Above: A scene from Birddog Nation (Directed by: Sophie Sartain)
May 22 - June 14, 2020
AIFF ACTIVISM MONDAYS
Above: A scene from Tightrope: Americans Reaching for Hope (Directed by Joshua Bennett)
Independent films often take us inside the lives and perspectives of “outsiders” who have been stereotyped, demonized, and silenced in the media, thereby building empathy across social divides. Their stories investigate and expose truths about injustice and corruption that entertainment news services fail to tackle. AIFF2020 will foreground the voices of activist filmmakers who, through the example of their own commitment and that of their activist subjects, show how power that seems entrenched and overwhelming can be resisted and retaken.
Featured Activism Films:
Q&A’s with filmmakers and guests follow every screening!
Directed by Joshua Bennett
Screening Monday, May 25 for 24 hours
Early each morning Nicholas Kristof would board the No. 6 bus and ride through the hills and valleys of Yamhill, Oregon to get to his local public school. But today, nearly a quarter of the kids who rode that bus with him have died. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn return to Nick’s hometown to find out what really happened. They quickly find themselves at the heart of a much bigger story about those who fall through the cracks of America, destroyed by poverty, addiction, suicide and homelessness.
Directed by Cindy L. Abel
Screening in Oregon only, Monday, June 1 for 24 hours
Years before “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” Colonel Patsy Thompson was forced to expel Army hero Colonel Margarethe Cammermeyer for being a lesbian. What no one knew was that Thompson was a lesbian, too. The way Thompson handles the military trial, however, leads to Cammermeyer’s reinstatement via federal court and eventual change in military policy. Surviving the Silence explores Thompson’s life with now-wife Barbara Brass. They candidly share how they hid their relationship and struggled to protect their love, while preserving Patsy's career -- and how they emerged to become vibrant activists later in life.
Directed by Sophie Sartain
Screening in Oregon only, Monday, June 8 for 24 hours
They flipped the House in 2018. Now they're back in 2020. Follow the suburban women who were activated after the 2016 election as they are schooled by activists from Birddog Nation, including Ady Barkan, a dying father with ALS who is fighting for democracy with his last breath, and Ana Maria Archila, a sexual assault survivor who confronts Senator Jeff Flake on an elevator during Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation hearings. The leaders of Birddog Nation set the women on a path deeper and more radical than they ever imagined. Are they the key to another Blue Wave in 2020?
Also screening in the festival:
Directed by Howard Alk
Screening June 5 from 12pm to 8pm, FREE for subscribers
A group of independent filmmakers in Chicago, fashioning themselves as The Film Group, set out to profile Chairman Fred Hampton, the charismatic, 21-year-old leader of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party, and ended up documenting the last nine months of his life. During production, in the early morning of December 4, 1969, Hampton’s apartment and Party hangout was raided by officers assigned to State’s Attorney Edward V. Hanrahan. During the ensuing assault, Hampton and Mark Clark were killed and four others wounded. As the film goes on to argue, the raid was unlawful and Hampton’s death was, in effect, an assassination.