of the college’s Bundy Campus, 3171 S. Bundy Drive, Mar Vista.

The event is free, and free parking is available. The dialogue features Sheila Kuehl, former state senator and current founding director of the Public Policy Institute.

During the event, which follows up on the institute’s “Public Policy on Broadway” event last year, Kuehl will use a clip from films including “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?,” “Chinatown,” “Inherit the Wind,” and “The Wizard of Oz” to lead a discussion of public policy issues ranging from mass transit to education to the messiness of democracy.

“People go to the movies all the time and they often don’t focus on decision points in the films that are public policy decisions and how they affect millions of lives,” said Kuehl, a former television and film actor.

“I want people, at least once a year, to think generally about public policy in a larger context, not just how they’re going to vote that year.”

The ongoing mission of the institute is to engage the community in analyzing issues of public policy, especially those that affect local jurisdictions like cities and counties, and to provide forums such as the Feb. 24 event for civic engagement. The institute was launched last April to a full house with a forum on the impact of budget cuts.

Seating is limited, and reservations are required. To RSVP, ppi.rsvp@smc.edu, or (310) 434-3429.

For more information about the institute and its activities, Kuehl.website@gmail.com.

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