Thursday, June 16, 2005

Liberty Film Festival Announced

A news release arrived in my email box with this lede:

The 2005 Liberty Film Festival, Hollywood's premier event for conservative and libertarian film, will be held this October 21-23, 2005 at the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood. The Liberty Film Festival showcases films that celebrate the traditional American values of free speech, patriotism, and religious freedom.
That's the week before the Virginia Film Festival, so I am unlikely to be able to attend both. Still, the Liberty Film Festival promises some tempting features:
The festival is currently accepting feature and short film submissions (both documentary and narrative). The festival will hold three juried competitions for Best Feature Film, Best Short Film, and Best Screenplay (unproduced). Best Feature Film and Best Short Film winners will each be awarded the Libertas Prize. The Screenplay Competition will have a $1000 prize. The deadline for all entries is August 21, 2005.

The Liberty Film Festival continues its innovative programming this year with a Producers Series, which includes panels on Film Production, TV Production, Screenwriting, and Film Finance & Distribution. The Festival will also feature a debate on the 1950's blacklist. Festival speakers will include Oscar and Emmy-nominated producers, directors, writers and actors. The Festival will also feature a Tribute to John Wayne, and a 100th Birthday Tribute to Ayn Rand.
Just so we don't think this is something completely on the fringe, the festival organizers do some impressive name-dropping:
The Liberty Film Festival is also pleased to announce its Board of Advisors (in alphabetical order): Stephen K. Bannon, Co-Chairman of Genius Products (distributor of films under the Wellspring, AMC & Sundance Channel labels), actress Morgan Brittany ("Dallas," "Melrose Place"), philanthropist Paul Harberger (President, Foundation for Free Markets), film critic and national talk show host Michael Medved ("The Michael Medved Show," "Right Turns"), and award-winning producer Douglas Urbanski ("The Contender," "Nil by Mouth"). Our Board of Advisors bring a wealth of experience to L.A.'s most cutting-edge film festival.
This is apparently the second in the series. I vaguely recall hearing about the festival last year, but the news release reminds us of some substantial media coverage:
The first Liberty Film Festival drew 3000 people in October of 2004 and attracted national media attention in the L.A. Times, Wall Street Journal, New York Times Magazine, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Variety, Hollywood Reporter, Newsmax, Weekly Standard, Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, and NPR.

Four films showcased at the festival -- "In The Face of Evil," "Celsius 41.11," "WMD," and "Impact: The Passion of the Christ," went on to theatrical distribution. The festival also spawned the popular conservative film blog LIBERTAS, which has recently been covered in Variety, USA Today and on CNN.
If I have some other reason to be in La-La Land in October, I may try to get tickets for the Liberty Film Festival. It would be an interesting event to write about.

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