Double Exposure presents an expanded symposium in 2018, packed with Q&As with leading storytellers who go deep, panel discussions, workshops, and master classes for journalists and filmmakers. Tailored programming includes pre-arranged one-on-one meetings with industry insiders, a pro bono legal clinic, brown bag lunches with top filmmakers and new this year: pitch sessions for journalists and filmmakers with projects in mind or underway.

Check out the schedule grid of our symposium here. See the full film lineup here.

October 10, 2018

Screening: Watergate

HISTORY’s definitive original documentary, WATERGATE, chronicles one of the biggest criminal conspiracies in modern American politics and features a roster of some of the most important media, legal and political figures from the scandal, including Bob Woodward, Carl Bernstein, John Dean, Jill Wine-Banks, Richard Ben-Veniste, and many others. Post-screening discussion with Academy Award®-winning director Charles Ferguson, Richard Ben-Veniste, George Frampton, Elizabeth Holtzman, Mark Mazzetti, and Jill Wine-Banks.

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October 11, 2018

9:30 AM  -  10:45 AM

Opening Conversation: Supreme Truth: From High School Halls to Hallowed Walls

The Senate testimony of Brett Kavanaugh and his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, has transfixed the nation, with Dr. Ford’s memories of sexual assault in high school dredging bitter memories for women across the country. This Opening Conversation explores high school as the incubator of impunity, protected by a culture of cruelty, in print and film. For Roll Red Roll, director Nancy Schwartzman went to Steubenville, Ohio, where a “boys will be boys” culture shunned a young rape victim whose assailants had circulated photos of her assault on social media — and who had the temerity to report her assault to police. For a series in the Washington Post, Elizabeth Bruenig returned to her high school in Arlington, Tex., to investigate the story of a classmate who was raped, and was essentially hounded from their school after reporting the assault to police. Moderating the conversation is Cheryl Thompson, investigative reporter for The Washington Post.  

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11:00 AM  -  12:15 PM

Pivot: The Unexpected Moment

One filmmaker trained her lens on the Russian oligarchs behind the Miss Universe pageant, and stumbled into explosive material shedding light on Donald Trump. Another project set out to chronicle the Dirty Wars in Latin America. The co-directors, though, kept a shadow project in mind: They collected vast testimony and other evidence over more than 20 years that prosecutors are now using in court to punish torturers and killers. This panel will explore the work of filmmakers and journalists whose stories took an irrevocable turn, precipitating a change of course and opening new vistas.

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1:15 PM  -  2:30 PM

Framing Trauma: The Crises of Witnessing

Filmmakers and journalists are often drawn, if not driven by a sense of obligation, to tell stories of injustice. School girls kidnapped and forced into becoming sex slaves for Islamist guerrillas, sex workers embroiled in the U.S. criminal courts system, and citizens, police, and community advocates facing escalating violence on the streets of Baltimore: all of these are major stories of 2018, and all of them involve trauma. How do, and how should, journalists and filmmakers tell these important stories? How to balance the need to know and tell “the whole truth” with the emotional well-being of a source who has already suffered deeply? We will hear from directors of new films in which trauma or acute crisis played a role, prominently or as a seemingly inescapable undercurrent.

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2:45 PM  -  4:00 PM

Unmediated Subjects

To professionals, subjects offer “material,” their stories to be cut and shaped, mediated through our pens and lenses. The voices on this panel, though, are all those of subjects who have appeared in investigative works, unfiltered and unmediated. How and why did they agree to be part of the process, what were their expectations, and how did the filmmaker live up to those expectations? What do they make of the film’s portrayal of them, and its impact on their lives? This is our chance to hear what it’s like for those who entrust us with their stories.

