Category Archives: film festival QA

DC Environmental Film Festival 2017: “Nuclear Power Play” QA

Wednesday, March 22, 2017, the DC Environmental Film Festival held a program “Nuclear Power Play” at the Carnegie Science Center.  There were two short films, “Nuclear Winter” and “Triad” and “City 40”.  The panel included Kit Roane (Retro Report), Dan Sagayin, and Samira Goetsche.

Generally, there was concern expressed that the US and Russia, following the Soviet Union, tend to make it more plausible that they could use nuclear weapons if they maintain the hardware.  There was concern over making rogue states and non-state actors believe “everybody wants some”.




4  Question from the audience about the character of scientists







(Posted: Thursday, March 23, 2017 at 2:30 PM EST)

DC Indie Film Festival QA for “dramatic shorts”


The DC Independent Film festival presented a QA for three of the “dramatic shorts” in the Burke Auditorium of the Navy Memorial in Washington DC.  (detailed review here.)

Peter Mc Quinn, from Ireland, discussed “Staccato”
and here 

Lisa Ford discussed  “The Wish Horse” here, then here


and here.

Richard T. Fields discussed “Courting Lewis Baker”

here,, then this longer clip.

and finally this wrap-up.

(Published: Monday,  March 14, 2016, at 12:30 PM EDT)

QA session for “Alive Inside”, documentary about helping people with dementia with music on iPods

IMG_0555 Regarding the new film “Alive Inside: A Story of Music and Memory“:  I have a number of short clips from the Q&A session Friday July 25, 2014 at the Landmark E Street Cinema in Washington DC, from director Michael Rossato-Bennett and founder of “Music & Memory”, Dan Cohen. Some of the questioning became quite emotional. Clip 1 Clip 2 Clip 3 Clip 4 Clip 5Clip 6 Clip 7 Clip 8 Clip 9 Clip 10 Clip 11 Published Saturday July 26, 2014 at 11:30 AM EDT.

AFI Docs QA notes: “Freedom Summer” documents the voter registration volunteer effort in Mississippi in 1964, resulting in tragedy


AFI Silverdocs presented “Freedom Summer”, directed by Stanley Nelson, a film giving the history of the Freedom Summer volunteers who went down to Mississippi in the summer of 1964 to teach black voters how to overcome the state’s system designed to keep them away from the polls.  The violence in the area was shocking, and predicated on the fear among white families that property could be taken away from them if blacks got in office.  In fact, now Mississippu has the highest percentage of African Americans in office in any state.

The newspapers reported the murders of James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner.

On Sunday, June 22, 2014,  at the 4:15 PM showing at the Naval Archive in downtown Washington DC, The QA included five people, now in their 70s, who had volunteered that summer.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7: One of the former volunteers notes that Chaney, Goodman, and Schwerner did not voluntarily sacrifice their lives; they did not intend to be martyrs; “Their lives were taken”:

The film will air in the PBS American Experience series Tuesday June 24, 2014 on most PBS stations.

(Published: Monday, June 24, 2014, at 12:15 PM)

AFI-Docs: QA for “The Homestretch”, a film about homeless teens in Chicago public schools


I recorded a lot of remarks by the panel after the screening of the film “The Homestretch“, sponsored by PBS, directed by Anne De Mare and Kristin Kelly.  The panel included a former official from the US Department of Education, now a principal in Baltimore, and a teacher from the Chicago Public Schools, as well as the two filmmakers.


The film should air on PBS Independent Lens in the Spring of 2015, after a theatrical release.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Part 4:

Part 5:

Next video (Part 6) I talk about my own substitute teaching. Kids (in special education, or from underprivileged backgrounds) didn’t know me and I didn’t know them. But attempts to keep it impersonal didn’t work.

Part 7

Part 8>

(Published Monday, June 23, 2014 at 11:15 AM)

AFI Docs: QA’s from “Silenced” and “The Internet’s Own Boy”


I saw four films at AFI Docs (formerly called SilverDocs) this weekend.

Two of the films dealt with the government, surveillance, leaks, overreaching prosecutions, and the like.  While reviews are on Blogger, I have many other videos from the QA to share.

On Thursday, June 19, “Silenced” played at the Naval Archive, directed by James Spione, told the story of CIA operative John Kiriakou, NSA official Thomas Drake, and US attorney Jesselyn Radack.

On Saturday, June 21, 2014, I saw “The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz“, directed by Brian Knappenberger, at the AFI Silver in Silver Spring MD.  The film will be in general release June 27.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

This was an answer to my question, which involved the DMCA Safe Harbor, Section 230, and downstream liability protection, especially in connection with the SOPA bill in 2011, which Aaron’s protest help defeat in early 2012.

Jack Andraka, the teen who discovered a promising test for Pancreatic Cancer, discusses the problem of paywalls for scientific journals at about the 15:00 mark in the YouTube video of his Stanford speech in late 2013, youtube link here.

(Published Sunday June 22, 2014 at 11:45 PM)

“Come Hell or High Water: The Battle for Turkey Creek”, question and answer session at DC Environmental Film Festival

I made six video clips from the Question and Answer session for the film “Come Hell or High Water: The Battle for Turkey Creek” at the Carnegie Institute for Science on 16th Street in Washington DC (happens to be right across the street from the First Baptist Church if the City of Washington DC, in which I grew up in the 1950s and 1960s).

The subject of the film is African American activist Derrick Evans, who had worked as a history teacher in Boston before starting to visit his homeland in Mississippi more often. The Turkey Creek bayou is a natural wetland and was settled by freed slaves during the Reconstruction, who were able to own land here in a segregated society.  The land is threatened by over-development, which makes it even more susceptible to natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina and then Rita in 2005. The film is directed by Leah Mahan and has been carried on Mississippi PBS.

Evans gave up his career (even as a teacher) to become an activist.  During the QA I asked him if he was economically OK now, and the answer seemed to be, not really.  Was this an OK question?

Another speaker said that more people needed to be willing to live in the Gulf area.  Saying that people shouldn’t “choose” to live in higher risk areas just doesn’t cut it morally.

Here are the clips

Clip 1

Clip 2

Clip 3

Clip 4

Clip 5

Clip 6