MEET THE PRESS FILM FESTIVAL IN COLLABORATION
WITH THE AMERICAN FILM INSTITUTE
The 2018 "Meet the Press" Film Festival in Collaboration With the American Film Institute will feature 23 short-length documentaries spotlighting critical issues ahead of the U.S. midterm elections. The festival will be held in Washington, DC, October 7-8, 2018.
The films — three of which will make their world premieres — will focus on issues affecting millions of Americans as they prepare to cast their ballots in November, such as immigration, voting rights and gun control. Selected films include those from HBO, Netflix, The New York Times and filmmakers from across the country. Each screening will include a Q&A with the filmmaker, moderated by NBC News correspondents and anchors, including Chuck Todd, Andrea Mitchell, Craig Melvin, Jacob Soboroff, Hallie Jackson, Kasie Hunt, Kristen Welker and Harry Smith.
During its inaugural year in 2017, the "Meet the Press" Film Festival With AFI showcased 16 short documentaries exploring wide-ranging issues. Three of the films were nominated for Academy Awards®.
Tickets to the festival are on sale now.
See below for descriptions of the films.
Select films will be available, beginning October 8, for a month-long showcase on NBC News Digital platforms and apps, including AppleTV, Roku and Amazon Fire, as well other on-demand services such as Hulu, AOL and Comcast X1.
Surviving After Service
Veterans and Service, moderated by Chuck Todd
- "We Are Not Done Yet": The creative journey of 10 U.S. veterans of varied backgrounds that come together in hopes of battling their traumatic military histories through the art of the written word. Grappling with PTSD, the "warrior poets" share fears, vulnerabilities and victories that eventually culminate into a live performance of a collaborative poem under the direction of actor Jeffrey Wright. Directed by Sareen Hairabedian.
On the Ballot
2018 Midterm Issues, moderated by Andrea Mitchell
- "Camperforce": For the past 10 years, Amazon has recruited workers for Camperforce, a labor unit made up of RVers who serve as seasonal warehouse employees. Directed by Brett Story.
- "The Blue Line": When is a line of paint on the street worth screaming at your neighbor about? Filmmaker Samantha Knowles focuses on a small town that erupts into controversy when a blue line is painted in support of police on a street in the town center. The film is a parable of political division in contemporary America and all the dismay that comes with it — but also an example of how communities can find common ground. Directed by Samantha Knowles.
- "The Girl Who Cannot Speak": Edited by Emmy® Award winner Krysia Carter-Giez, the documentary explores five women's true stories of sexual abuse. It tells the story of women from different countries, ages and walks of life. One victim, Charlotte, a 15-year old girl, embodies a thread to each woman's story. Directed by Stefano Da Fre and Laura Pellegrini.
The Land I Love
Climate, Home and Tradition, moderated by Hallie Jackson
- "Alaska DGAF": On July 4, 2017, North Korea tested a long-range missile that, for the first time, would be powerful enough to reach the United States — specifically, the great state of Alaska. And instead of the doomsday preparations you might expect from a place threatened by nuclear annihilation, Alaskans collectively…shrugged. Directed by David Freid.
- "Home Beyond the Water": The community of Isles de Jean Charles, Louisiana, is fighting to survive as its land sinks into the encroaching waters. Now, winning the first-of-its-kind, multi-million-dollar grant for a climate resilience project may help them survive, and their community relocation may provide a template for the future. Directed by Nicky Milne.
- "Climate and the Cross": America's evangelicals have traditionally been the bedrock of conservative politics, including on climate change. But a loud debate is happening across the country, with some evangelical Christians protesting in the name of protecting the Earth, seeing it as a duty to be done in God's name. With stories from across the country showing the conflict between generations, races and classes, could it be a surprising section of Christian America that might show hope for the country's attitude to climate change? Directed by Chloe White.
Voting Rights and Civic Associations, moderated by Craig Melvin
- "Let My People Vote": Filmed in Tampa during the 2016 presidential election, this vérité short covers a day in the life of civil rights activist and former felon Desmond Meade. What begins as an upbeat day of faith in our democratic process ends in a heartbreaking realization for Desmond: Jim Crow is not dead. Directed by Gilda Brasch.
- "Public Money":Since 2012, the New York City Council has steadily increased investment in a process called "Participatory Budgeting," wherein community members gain a role in deciding how to spend part of a public budget. Through an eight-month process, neighbors come together and work with the government to propose, debate and ultimately vote on budget decisions that affect their lives. Directed by Jay Arthur Sterrenberg.