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Screening: Short Cuts Program

OUR NEW PRESIDENT (Dir. Maxim Pozdorovkin, 2017, 12 min.) Donald Trump has become a beloved cult figure for many Russians. OUR NEW PRESIDENT uses found footage, fake news and state-controlled political programming to reveal the variety of ways Trump’s newfound Russian supporters express their devotion. A project of Field of Vision. THE TRIAL (dir. Johanna Hamilton, 2018, 17 min.) Aka Pradhan, James Connell and Sterling Thomas are lawyers for Ammar al Baluchi, one of the five men facing the death penalty for plotting the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Employed by the Military Commissions Defense Office, Pradhan, Connell and Sterling are public defenders of sorts — albeit unorthodox ones — paid by the Department of Defense. THE TRIAL provides a window to reflect on the impact of a rarely seen part of the war on terror: a lack of accountability for the legacy of torture and the build-up to the largest criminal trial in American history. A project of Field of Vision. NELLIE BLY MAKES THE NEWS (dir. Penny Lane, 2017, 23 min.) Nellie Bly was a muckracking investigative journalist who changed the game for women in reporting before women even had the right to vote. Drawing from extensive primary sources including […]

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4:15 PM  -  5:30 PM

Elegy and Evidence: A Conversation with Yance Ford (Strong Island) and Stephen Maing (Crime + Punishment)

In Crime + Punishment, hailed as one of the most riveting documentaries of the year, director Stephen Maing investigates illegal racial quotas in the New York Police Department, a big-picture problem told through the eyes of a dozen police officers who faced ostracism and more to blow the whistle on the practice, which destroyed countless lives. Just outside the city, in suburban Long Island, Yance Ford’s subject is also race and policing, but his look is intensely, gut-wrenchingly personal. Ford returns to the shooting of his big brother William by a white man, a murder that was never prosecuted, and for which police somehow managed “to turn my brother into the prime suspect in his own murder,” as Ford notes in Strong Island, nominated for this year’s Academy Award for best documentary. Maing and Ford speak with Topher Sanders, who covers racial inequality for the investigative news organization ProPublica.

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Screening: Stolen Daughters: Kidnapped by Boko Haram

STOLEN DAUGHTERS: KIDNAPPED BY BOKO HARAM revisits a shocking story that made global headlines. In 2014, 276 Nigerian school girls were kidnapped from a school in Chibok, Northern Nigeria, and hidden in the vast Sambisa forest for three years by Boko Haram, a violent Islamic insurgent movement. Granted exclusive access to the 82 girls who were freed last year and taken to a secret government safe house in the capital of Abuja, the film explores how the young women might adapt back to life after having experienced such trauma, and how the Nigerian government is navigating, and at times commandeering, their reentry into society. An HBO Documentary Films Release. Post-screening discussion with Karen Edwards, producer Sasha Achilli, and Laura Blumenfeld.

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Screening: Roll Red Roll

ROLL RED ROLL goes behind the headlines of a notorious high school sexual assault case to witness the social media-fueled “boys will be boys” culture that let it happen, and defended them when it did. Post-screening discussion with director Nancy Schwartzman, film subjects Alexandria Goddard and Rachel Dissell, and Hanna Rosin.

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October 12, 2018

9:30 AM  -  10:45 AM

Into the Deep Fake

As fake news evolves, it has gone from random clickbait and doctored photos to sophisticated multi-layered operations, skilled at exploiting the capacity of social media’s echo and amplification chambers. It seeks to control not just the story, but the public’s ability to trust in the press as a reliable source of information for holding government accountable, and to destroy the credibility of investigative storytellers it targets. It seeks to turn facts into “facts,” with truth up for grabs — to sometimes devastating and dangerous effect. But all is not dark. Alongside this assault on verifiable truth, equally sophisticated responses are emerging to expose the machinery behind the factories of fake reality, and strategies to challenge its spread.

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9:30 AM  -  11:30 AM

Docs in Progress Peer Pitch Part I

Through a competitive application process, nine projects have been selected by Docs in Progress to participate in Peer Pitch at Double Exposure. Peer Pitch is a Docs in Progress initiative, whereby documentary filmmakers with works-in-progress at any stage of development can give their pitches a test run to a panel of industry leaders, and an audience of filmmakers.

