NEW THIS YEAR — FILM FESTIVAL MOVES FROM D.C. TO LOS ANGELES FOR HYBRID EVENT, SHOWCASING 15+ SHORT DOCUMENTARY FILMS
TICKETS FOR FIFTH ANNUAL FESTIVAL AND STREAMING VIRTUALLY ON SALE OCT. 20
PLUS — SPECIAL EPISODE OF ‘MEET THE PRESS REPORTS’ SHOWCASING SELECT FESTIVAL FILMS ON NBC NEWS NOW AND PEACOCK ON NOV. 11
Oct. 13, 2021 – The Meet the Press Film Festival at AFI FEST returns for its fifth year on Thursday, Nov. 11. The short documentary film festival will take place as part of AFI FEST with in-person screenings in Los Angeles, along with virtual screenings online. Early bird passes are available now at FEST.AFI.com. Tickets to in-person and virtual screenings will be available to the public beginning Wednesday, Oct. 20 at FEST.AFI.com.
The Meet the Press Film Festival celebrates five years of showcasing the best issue-based documentary shorts that shed light on the most consequential issues of our time. This unique platform connects filmmakers, subjects, audiences and NBC News through film and documentary storytelling.
The lineup for the 2021 Meet the Press Film Festival at AFI FEST will feature 15 short documentary films from four countries that spotlight pressing issues facing our society, ranging from racial and gender equality, immigration and democracy, to criminal justice and police reform among others.
Over the last five years the film festival has been the leading home for nearly 100 short documentary films from nine countries and more than a dozen Oscar® and Emmy® nominees including “Knife Skills,” “Edith + Eddie” and “Heroin(e)” in 2018. Plus, “Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You’re A Girl)”, featured at the film festival in 2019, won the 2020 Oscar for Best Documentary Short Subject at the 92nd-annual Academy Awards.
NBC News correspondents and anchors, including Chuck Todd, Andrea Mitchell, Jacob Soboroff, Shaq Brewster, Ali Vitali and Morgan Radford, will moderate thought-provoking conversations with filmmakers following each program for both virtual and in-person audiences.
Meet the Press will extend the festival with an in-depth look at some of the best films in this year’s showcase with a special edition of Meet the Press Reports, a weekly newsmagazine focused on a single topic, streaming on Nov. 11 on NBC News NOW and on-demand on Peacock.
Early bird passes are now available at FEST.AFI.com, and individual tickets for in-person and virtual screenings and events will be available to AFI members on Oct. 19 and the general public on Oct. 20.
This year’s Meet the Press Film Festival lineup includes:
PROGRAM ONE: WHERE I BELONG
Home can be a place, a community, or a memory. The search for belonging takes many forms.
- Golden Age Karate
USA, 5 min
Directed by Sindha Agha
Teen karate pro Jeff Wall teaches senior citizens self-defense at a local nursing home, giving them the tools to feel in control, connected and cared for.
- Coded: The Hidden Love Of J.C. Leyendecker
USA, 29 min
Directed by: Ryan White
The coded advertisements of legendary early-20th century gay illustrator J.C. Leyendecker quietly, but directly, acknowledged a community that was forced to live in the closet.
- The Train Station
Canada, 2 min
Directed by Lyana Patrick
In this beautifully animated documentary short, filmmaker Lyana Patrick narrates her family’s powerful story of love and survival at Lejac Indian Residential School.
- Lead Me Home
USA, 38 min
Directed by Pedro Kos and Jon Shenk
A short presenting the epidemic of homelessness in America with candid testimonials from the unhoused. A poetic portrait of our culture’s fraying edges and the people who inhabit them.
PROGRAM TWO: PROMISES
America is a land of promises, but some promises are traps.
- The Facility
USA, 27 min
Directed by Seth Freed Wessler
A group of immigrants, detained inside an infamous American detention center as the pandemic spreads, organize in protest to demand protections and their release.
- The Interview
USA, 20 min
Directed by Jonathan Miller, Zachary Russo
The film forces viewers to confront their own feelings about justice and mercy, while revealing the heavy toll our current system takes on incarcerated people and their families.
- Bree Wayy: Promise Witness Remembrance
USA, 29 min
Directed by Dawn Porter
A film by award-winning director and 2021 AFI DOCS Charles Guggenheim Symposium honoree Dawn Porter that looks at how the art world responded to the death of Breonna Taylor by using art not only as a form of protest but as a space to heal.
PROGRAM THREE: DEMOCRACY … ON THE LINE
Around the world, defending democracy takes work.
- Party Line
USA, 7 min
Directed by Lydia Cornett
At the early voting line in Ohio’s most populous county, civic duty is a public performance.
- Red Taxi
USA/Hong Kong, 14 min
Directed by Anonymous
As protests unfold in Hong Kong, RED TAXI shows a city in upheaval through the eyes of those who must traverse the streets day and night to make a living.
USA, 38 min
Directed by Emma Francis-Snyder
An exploration of July 14, 1970, when members of the Young Lords Party stormed the Lincoln Hospital in South Bronx, making their cries for decent healthcare heard by the world.
PROGRAM FOUR: GHOSTS & LEGACIES
America’s dark racial past isn’t in the past.
- Meltdown In Dixie
USA, 40 min
Directed by Emily Harrold
A film exploring the broader role of Confederate symbolism in the 21st century and the lingering racial oppression which these symbols help maintain.
- Lynching Postcards: ‘Token of a Great Day’
USA, 16 min
Directed by Christine Turner
From 1880–1968 over 4,000 African Americans were lynched at the hands of white mobs. These lynchings were commemorated through souvenir postcards that would ultimately be subverted by Black activists to expose racist violence in the U.S.
- They Won’t Call It Murder
USA, 24 min
Directed by Melissa Gira Grant and Ingrid Raphael
Mothers, sisters and grandmothers of those killed by Columbus police, seeking justice in a community bound together by grief and a system that refuses to call these killings murder.
PROGRAM FIVE: AFTER THE WAR
The trauma of war leaves room for new understanding.
- Camp Confidential: America’s Secret Nazis
USA, 34 min
Directed by Daniel Sivan and Mor Loushy
During WWII, a group of young Jewish refugees are sent to a secret POW camp near Washington, DC, and they soon discover that the prisoners are Hitler’s top scientists.
- Mission: Hebron
Israel, 24 min
Directed by Rona Segal
Israeli soldiers are recruited at age 18 and, only months later, are already overseeing Palestinian civil life. Former soldiers describe their time in Hebron, the most troubled city in the West Bank.
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