2009 Program Detail »

Opening Night – 9500 Liberty

Opening Night – 9500 Liberty

9500 Liberty

9500 Liberty

Directed by: Annabel Park and Eric Byler
Runtime: 82 min
Year: 2009
Country: USA
Language(s): English, Spanish w/ English subtitles
Website: Official Site

Directors Annabel Park & Eric Byler scheduled for attendance
Screening followed by Q&A.
A reception follows screening on the rooftop terrace of 575 7th Street NW.

In his latest film, critically-acclaimed director Eric Byler (Charlotte Sometimes, Americanese) switches out the narrative lens for a documentary point of view as he brings a hotly-debated political issue into focus: a battle between citizens and elected officials over polices related to immigration that plays out in the backyard of the nation‘s capital.

Along with co-director Annabel Park, Byler engages in meaningful dialogue with the concerned residents and leaders of Prince William County, Va. who become entangled in this issue. The filmmakers spend nearly two years wading through the tense political, social and economic climate of this area, taking their camera through the diverse streets, stores and town halls of a community that has faced an influx of immigrants in recent years.

The debate begins with a bitter attempt by County Supervisors, urged by anti-immigration networks, to pass a law requiring police officers to stop and question anyone they have “probable cause” to suspect is an undocumented immigrant. Launching the world’s first “interactive documentary” series on YouTube, Byler and Park unraveled the issue in real-time, posting interviews conducted with key players in government and interest group leaders on both sides; recordings of public hearings; and conversations on the ground.

As the public began to frequent this site as a go-to source for information and as a sounding board on immigration, the channel’s popularity skyrocketed and sparked fierce debate both online and off, grabbing the attention of the local and national media, and eventually leading to an invitation to testify before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights on immigration issues.

9500 Liberty not only reveals a democracy in danger of succumbing to the forces of fear and hate, it illustrates the potency of the Internet and new media to inspire participation and leadership on all levels in the political and community building process during times of economic and political uncertainty.
—Anna Petrillo

Preceded by:

The Other Way Round

The Other Way Round

Directed by: Geoffrey Quan
Runtime: 14 min
Year: 2008
Country: USA
Language(s): English
Website: Official Site

A chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer phoenix arizona woman organizes a fake wedding to evade her pending deportation. Using her best friend’s fiancé probably wasn’t the best idea.

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