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11:00 AM  -  12:15 PM

Security Case Studies with Safe+Secure at Doc Society

In today’s world, the making of a documentary can be a minefield, presenting myriad risks to the physical, digital, legal, reputational and emotional security of filmmakers, crews and contributors. In this panel with the Safe+Secure initiative at Doc Society, three filmmakers facing a range of security threats or challenges in their recent work will unpack the risks involved, precautions they took and lessons learned with a panel of experts in safety, digital security, law and trauma.  

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1:15 PM  -  2:30 PM

Interrogating Data

What could be more neutral than data, the gold standard of law, policy — even investigative inquiry? It carries the whiff of science and the weight of fact. Data can turn the anecdotal into the emblematic. And it is being collected on a massive scale. Filmmakers, journalists and artists may work in different modes and to different ends, but they often share data as a common and integral source material. This panel takes a deeper look at our age’s unusual relationship to data: whose is collected and through what means, how it is used and misused, and what it tells us.  

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1:30 PM  -  3:30 PM

Docs in Progress Peer Pitch Part 2

Through a competitive application process, nine projects have been selected by Docs in Progress to participate in Peer Pitch at Double Exposure. Peer Pitch is a Docs in Progress initiative, whereby documentary filmmakers with works-in-progress at any stage of development can give their pitches a test run to a panel of industry leaders, and an audience of filmmakers.

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2:45 PM  -  4:00 PM

Collaborative Responses to Threat

In journalism, there is — tragically — a long tradition of reporters banding together to complete the work of colleagues killed in the line of investigating evil. Colleagues return to the investigation in greater numbers, firm in the belief that the murder of journalists demands a clear and forceful message: You can kill the messenger, but not the story. This session will also look at collective responses to meeting a range of threats to the reporting process, and creating the mechanisms and lines of communication to get the story out against the odds.

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Screening: Unprotected

In UNPROTECTED, an acclaimed American charity said it was saving some of the world’s most vulnerable girls from sexual exploitation. Then the girls were raped, and that was only the beginning. In this documentary, the investigative team at ProPublica explores what happens when good intentions collide with the realities of operating in one of the world’s most troubled nations. It’s a searing story, one whose full consequences are only now coming to light. Post-screening discussion with co-director’s Nadia Sussman and Kathleen Flynn, reporter Finlay Young, and Stephen Engelberg and Claudia Milne from ProPublica.

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4:15 PM  -  5:30 PM

Closing Conversation: Journeys Across the Abyss in Print and Screen

Filmmakers and journalists alike are often drawn to unfamiliar territory — both geographically and culturally — to better understand the world we live in through more than a touristic gaze. They often spend months, sometimes even years, immersed in environments new to them, such as Afghanistan for filmmaker James Longley, whose Angels are Made of Light (DXIFF18) follows students and teachers over three years at a school in an old neighborhood of Kabul that is slowly rebuilding from past conflicts. In Ghost Fleet (DXIFF18) investigative journalist turned filmmaker Shannon Service boldly ventures deep into sea off the coasts of Thailand and Cambodia to chronicle global massive modern slavery that has become a part of industrial fishing and  the global seafood market. For journalist Janet Reitman, the abyss she crosses is closer to home. Her nuanced Rolling Stone cover story on Boston marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev sparked a firestorm of outrage for its effort to understand Tsarnaev in his fullness, and her investigations into the secretive religion of Scientology, as well as American Nazis, have yielded extraordinary new insights. Hear from these filmmakers and journalists on their process and craft, and the surprising insights and obstacles gleaned from working across geographic […]

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Screening: The Feeling of Being Watched

In THE FEELING OF BEING WATCHED, filmmaker Assia Boundaoui follows the trail of her neighbors’ suspicion that their community just outside Chicago has been under surveillance for over a decade. While investigating their experiences, Boundaoui uncovers tens of thousands of pages of FBI documents that prove her Muslim community was indeed the subject of one of the largest counter-terrorism investigations ever conducted in the U.S. before 9/11, code-named “Operation Vulgar Betrayal.” Post-screening discussion with director Assia Boundaoui, producer Jessica Devaney, and Ron Nixon.

