Friday, August 22, 2008

IMPACT FILM FESTIVAL—Democratic National Convention Lineup

Cinemocracy In Action! A while back I announced the upcoming Impact Film Festival here on The Evening Class. Today I received the festival's official announcement of the confirmed panelists and moderators for its slate of films set to screen for lawmakers, candidates and delegates at the Democratic National Convention ("DNC"). Three U.S. Senators, eight U.S. Representatives, one Mayor, eight leading journalists/ commentators, as many party and issue activists along with luminaries Sheila Johnson, Kerry Kennedy, Davis Guggenheim and Grace Guggenheim, Hillary Rosen, James Hoffa and others are set to participate. Panelists for the Republican National Convention ("RNC") will be released in a subsequent announcement.

"This Festival set out to have an impact on political discourse and we are honored to have so many lawmakers, journalists and activists joining our filmmakers and subjects to discuss the issues and priorities explored in our exceptional films," said Jody Arlington, one of the Festival;s three co-founders.

Discussions will include the national debt, fair trade, Hurricane Katrina, stem-cell research, homelessness, and global water politics. Films screening include Accidental Advocate, Battle in Seattle, The Black List, Boogie Man: The Lee Atwater Story, Flow, Freeheld, I.O.U.S.A., Kicking It, Robert Kennedy Remembered, Trouble the Water and 14 Women.

The Festival was programmed by top festival programmers and industry visionaries including programmers from Toronto, Sundance, Tribeca, Los Angeles Film Festival, Full Frame and IFP among others. Key acquisition executives from POV, Netflix/Red Envelope and HBO also participated on the programming committee.

The Impact Film Festival is presented by Starz, which is hosting the Starz Green Room, a gathering place for convention attendees and the media with panels, topical films and a VIP lounge. Other programming in the venue is presented by Seachange Communications.

In addition to the feature films, IFF will show shorts from the Denver Film Society and Denver Office of Cultural Affairs, "Cinemocracy" online film contest, seeking films defining the meaning of democracy. More info at IFF will also show winners from the 2008 "FYI-Film Your Issue" online film contest. FYI-Film Your Issue is a two minute online film contest for young people age 14-24 to make films on issues most important to them. More info at


Accidental Advocate (DNC/RNC) / Director: Jessica Gerstle—A moving odyssey of a father and daughter who track down the thinkers, politicians, crusaders and nay-sayers at the heart of the federally-funded stem cell research quagmire. World Premiere.

DNC—Monday, August 25th 1:00PM
Panelists: Jessica Gerstle, Director; Claude Gerstle, Subject; Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA) of Energy & Commerce, Natural Resources Committees; and Dan Abrams, MSNBC, Moderator.

Battle In Seattle (DNC/RNC) / Director: Stuart Townsend—Chronicle of the dramatic events surrounding the 1999 World Trade Organization meetings in Seattle, Washington, featuring Charlize Theron (in attendance).

DNC—Tuesday, August 26th 3:00PM
Panelists: Stuart Townsend, Director; James Hoffa, President, Teamsters; Rep. George Miller (D-CA) (Chair, Education, Labor); Lori Wallach, Public Citizen, Moderator: and Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) will introduce the film.

Black List (DNC/RNC) / Directors: Timothy Greenfield-Sanders and Elvis Mitchell—Dramatic portraits of some of today's most fascinating and influential African-Americans. Famed Elvis Mitchell joins our discussion for an in-depth conversation about reclaiming "The Blacklist".

DNC—Wednesday, August 27th 3:00PM
Panelists: Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, Director; Elvis Mitchell, Producer; Rep. Gregory Meeks, (D-NY); Erica Williams, Center for American Progress; Jamal Simmons, commentator, CNN, Moderator; and Sheila Johnson, Co-founder, Black Entertainment Television will introduce the film.

Boogie Man: The Lee Atwater Story (DNC/RNC) / Director: Stefan Forbes—The life and controversial times of Lee Atwater, the late political strategist for the Republican Party.

DNC—Tuesday, August 26th 12:30PM
Panelists: Stefan Forbes, Director; Joe Conason, Salon, Subject; Eric Alterman, The Nation, Subject, Terry McAuliffe will introduce the film.

Flow: For Love of Water (DNC/RNC) / Director: Irena Salinas—While oil grabs headlines, the world's most important commodity is water. This compelling documentary examines what we are all taking for granted—and shouldn't.

