Jewish Journal

Filmfest Seeing Red

by David Finnigan

Posted on Oct. 20, 2005 at 8:00 pm

Conservative filmmakers will invade West Hollywood this weekend for the second annual, Bush-loving Liberty Film Festival, with WeHo's Pacific Design Center becoming a haven to some Jewish entertainment names who vote red while living among the blue.

"It's a film festival with a clear point of view -- also a countercultural point of view," said prominent talk show host, author and film critic Michael Medved. Medved is a filmfest board member who will fly down from Seattle after Shabbat on Sunday to moderate a panel featuring Joel Surnow, the executive producer of Fox's "24," and ex-studio chief Frank Price.

Thespian Robert Downey Jr. and KABC-AM talk show host Larry Elder will pop by, too. Actor Ron Silver, who shocked Hollywood liberals last year by addressing the Republican National Convention, will premiere, "Broken Promises: The United Nations at 60," a 65-minute documentary. His narration catalogues U.N. failures.

The festival also will have Time magazine film critic Richard Schickel, conservative scribe Ron Radosh and progressive Hollywood author Ed Rampell (see Rampell's op-ed piece on Page 11) on hand to debate the question: "Was Communism a Threat to Hollywood?"

Several of last year's festival entries took on Michael Moore's film, "Fahrenheit 9/11." This year, the festival's slate is more balanced, with Moore-bashing reduced to one 15-minute parody short called, "Fellowship 9/11."

The festival isn't a conservative "attempt to take over Hollywood," Medved told The Journal by telephone from Seattle. "What I think people are tying to do is begin a conversation about a little bit more political balance. These people [generic Hollywood liberals] function in a world in which they are so hermetically sealed from the rest of America."


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