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Screening: Ghost Fleet

GHOST FLEET follows a small group of activists who risk their lives on remote Indonesian islands to find justice and freedom for the enslaved fishermen who feed the world’s insatiable appetite for seafood. Bangkok-based Patima Tungpuchayakul, a Thai abolitionist, has committed her life to helping these “lost” men return home. Facing illness, death threats, corruption, and complacency, Patima’s fearless determination for justice inspires her nation and the world. Post-screening discussion with director Shannon Service, producer Jon Bowermaster, and David Kaplan.

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October 13, 2018

10:00 AM  -  11:30 AM

Workshop: Fact-Checking for Filmmakers, Presented By the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting

In an era in which fake news and filter bubbles seem to create alternative realities and threaten the basis of democracy, it’s more important than ever that investigative journalism is factually correct, so viewers can trust the reporting.   In this workshop presented by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, we will show what can happen if journalists and news organizations neglect to fact-check before publishing or for the sake of dramatic storytelling omit important facts. This is a hands-on workshop; we will train participants to strategically and efficiently fact-check their own biases and their own reporting, even if the filmmaker has no institutional support. We will show how to independently verify facts, background people and use new tools that can help verify when and where an image was shot. Filmmakers will not only develop a road map to fact-check their own work, they will also learn about investigative skills and tools that will benefit any reporting, and even facilitate distribution.

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Screening: The Truth About Killer Robots

THE TRUTH ABOUT KILLER ROBOTS is an eerie, eye-opening work of science-nonfiction, that charts incidents in which robots have caused the deaths of humans in an automated Volkswagen factory, in a self-driving Tesla vehicle and from a bomb-carrying droid used by Dallas police. Though they are typically treated as freak anomalies, each case raises questions of accountability, legality and morality. Exploring the provocative views of engineers, journalists, and philosophers, and drawing on archival footage, the film goes beyond sensational deaths to examine more subtle ways that robots pose a threat to society. Post-screening discussion with director Maxim Pozdorovkin, moderated by Mark Greenblatt.

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10:15 AM  -  12:15 PM

Pro Bono Legal Clinic

The Pro Bono Legal Clinic offers investigative storytellers lacking legal representation the opportunity to connect with experts who can knowledgeably discuss legal challenges they are confronting. Leading attorneys in the areas First Amendment law, privacy and libel, Freedom of Information, whistleblower protection, copyright and intellectual property will be on hand. Attorneys will brief participants on case law and trends relevant to the problems that journalists and filmmakers have articulated upon registering for the clinic, and field questions from them. Attorneys have also agreed to consider representing select participants in need of counsel on an ongoing basis pro bono.   All Access pass holders receive a link via email to pre-register for the Legal Clinic. They should describe the legal challenges they are facing to ensure participating attorneys are aware of their issues. Seating is limited and available on a first-come first-served basis to those who pre-register and are confirmed to attend.

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10:30 AM  -  12:30 PM

Workshop: Crypto Party

Crypto Party is a decentralized movement with events happening all over the world. The goal is to pass on knowledge about protecting yourself in the digital space. This can include encrypted communication, preventing being tracked while browsing the web and general security advice for computers and smartphones. The DX Crypto Party, led by leaders in digital security from the Freedom of the Press Foundation, aims to bridge a gap between technologists and civilians, and provide a creative space for hands-on instruction on privacy-enhancing technology and encryption tools.