DNC—Monday, August 25th 3:00PM
Panelists: Irena Salina, Director; Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-CA); and Caroline Libresco, Senior Programmer, Sundance Institute, will Introduce the film.

Freeheld (DNC) /Director: Cynthia Wade—The community unites to support police detective Laurel Hester's struggle to transfer her earned pension over to her domestic partner in this Academy-Award winning short film.

DNC—Tuesday, August 26th 10:30AM
Panelists: Bruce Brothers, Activist; Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA); Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI); Winnie Stachelberg, Center for American Progress, Moderator; and Hilary Rosen of the will introduce the film.

I.O.U.S.A. (DNC/RNC) / Director: Patrick Creadon—A bold examination of the rapidly growing national debt and its consequences for the United States and its citizens, brought to you by the director of Wordplay.

DNC—Monday, August 25th 10AM
Panelists: Patrick Creadon, Director; Christine O'Malley, Co-Director; David Walker, Former US Comptroller General, Subject; Rep. Allen Boyd (D-FL) (Appropriations Cmt.); Steven Clemons, New America Foundation, Moderator; and Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND) Budget (Chair), Finance, Joint Taxation will introduce the film.

Kicking It (DNC) / Directors: Susan Koch and Jeff Werner—For those who live on the sidelines of life, Director Susan Koch trains her camera on what happens when the homeless grab the ball and get in the game at the Homeless World Cup.

DNC—Wednesday, August 27th 10:30AM
Panelists: Susan Koch, Director; Lawrence Cann, Subject; Maria Cuomo Cole, Help USA; Liesl Copland, Moderator.

Robert Kennedy Remembered (DNC) / Director: Charles Guggenheim—Iconic portrait of Bobby Kennedy who gave voice to the aspirations of a generation and who continues to inspire with his message of hope and commitment to social justice. The film was originally presented at the1968 Democratic Convention 40 years ago.

DNC—Thursday, August 28th 2:30PM
Panelists: Davis and Grace Guggenheim will introduce the film; Kerry Kennedy will offer brief remarks following the film; and Kennedy family members in attendance.

Trouble the Water (DNC/RNC) / Directors: Tia Lessin and Carl Deal—2008 Sundance award-winner about poverty in America as seen through the eyes of a couple trapped in New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina.

DNC—Wednesday, August 27th 1:00PM
Panelists: Tia Lessin and Carl Deal, Directors; Kimberly and Scott Roberts, Subjects; Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN); Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post, Moderator; and Ray Nagin, New Orleans Mayor will introduce the film.

14 Women (DNC/RNC) / Director: Mary Lambert—Narrated by Annette Bening, this film follows female Senators such as Barbara Boxer, Hillary Clinton, Elizabeth Dole and Blanche Lincoln in the Capitol, on the road, on the campaign trail and even in their kitchen, exploring the issues, advantages and disadvantages of being a female politician in today's political climate.

DNC—Thursday, August 28th 12:30PM
Panelists: Mary Lambert, Director; Nicole Boxer, Producer; Sharon Oreck, Producer; Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA); Dee Dee Myers, former White House Press Secretary, Moderator; and Jean Picker Firstenberg, President Emerita of the American Film Institute will introduce the film, Confirmed.

At the Democratic Convention, the films will screen at the Starz FilmCenter in Denver, Colorado, August 25-28 as part of the Starz Green Room, at 900 Auraria Parkway, across from the Pepsi Center in Tivoli Center. At the Republican Convention, the films will screen at the Landmark Center in St. Paul September 1-4, at 75 W. 5th Street, near the Xcel Center. In addition to the day-time screenings, Impact Film Festival is hosting late night parties celebrating the filmmakers and saluting the Screen Actors Guild. For More information on screen times and ticketing, visit For more info contact: Jamie Shor, 301-437-1533,

The Impact Film Festival is a program of The Impact Film Fund, a 501 (c) 3 not-for-profit organization founded in 2008 by Jody Arlington, Jamie Shor and Kimball Stroud, three veterans of the Washington political and film arena. Their mission is to celebrate and elevate the diversity and power of documentary and narrative storytelling to engage nuanced conversation about the issues of the day and increase cinema's impact. For more information and Festival updates please visit our website at

Cross-published on Twitch.

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