SilverDocs Opens with Chaplin Doc.; Hosts "Politics Night"
by Brian Brooks
With seventy documentaries from 68 countries, SilverDocs will kick off its first festival with the North American premiere of Richard Schickel's "Charlie: the Life and Art of Charles Chaplin," followed by a gala reception at Discovery Communications world headquarters. Also set to screen is Ron Frank's documentary, "Only in America," which follows the first-ever vice presidential campaign by a Jewish candidate, Joseph Lieberman. The film tracks the controversial 2000 race through Lieberman's recent announcement that he will seek the Democratic presidential nomination in 2004.
The Lieberman doc is part of the festival's "Politics Night," which includes a presentation of Spike Lee's 10-minute short, "We Wuz Robbed," about the decision by Al Gore to first concede the presidential race to George W. Bush, then recant. Following both films, Democratic media strategist Carter Eskew, Mark McKinnon, media advisor to Bush and Jackie Calmes, political features editor for "The Wall Street Journal," will participate in a discussion moderated by ABC News political director Mark Halperin about faith in politics as well as the 2004 presidential campaign.
Competition features screening SilverDocs include Agnieszka Lukasiak's "The Nameless War." The film centers on a Polish-Swedish woman who travels to Algeria to capture death and destruction, but finds love and frustration in the war-torn Muslim country. Also featured is Rory Kennedy's film, "A Boy's Life," about a boy in Europa, Mississippi who fights to overcome personal struggle. Etienne Sauret's look at the fall out of 9/11 on New York firefighters in "Collateral Damages" will screen in competition along with Michael Perlman's "Eyes of the World," about journalists in the Balkans War who try to maintain their humanity amidst conflict.
On Sunday, June 22 the festival will host community day in downtown Silver Spring. Gatherers will be able to explore the Discovery Communications world headquarters and view SilverDocs award-winning films and audience favorites. SilverDocs is a collaboration between AFI and the Discovery Channel.
[For more information, please visit: http://www.silverdocs.com.]