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11:45 AM  -  1:15 PM

Workshop: Research Desk

In a world where every fact is challenged, deep research is the best defense. Research and fact-checking are bookends in the investigative process from story development to the final cut. Whether the filmmaker partners with a researcher, needs to train a new assistant or has to do it on her own, there are methods, tools and techniques beyond Google for connecting the dots, tracking down visual assets and human sources and bulletproofing the production. Filmmaker Johanna Hamilton (1971, The Trial) and filmmaker and curator Shola Lynch (Free Angela And All Political Prisoners, Chisholm ’72: Unbought & Unbossed) will discuss the documentary research mindset and process. Investigative researcher Margot Williams (The Intercept and Field of Vision) will take you on a whistle stop tour of skills and resources for finding public records, data, media and people locators online and on foot.

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Screening: The Unafraid

THE UNAFRAID follows the personal lives of three DACA students in Georgia, a state that has banned them from attending their top state universities and disqualifies them from receiving in-state tuition at any other public college. Shot in an observational style over a period of four years, this film takes an intimate look at the lives of Alejandro, Silvia and Aldo as they navigate activism, pursuing their right to education, and fighting for the rights of their families and communities. Post-screening discussion with director Heather Courtney and Ricardo Sandoval-Palos.

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2:15 PM  -  4:00 PM

Workshop: Exposing the Invisible

This workshop will provide tools useful for any research process — from film documentation or cross-border investigations, to community-centered reporting and citizen investigations. Participants will explore the contexts in which information is generated and learn to access valuable digital resources. They will learn about tapping less obvious information sources and techniques for gathering evidence, and recognize the challenges of operating in diverse environments. Time allowing, we will practice a number of techniques. Feel free to bring some of your own case studies and inquiries for expert advice. Please bring a laptop or a smartphone to be able to practice with some of the tools and resources. This workshop is presented in partnership with the Tactical Tech Collective, creators of the Exposing the Invisible project, which explores how new types of actors, data journalists, programmers, researchers, activists, artists and citizen journalists are able to work together to identify and reveal new strands of evidence available in the public sphere. It provides a collection of tools, tactics, guides and video resources exploring innovative and impactful work at the frontiers of investigation.    

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2:15 PM  -  4:00 PM

Workshop: Planning for Visuals

You’re digging deep and your investigation is promising. You’re wondering if you can turn your story into a compelling video or radio story. How do you prepare your sources, think about your story arc from an early stage and build effective scenes that convey the dramatic potential of your story? We will explore the power of great multi-media storytelling and, on a practical level, the process for pulling it off, with Susanne Reber, executive producer at E.W. Scripps Washington bureau and former executive editor of Reveal, the investigative radio show and podcast.   This workshop will cover the essentials of compelling storytelling, including getting the most from your interactions with sources, interviewing for material that lends itself to media beyond print, and building scenes and emotion into your process.

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2:15 PM  -  4:00 PM

Workshop: Saving the Story

In 2016, Daphne Caruana Galizia, an investigative journalist reporting on the infamous ‘Ndragheta mafia, was gunned down in an effort to silence her reporting. Thus was born The Daphne Project, a global response to the rising danger investigative journalists are increasingly facing. Reporters the world over picked up and completed Daphne’s reporting, sending a powerful message to those who would kill the messenger to choke the story. This workshop will unpack the nuts and bolts of such massive collaboration under conditions of extreme danger. It will be led by Laurent Richard, who coordinated the global effort. He is founder of the Paris-based Forbidden Stories, a nonprofit news operation dedicated to ensuring that these endangered stories reach the public.

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Screening: False Confessions

Each year innumerable American suspects confess to crimes they did not commit, and experts say that trained interrogators can get anybody to confess to anything. The film follows indefatigable defense attorney Jane Fisher-Byrialsen, who is determined to put an end to interrogation techniques that all too often pressure innocent people into false confessions. As we weave through four of Fisher-Byrialsen’s cases, all involving false confessions, the film examines the psychological aspect of how people end up confessing to crimes they have not committed and the consequences of these confessions – for those accused, for their families and for society at large. Post-screening discussion with subject Jane Fisher-Byrialsen and Marcia Davis.

