Greetings again from the Pelican State, where the thirteenth annual Netroots Nation is taking place in the city of New Orleans. In addition to the many trainings and panel discussions at this year’s convention, there is also a screening series of short and feature length films. Before the screening series kicked off, there was a caucus for filmmakers, producers, and fans of film to make connections.
Each person talked about the projects they are currently working on and if there were things they could use help, as well as mentioning anything they might be able to offer to others. I told everyone about my work reviewing documentaries for the Northwest Progressive Institute, which many thought was an interesting and unique beat for a progressive publication like the Cascadia Advocate to have.
Shirah Dedman, director of short film You a Nomad, about gentrification in Oakland, California, talked about the project and her desire to eventually make it into a feature length film. The film is available online as a five-part digital series, which I’m planning to watch and review after we return from New Orleans.
John Atlas, author of “Seeds of Change”, a book about the rise and fall of ACORN, discussed the documentary film that was inspired by his book. “ACORN and the Fire Storm” debuted at Tribeca last year and was recently featured on PBS. It’s another film I’ll definitely be adding to my list of films to watch.
Other films being screened at Netroots include:
- Healing Justice, about the causes and consequences of our broken criminal justice system, which is costly and immoral;
- Undercover in the Alt-Right, about a man who (bravely) lived within a white supremacist group for a year;
- No Choice, a series of short video portraits about the challenges faced by women seeking abortions in times and places where access to legal abortion is limited or impossible;
- … and a film about community organizing and the controversial founder of ACORN, Wade Rathke, titled The Organizer.
I won’t be able to watch any of these documentary films while at Netroots Nation, as there are so many panels, trainings, and caucuses to go to, but I will keep these films in mind for future screening and review.