August - September 2008
At the 2008 Democratic and Republican National Conventions, Impact Film Festival showcased 14 socially themed documentary and dramatic films, followed by panel discussions with an engaging mix of filmmakers, entertainers, lawmakers and other civic leaders. The featured films were powerful, thought provoking, relevant to our times, exploring subjects on the minds of the activists, delegates, party leaders and candidates attending the Conventions. The films included:
Narrated by Annette Bening, this film follows female Senators such as Barbara Boxer, Hillary Clinton 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.
When Claude Gerstle, a surgeon and athlete, suffers a tragic bicycle accident that leaves him paralyzed from the neck down, he and his daughter, Jessica (former producer, Dateline NBC), embark on a moving odyssey to track down the thinkers, politicians, crusaders and nay-sayers at the heart of the federally funded stem cell research quagmire. Featuring Michael J. Fox, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Orin Hatch, Sam Brownback. World Premiere.
IMPACT's featured narrative film, Battle in Seattle is an all-star, edge-of-your-seat glimpse at the 1999 WTO demonstrations in Seattle, told from the perspective of protesters, police, and city officials.
In a film that works as series of living portraits, twenty prominent African Americans of various professions, disciplines and backgrounds offer their own stories and insights on the struggles, triumphs and joys of black life in this country and manage to re-define "blacklist" for a new century in the process.
A comprehensive look at Lee Atwater, the blues-playing rogue whose rambunctious rise from the South to Chairman of the GOP made him a household name. He mentored Karl Rove and George W. Bush while leading the Republican Party to historic victories and transforming the way America elects its Presidents. Featuring Ed Rollins, Michael Dukakis, Tucker Eskew, Howard Fineman, Mary Matalin, Sam Donaldson and more.
Flow: For Love Of Water highlights the local intimacies of an emerging global catastrophe: African plumbers reconnect shantytown water pipes under cover of darkness to ensure a community's survival; a Californian scientist forces awareness of shockingly toxic public water sources; a ‘Big Water’ CEO argues privatization is the wave of the future; a “Water Guru” in India sparks new community water initiatives in hundreds of villages; a Canadian author uncovers the corporate profiteering that drives global water business.
Ripped from the headlines, Freeheld is a touching and compelling story about one woman who fights for domestic partnership while struggling to survive lung cancer. Forced to leave her job because of her diagnosis with the disease after 25 years spent serving Ocean County, New Jersey, Lieutenant Laurel Hester is committed to changing state law and leaving her pension to her loving partner, Stacie. Acclaimed director Cynthia Wade weaves a gripping and tender documentary that is filled with courage and hope for all of the LGBT community in the struggle for equal rights. Academy Award winner for documentary short subject.
I.O.U.S.A. is a documentary film that explores the United States’ current economic situation, including the country’s ever growing federal debt, over extended entitlement programs and increased foreign competition. As the baby boomers prepared to retire, an economic disaster of epic proportions awaits. In this non-partisan film, director Partick Creadon demystifies the nation’s financial practices and policies. I.O.U.S.A. drives home the message that when armed with the facts and figures, the American public can hold accountable those entrusted with the grave responsibility of running the country.
It began in 2001 as a wild idea by a Scot and an Austrian -- to give homeless people a chance to change their lives through an international street soccer competition. The word went out on the streets. Five years later, 20,000 homeless people from 48 countries were training hard and competing to represent their country in the 4th Annual Homeless World Cup in Cape Town, South Africa.
Charles Guggenheim's 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 forty years ago.
A 2008 Academy Award nominee for Best Documentary, Trouble the Water is a riveting exploration of poverty in America as seen through the eyes of a couple trapped in New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina. This film received the Grand Jury Prize for Documentary at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. The New York Times says "Superb... One of the best American documentaries in recent memory."