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Screening: Of Fathers and Sons

In making OF FATHERS AND SONS, Syrian-born filmmaker Talal Derki travels to his homeland in Syria, where he gains the trust of a radical Islamist family, sharing their daily life for over two years. His camera focuses primarily on the children, providing an extremely rare insight into what it means to grow up with a father whose only dream is to establish an Islamic caliphate. Osama (13) and his brother Ayman (12) both love and admire their father and obey his words, but while Osama seems content to follow the path of jihad, Ayman wants to go back to school. Winner of the Grand Jury Prize for World Documentary at the Sundance Film Festival, OF FATHERS AND SONS is a work of unparalleled access that captures the chilling moment when childhood dies and jihadism is born. Post-screening discussion with Mohammad Al Abdallah, Executive Director of the Syria Justice & Accountability Center and Diana Jean Schemo.

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Screening: Divide and Conquer: The Story of Roger Ailes

DIVIDE AND CONQUER sheds light on the current moment in American political life by following the arc of Roger Ailes: long-time Republican Svengali and controversial founder of Fox News. By coaching an unrivaled stable of politicians over the course of fifty years, Ailes heavily influenced Republican politics, steering the conservative movement from Nixon to the Tea Party to Trump. Under his tutelage, anger and fear became the coin of the realm, both on the ballot and on national television. This is a story of serial cruelty, both on the public stage and in private life. Like a true Shakespearean figure, ambition and desire were Ailes’ undoing. He was finally toppled when victims of his sexual harassment stepped forward. The accounts of these women—raw and infuriating—are the axis around which Ailes’ story inexorably turns. Post-screening discussion with director Alexis Bloom and producer Will Cohen.

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October 14, 2018

Screening: A Woman Captured

A WOMAN CAPTURED follows the life of a European woman who has been held by a Budapest family as a domestic slave for 10 years. She is one of over 45 million victims of modern day slavery today. Drawing courage from the filmmaker’s presence and the camera as witness, the woman captured attempts to escape the unbearable oppression and become a free person. Post-screening discussion with director Bernadett Tuza-Ritter, moderated by Diana Jean Schemo.

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Screening: People’s Republic of Desire

THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF DESIRE dives deep into the world of young stars of live streaming in China, where the shift to a virtual life in place of flesh-and-blood relationships has gone far. The stars build followings among the rich and poor, with the rich lavishing online personalities with gifts worth millions of dollars, and the poor cheering the wealthy patrons on and rooting for their idols. The scene culminates with a once-a-year competition, a cross between the Hunger Games and Black Mirror, in which the winner is the one whose patrons buy the most votes. Post-screening discussion with filmmaker Hao Wu and Mei Fong.

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Screening: Angels Are Made of Light

Filmed over three years, ANGELS ARE MADE OF LIGHT follows students and teachers at a school in an old neighborhood of Kabul that is slowly rebuilding from past conflicts. Interweaving the modern history of Afghanistan with present-day portraits, the film offers an intimate and nuanced vision of a society living in the shadow of war. Post-screening discussion with filmmaker James Longley.

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Screening: The Panama Papers

In THE PANAMA PAPERS, Alex Winter delivers a powerful, illuminating film that details the unprecedented coordination of over 300 journalists who reveal the biggest global corruption scandal in history. The “Panama Papers” leak involved the unprecedented coordination of hundreds of journalists from 107 media organizations in more than 80 countries, who broke the story in 2015. The papers included over 11.5 million documents that detail financial and attorney-client information for nearly 214,500 offshore accounts. Winter includes interviews with whistleblowers and key journalists on the investigation, to tell the story of the massive data breach which uncovered murky political and financial corruption, bribes, election rigging and even murder. Post-screening discussion with filmmaker Alex Winter, Wendy Benjaminson, Emilia Diaz-Struck, Kevin Hall, and Tim Johnson.

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