Sundance Film Festival Topics

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Democracy Now! is broadcasting live from the 2015 Sundance Film Festival January 26-30, in Park City, Utah, where key topics this year are police brutality, national security, the environmental movement, and healthcare. Check here for our interviews with the filmmakers and their subjects this year, and browse our past coverage of the largest U.S. festival for independent cinema, starting in 2010.

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  • Academy-awards_oscar-statuette_6018
    When the Oscar nominees for Best Documentary Feature were unveiled on Thursday, Democracy Now! saw that we had interviewed the directors and subjects of three out of five selected films. Last year, we sat down with filmmakers who tackled topics ranging from rampant sexual assault in the U.S. military to the historic efforts of the early AIDS movement, to the nonviolent struggles of Palestinians against an Israeli separation wall. Watch our...
    January 10, 2013 | Web Exclusive
  • Button-drugforaids
    This weekend marks the 25th anniversary of ACT UP — the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power — an international direct action advocacy group formed by a coalition of activists outraged over the government’s mismanagement of the AIDS crisis. We speak with ACT UP founding member Peter Staley, one of the longest AIDS survivors in the country; and David France, director of the new documentary "How to Survive a Plague," which tells a...
    March 23, 2012 | Story
  • Splash_image20120206-22591-cepdlg-0
    We turn now to the case of the West Memphis Three, the young men in West Memphis, Arkansas, who were imprisoned for the 1993 slayings of three eight-year-old boys after an investigation largely fueled by unsubstantiated rumors of a Satanic ritual. The new documentary, "West of Memphis," was co-produced by none other than one of the convicted youths at the heart of the story, Damien Echols. Echols and his two co-defendants were...
    February 06, 2012 | Story
  • Splash_image20120201-19599-ediz1-0
    This weekend the top documentary prize at the Sundance Film Festival went to "The House I Live In," which questions why the United States has spent more than $1 trillion on drug arrests in the past 40 years, and yet drugs are cheaper, purer and more available today than ever. The film examines the economic, as well as the moral and practical, failures of the so-called "war on drugs" and calls on the United States to...
    January 31, 2012 | Story
  • Splash_image20120130-1645-14wi428-0
    On the heels of a new military survey that the number of reported violent sex crimes jumped 30 percent in 2011, with active-duty female soldiers ages 18 to 21 accounting for more than half of the of the victims, we speak with Trina McDonald and Kori Cioca, two subjects of "The Invisible War,” a new documentary that examines the epidemic of rape of soldiers within the U.S. military, which won the Audience Award at the 2012 Sundance Film...
    January 30, 2012 | Story
  • Cara-mertes-thumbnail
    The Sundance Institute’s Cara Mertes describes how the independent film festival supports documentarians, including one who drew the ire of Dole Food Co. for showing how plantation workers in Nicaragua successfully sued for its continued use of a pesticide that can cause sterility and possibly cancer. [includes rush transcript]
    January 27, 2012 | Web Exclusive
  • Splash_image20120126-2853-1jokloc-0
    During the GOP primary, Mitt Romney has come under fierce attack for parking millions of dollars of his personal wealth in investment funds set up in the Cayman Islands, a notorious Caribbean tax haven. We speak with Tax Justice Network USA chair Jack Blum, a former top congressional investigator of financial crimes, who says tax evasion could seriously cripple the already struggling economy. Blum appears in "We’re Not Broke,"...
    January 24, 2012 | Story
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    Nuclear power has drawn wide support from both sides of the aisle, with both Republicans and Democrats advancing a pro-nuclear agenda even in the aftermath of last year’s Fukushima disaster in Japan. We speak with Sheena Joyce, co-director of the new documentary "The Atomic States of America," which is featured at 2012 Sundance Film Festival. We’re also joined by Kelly McMasters, whose book "Welcome to Shirley: A...
    January 24, 2012 | Story
  • Splash_image20120126-23675-1r6omh0-0
    Robert Redford is well known as an actor, a director, a producer and an activist. Since 1980, through the Sundance Film Festival and the Sundance Institute, Robert Redford has helped independent voices develop their craft—in film, in theater and in music—to reach larger and newer audiences. We speak with Redford about how independent cinema became his passion. "To me, stories that were worth telling were stories about what’s the...
    January 24, 2012 | Story
  • Splash_image20120126-23675-1n52gho-0
    As the Republican presidential candidates propose to dismantle President Obama’s 2010 healthcare reform package, we speak to Dr. Steven Nissen, one of the nation’s leading cardiologists. His research into Vioxx and Avandia led to severe restrictions by the Food and Drug Administration, reducing the use of both drugs. Nissen is profiled in the documentary, "Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare," which is...
    January 23, 2012 | Story