- "Voting Matters":More than 50 years after the Voting Rights Act of 1965, one of the most extensive pieces of civil rights legislation, people of color across the United States are still engaged in a battle to protect their right to vote. "Voting Matters" follows one dynamic woman working tirelessly on the ground and in the courts to ensure that they are not denied this right. Directed by Dawn Porter.
Gun Debate Takes Its Next Step, moderated by Kasie Hunt
- "G Is for Gun":Since the Sandy Hook massacre in 2012, schools in at least 13 states have started arming teachers as a security measure. How did this happen, and what does it mean for American education? "G is for Gun" follows the story of teachers being trained to kill and a small city in western Ohio divided by bringing arms into its schools. Directed by Kate Way and Julie Akeret.
- "Guns Found Here":When there's a gun crime in America, there's only one place to go to trace the gun back to its owner: Martinsburg, West Virginia. That's where the ATF's National Tracing Center handles roughly 8,000 active traces per day — all while inside a government-mandated technology time capsule that makes searching a database of gun owners impossible. With more gun stores in the U.S.A. than McDonald's, Starbucks and supermarkets combined, there's a lot of paperwork to manually sort through. It's truly a sight to behold. Directed by David Freid.
- "No Sanctuary":The film explores human nature and behavior through the personal lens of those who have been affected by America's indifference to gun violence. Directed by Nathan Knox.
Do We Belong
Religion and Xenophobia, moderated by Kristen Welker
- "Do We Belong?":An Indian immigrant in Kansas is shot and killed in a senseless hate crime, leaving his wife to grapple with the question of whether America is truly her home. Directed by Sofian Khan.
- "Graven Image":Using archival footage, director Sierra Pettengill explores the history of Georgia's Confederate Memorial Carving, the largest Confederate monument in the United States, and the memorial's close ties to the Ku Klux Klan. Directed by Sierra Pettengill.
- "The Hidden Vote": In America's largest Arab-American population in Dearborn, Michigan, an unprecedented number of Arab-Americans are running for city council during Trump's first year in office. Nada is a 26-year-old Palestinian-American liberal, and Mike is a 23-year-old Lebanese-American conservative and Trump supporter. Both are Muslim, and for very different reasons, both were inspired to enter into politics after Trump's presidential win. We follow Mike and Nada's campaigns as they work their way toward Election Day, and explore how their life experiences have shaped their political beliefs. Directed by Adithya Sambamurthy and Ben Rekhi.
- "Loyalty: Stories":A national storytelling project about American Muslim veterans that explores themes of citizenship, identity and faith in the post-9/11 era. Through 10 documentary-style short films, "Loyalty: Stories" profiles a diverse group of men and women — immigrants, converts and American-born Muslims who gave an oath to protect the United States and uphold the Constitution. Directed by David Washburn.
E Pluribus and Unum
Coming to America, moderated by Jacob Soboroff
- "Out of Many, One": A Netflix original documentary short, "Out of Many, One" is a film about how one museum is using art, artifacts and historical documents to help green-card holders prepare for the Naturalization Test and, in turn, become U.S. citizens. Directed by Emmy® Award winners John Hoffman and Nanfu Wang.
- "Deporting Myself":"Deporting Myself" is a documentary about Zsuzsanna, an undocumented New York housekeeper who has been living and working in the U.S illegally for almost 20 years. Ever since the election of President Trump, who's made a promise to the American people to crack down and deport illegal immigrants, Zsuzsanna has been living in fear. The constant worry of eventually being found out, captured and deported by ICE is one of the many reasons she decides to leave on her own terms. This film highlights Zsuzsanna's final 72 hours in a place she once called home. Directed by Julia Neumann.
- "Libre":A private company purports to help people held in immigration custody secure bail. In exchange for this service, its clients are forced to wear ankle monitors until their debts are paid. See how two New Yorkers' daily lives are affected by this practice. Directed by Anna Barsan.
Making it Work
Poverty and Rebuilding, moderated by Harry Smith
- "Pa'Lante": This film tells the brave personal stories of local Puerto Ricans five months after they were impacted by hurricanes Irma and Maria, and showcases an Apprentice Program led by volunteers who teach carpentry to locals while rebuilding roofs on the island. Directed by Ramón Rodríguez.
- "Insecure":An undocumented family struggling to make ends meet take matters into their own hands in order to create their own American Dream. Directed by Cayman Grant.
- "Children of Central City": The film takes you from the playing field to the classrooms, the homes of the players and the offices of the social workers whose attempts to treat the children's post-traumatic stress are repeatedly thwarted by state budget cuts to mental healthcare. Directed by Mark Lorando and Emma Scott.