The Anthem Film Festival at FreedomFest 2016

The Anthem Film Festival at FreedomFest 2016

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What else? A Libertarian film festival to accompany FreedomFest 16.

Banner from Anthem2016 web site, promoting this upcoming film festival in Las Vegas.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Co., June 15, 2016— Taking place July 13-16, 2016, at Planet Hollywood, Las Vegas, FreedomFest 2016 will again be accompanied by the Anthem Libertarian Film Festival. The themes of the film festival are individuality, accountability and choice: themes as American as apple pie.

What’s not to like? Unless, of course, you fancy yourself part of a collective and look down on accountability and choice. The festival picks films on a wide variety of topics and everything from short documentaries to full-length films. The quality is very good indeed.

Among the full-length films on offer is Ted Balaker’s “Can we take a Joke?” — a comedian’s look at political correctness. Many people today are hell-bent on silencing jokes and opinions that offend them. But now, some of the sharpest comedic minds, people like Penn Jillette, Adam Carolla, Gilbert Gottfried, Lisa Lampanelli, Heather McDonald, Karith Foster and Jim Norton are striking back at outrage culture.

At the other end of the length spectrum is the short film “Everything,” by R.J. Hanna. This movie explores the selling of body parts. Inspired by a true story, it’s specifically a story that involves selling bone marrow… or not. Today, it’s well known to most that we can sell our blood. But according to the Feds, we can’t sell our bone marrow. The showing of this movie, like many in the festival, will be accompanied by a panel of experts.

“The Return” is a movie by Matthew Szewczyk that follows the plight of a Filipino house maid held captive by her employers: an immigrant sold into involuntary servitude. Does this take place in Saudi Arabia, where this sort of thing is common? No. The film is based on events right here in the U.S.A., specifically in Orange County, California.

Civil asset forfeitures undertaken by law enforcement officials—who can take your property without charging you with a crime—has become a cause-célèbre for Libertarians and others groups and organizations concerned with increasing government violation of private property rights.

Freedom Rising: FreedomFest 2016

The movie “Seized” by Matthew and Thomas Locastro tells the story of Naeem, a young man who grew up in Baltimore city during the 1980s surrounded by violence and drug abuse. He beat the odds and made it to college on a basketball scholarship. In his final semester, Naeem traveled back to Baltimore to pick up $4,200 in tax refunds. The money was going to help support his family and pay for his tuition. That trip home would later turn out to be the worst decision he ever made, as he ran into the civil asset forfeiture buzz saw.

The film festival is not all serious, though. There are several comedies on the menu as well.

One is “iSpy,” is a short, 15-minute film about Harriet, a young Department of Justice bureaucrat who spends her days helping law enforcement agencies spy on her fellow citizens. But when she adopts the government’s spy technology for her personal use, she gets a little more than she bargained for.

Perhaps one of the big unanswered questions as of this writing, is whether attendees will see a sneak preview of Dinesh D’Souza’s new movie, “Hillary’s America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party.” The official release date is July 15—right in the middle of the conference. (Trailer below.) D’Souza’s 2014 film, “America: Imagine the World Without Her,” was a huge success, so we can only hope history will repeat itself this year.

You can find the entire list of this year’s featured films at the Anthem Film Festival site, along with associated trailers. Festival tickets can be purchased for each film separately. But why not enjoy the whole FreedomFest experience? Tickets are available via this link.

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