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The Investigative Film Festival Unveils Full Lineup, Including ‘Spotlight’ and Symposium Programs

The Investigative Film Festival Unveils Full Lineup, Including 'Spotlight' and Symposium Programs

Nonprofit investigative news organization 100Reporters has
announced its lineup of seven films for the nation’s first Investigative Film
Festival (IFF). IFF will run from September 30 – October 2 in Washington D.C. and will open with Tom McCarthy’s “Spotlight,” the acclaimed thriller about
the Boston Globe’s reporting on the sexual abuse of children by priests in the
Boston archdiocese. The film stars Liev Schreiber, Mark Ruffalo and Michael Keaton.

READ MORE: Review: How Michael Keaton Saves ‘Spotlight’

IFF will close with “(T)error,” an inside look at FBI
informant Saeed “Shariff” Torres on what he swears is his last sting
operation, filmed without the knowledge of his FBI handlers.

“The boundaries between journalists and visual
storytellers have begun to overlap in important ways, but the opportunities for
them to meet in a setting aimed at furthering their work, jointly and
individually, are almost nonexistent,” said Diana Jean Schemo, the
festival’s founding director. “Our goal is to seed the next harvest of
great investigative films, by opening new conversations.”

Take a look below for the IFF lineup, and visit the IFF website for more

IFF Film & Symposium Program

All films to be screened at the Smithsonian’s National
Portrait Gallery, and the two-day concurrent Symposium to take place at the
Woolly Mammoth Theatre and the Newseum.

Wednesday, September 30 – Opening Night

Opening Night Screening – “Spotlight”:
Dir. Tom McCarthy. USA. 

Thursday, October 1 – Symposium Program

Opening RemarksKathy
Im, Director of Media, Culture and Special Initiatives, The John D. and
Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

A Case of IdentityInvestigative
journalist… Filmmaker… Visual storyteller… What do each of these identities
mean for the way stories are told, for the role of the storyteller, for ethics
and legal protections? As the boundaries between these crafts blur and collide,
are the distinct identities vanishing as well, or are they more important than

Truth To Power: Trapdoors: Journalists
and filmmakers are increasingly taking on powerful corporate interests and
institutions. What happens when the targets of investigations go after the
investigator? What are the areas of vulnerability, and how can reporters and
visual storytellers protect themselves?

Encryption You Can Live With Workshop: Do
you find encryption more hassle than hero? This workshop will give you a basic
toolkit for protecting the confidentiality of communications. Your sources will
thank you.

Safety on the Frontlines: Pursuit
of a story can put reporters and filmmakers at physical risk in the field.
Navigating the balance between storytelling and personal safety can make the
difference between getting the killer shot and living to tell the tale. This
panel will explore essential training and preparation for entering an area of
conflict, and the measures that reporters and filmmakers can take to protect

Meet the
Broadcasters: Lightning talks from broadcasters on the kinds
of work they’ve produced in the past, what they’re looking for going forward,
and the best way to approach them with new stories and ideas.

From Print to Screen: Investigative
stories that originated with the written word and were then reinterpreted for
the screen.  How much does the film rely on the original writing and how
does the addition of the audio/visual component impact the story? Hear
first-hand how such collaborations have worked and what was gained or lost in
the transition for both the filmmakers and the journalists.

Thursday, October 1 – Evening Film Program

“The True Cost”: Dir. Andrew
Morgan. USA. 

Youth Screening

“Cartel Land”: Dir.
Matthew Heineman. USA/Mexico.

“Deep Web”: Dir. Alex
Winter. USA. 

Friday, October 2 – Symposium Program

C#NS*RSH!P By Proxy: It’s
not only government action that can block public access to investigative
reporting. Pre-publication smear campaigns, insurance issues, and the mere
threat of litigation – whether realized or not – have sometimes sufficed to
keep important stories away from the public eye. Hear about first-hand
experiences and learn how to anticipate–and sometimes avert–potential

Storytelling on the
Cutting Edge : Investigative journalism and visual
storytelling are increasingly pushing the boundaries, borrowing from art,
gaming, and even poetry to discover new forms of capturing once-inaccessible
perspectives and experiences.  How do non-traditional forms of
storytelling reach and impact increasingly media-savvy audiences?  Whether
taking advantage of new technologies or putting a modern twist on classic
communication forms, there are more ways than ever to tell a story – graphic
novels, animation, virtual reality, poetry, and others yet to be discovered.

Dangerous Docs: A
Report: Non-fiction filmmakers often face aggressive attack
from powerful individuals, governmental bodies, businesses and associations.
The Center for Media & Social Impact at American University published a
report funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to quantify
the risks, and research if these can they be mitigated to encourage more and
better expression on the important issues of the day. Hear directly from the
researchers as they discuss their findings and share their recommendations for
enabling filmmakers to continue to tell truth to power.

Meet the Online
Platforms: As the audiences shrink for deep dive
investigations and longform stories told solely in words, news organizations
are increasingly tapping a variety of media to convey complex stories. 
Hear from individuals who are at the forefront of this new wave of short form
visual journalism. 

Hiding In Plain
Sight — A Conversation With Nick Broomfield:  Over the
course of twenty-five years, a serial killer in South Central Los Angeles
murdered more than 200 women. Police did not investigate. Nor did the daily
newspaper. The victims were African American women, many of them prostitutes
addicted to crack cocaine, invisible beyond their neighborhood. Following a
2008 article in the LA Weekly, Nick Broomfield spent a year
and a half in the neighborhood where the killings occurred, and came away with
a deeply textured, troubling portrait of a world where institutional racism is
a given and residents must fend for themselves. 

Meet the Funders: Straight
talk from the people who make it all possible. Lightning talks from leading
funders of documentary filmmaking on their strategies, the kinds of projects
they’ve supported in the past, and what they hope to achieve by investing in
filmmaking in the future.

1971: A Case Study: On
March 8, 1971 a group of citizens broke into the FBI’s office in Media, PA,
took hundreds of secret files, and shared them with the public. Johanna
Hamilton’s compelling film 1971 is their story. The film
screening will be followed by a rare opportunity to hear from the members of
the Citizens’ Commission who carried out the break-in, and will discuss the
ongoing issues of government overreach and first amendment rights that still
occupy the public debate more than 40 years later.  

Friday, October 2 – Evening Film Program

The Storm Makers:
Dir. Guillaume Suon. Cambodia.

Drone: Dir. Tonje
Hessen Schei. Norway.

(T)error: Dirs. Lyric
Cabral, David Felix Sutcliffe. USA.

READ MORE: How I Shot That: Lyric Cabral on Shooting an FBI Sting Operation in ‘(T)ERROR’

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