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Conservative filmmakers get a fest of their own

Michael Moore is a prime target of the first Liberty Film Festival.

September 30, 2004|R. Kinsey Lowe | Times Staff Writer

Conservatives sometimes say they feel so persecuted they have to hide their beliefs in Hollywood, but this weekend they have a venue where they can vent freely, as what is billed as the company town's "first openly conservative film festival" takes place at the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood.

Dominated by documentaries with a conservative perspective, the Liberty Film Festival, organized by filmmakers Jason Apuzzo and Govindini Murty, opens Friday night with Stephen Bannon's "In the Face of Evil: Reagan's War in Word and Deed" and Peter Knoblock's "Celsius 41.11," produced by Lionel Chetwynd and Ted Steinberg.

All screenings are at the Silver Screen Theater, on the second floor of the green building at the Pacific Design Center complex.

"In the Face of Evil," based on the book "Reagan's War" by the film's executive producer, Peter Schweizer, looks at Ronald Reagan's role in the defeat of communism and the collapse of the former Soviet Union, while "Celsius" was made as a rejoinder to Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11," mixing interviews and clips of existing footage to debunk Moore's assertions.

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Friday October 01, 2004 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 0 inches; 24 words Type of Material: Correction
"Celsius 41.11" -- An article about the Liberty Film Festival in Thursday's Calendar Weekend section misidentified "Celsius 41.11" director Kevin Knoblock as Peter Knoblock.

Moore is also a prime target in other critical documentaries, including talk-show host Larry Elder's "Michael & Me," a defense of the 2nd Amendment against Moore's "Bowling for Columbine," which pointedly explored America's fascination with guns. Elder's movie screens Saturday, and Mike Wilson's "Michael Moore Hates America" will screen Sunday, as will Tim Chey's "Impact: The Passion of the Christ," about Mel Gibson's phenomenally successful independent feature.

Films about Iraq include "WMD: The Murderous Reign of Saddam Hussein" by Kurdish/Iraqi director Jano Rosebiani and Roger Aronoff's "Confronting Iraq."

Also showing will be "Is It True What They Say About Ann?" (Coulter, the conservative author and pundit), by Elinor Burkett and Patrick Wright, which is scheduled for Saturday.

In addition to Chetwynd and Elder, guest speakers and leaders of panel discussions include film critic Michael Medved, producer David Zucker, Andrew Breitbart of the Drudge Report, Dan Gifford ("Waco: Rules of Engagement") and columnist James Hirsen ("Tales From the Left Coast").

The festival also will pay tribute to Reagan with a screening Saturday of the former actor's World War II movie "Desperate Journey." Events will conclude Sunday with a showing of Cecil B. DeMille's "The Ten Commandments," introduced with a lecture by Medved.

Elder's movie is sold out, but individual tickets are available for all other films. None will be sold at the venue; they are available online at

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