2009-10-01 OPENING NIGHT: 9500 Liberty -- 2009 DC Asian Pacific American Film
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 nations 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.
It 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 worlds 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 channels 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
Directors Eric Byler & Annabel Park scheduled for attendance
Landmark E Street Cinemas
555 11th Street NW
Washington, DC 20004
|Kid Friendly: No|
|Dog Friendly: No|
|Wheelchair Accessible: No|