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Film

Aronofsky Joins CAP to Talk Faith and Environment

In a move that will surely only increase the heated rhetoric around his latest film, Noah director Darren Aronofsky will visit the Center for American Progress on Wednesday to discuss “the nexus of faith and environmentalism.” The film has come under attack from some religious groups for being little more than a thinly veiled political film that doesn’t even mention the word “God.” Aranofsky characterizes himself as a humanist, but says that stewardship of the Earth should be a priority for all people of faith.

The panel will feature Aronofsky, Noah Producer Ari Handel, Sierra Club executive director Michael Brune, as well as various folks from CAP. If you wanna check it out (it’s open to the public or you can live stream it), the deets are after the jump:

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George Takei, Patrick Stewart to Headline Smithsonian‘s ‘Future Is Here Festival’

smithsonian future

Alright nerds, get ready! 

Smithsonian magazine is holding their second annual The Future Is Here Festival May 16 – 18th on the Mall, and it’s shaping up to be the biggest collection of sci-fi geekery this side of ComiCon. The big draw this year is an advanced screening of the new X-Men movie featuring a live Q&A with the one and only Patrick Stewart. Presumably, there will be lots of actual sciency stuff too -but also Patrick Stewart! And George Takei.

Other guests include:

Brian Greene, Cosmologist, superstring and multiverse theorist, author of “The Hidden Reality”
Adam Steltzner, NASA’s “rock and roll engineer
Stewart Brand, De-extinction expert and Founder of The Long Now Foundation
Sara Seager, MIT Professor of Planetary Science and Physics
Kim Stanley Robinson, Hugo and Nebula-award winning science fiction author
The Mythbusters, (Courtesy of the Science Channel)
David Brin, Scientist and futurist: bestselling author of Earth and The Postman

To get more deets and purchase tickets, go here.

AMC Hosts Red Carpet Premiere for “TURN”

20140324_212728Last night, at the National Archives, AMC hosted a red carpet premiere for “TURN,” its new series chronicling Washington’s earliest spies.

The evening featured a cocktail party both before and after the screening and a Q&A hosted by ABC News Chief Global Affairs Correspondent Martha Raddatz with “TURN” Executive Producer Craig Silverstein; Jamie Bell, who plays Abraham Woodhull; former Director of the CIA Michael Hayden; Executive Producer Barry Josephson; and author Alexander Rose.

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Startupland Doc Premiers At E St Cinema

Last night was the world premier of new documentary series Startupland, by DC director Justin Gutwein (pictured third from left) at E Street Cinema in downtown DC. The series will follow five entrepreneurs from different walks of life as they attempt to get their start up businesses off the ground. For an indy production, Startupland has some pretty big names attached to it. Venture Capitalist Jonathan Perrelli is the main producer, and the pilot episode we saw featured an appearance by former AOL Chairman and CEO Steve Case and LivingSocial founder Tim O’Shaughnessy. Case walked in right as we were leaving, so we didn’t get to talk to him, but other notables in attendance were Hollywood on the Potomac’s Janet Donovan, Rebecca Cooper from WJLA, and Pamela Sorensen from Pamela’s Punch.

Cesar Chavez Film Premiers at Newseum

MSNBC’s Alex Wagner and Voto Latino’s Maria Theresa Kumar will be on hand at the Newseum next Tuesday for the DC premier of the film Cesar Chavez, about the labor leader and civil rights activist. Along with cast members America Ferrera and Rosario Dawson, and Director Diego Luna, they will have a discussion after the film about Chavez’ legacy.

CNN Picks Up Jose Antonio Vargas Doc

As part of its CNN Films initiative, which brought Blackfish and The Assassination of President Kennedy to the airwaves, CNN will broadcast DOCUMENTED, a feature film detailing the life of former WaPo reporter Jose Antonio Vargas. Vargas was part of the Pulitzer Prize winning team of reporters who covered the 2007 shooting at Virginia Tech and he famously outed himself as an illegal immigrant in 2011 in a New York Times Magazine essay, “My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant.”

“Immigration, to me, is not a political issue, it’s not a Latino or Asian issue – it’s an American story,” said Vargas, who wrote and directed the doc, in a press release.  

Vargas was sent to the United States from the Philippines by his mother at age 12 to live with his grandparents in Mountain View, Calif.  After attending San Francisco State University, he worked at newspapers in San Francisco, Philadelphia, New York City, and at the Post -all while keeping his true citizenship status a secret.

CNN will air the documentary in mid 2014, but according to Vargas’ Twitter page, it will be in theaters before then.

Washington Monthly’s Charlie Peters: This is Your Life

photo-29Washington Monthly‘s founding editor, Charlie Peters, short and slightly hunched over with a shock of white, silken Washington hair, was a man of few words Thursday afternoon at the New America Foundation as he watched a documentary about his own life.

A little like showing up for your own funeral. But his reaction didn’t require words, really. It was all in his shoulders.

Sitting in the front row of a small packed room with a screen, his shoulders shook up and down in dramatic spasms as he laughed and laughed while reporters recalled what it was like to have him as their editor.

And it wasn’t always pretty. Read more

Doc Explains ‘How Washington Really Works’

charlieproject_wallA debut screening of the new documentary film, “How Washington Really Works: Charlie Peters and the Washington Monthly” is set for next week at the New America Foundation. A reception and conversation on the role of the Washington Monthly and media in politics will follow.

Filmmaker Norman Kelley, who will be on hand at the event, explores the life and career of Peters and his influence on the journalism industry. Peters’ career began in 1969 after he left the Peace Corps.

The film highlights how Peters ran the Washington Monthly on a “shoe-string budget.” According to a release, it features candid memories by some of today’s leading journalists of their own experiences under Peters “tough love” approach to editing,  and humorous demonstrations of his legendary editing technique called “rain dancing.” The doc also examines the culture and dysfunction of Washington, D.C. and the media.

Washington’s media dysfunctional? Who thinks that?

See which D.C. journos have cameos… Read more

Virgin’s Branson to Address War on Drugs

BreakingTheTaboo

Sir Richard Charles Nicholas Branson, the English business magnate and founder of Virgin Group, will visit Washington Wednesday to discuss the global war on drugs. He’ll talk about the current state of affairs left behind by what he says is the failed war on drugs. Subtopics will include the negative impacts of the costly war, and the setbacks on the fight against drug addiction and substance abuse.

There will be a special screening of the groundbreaking documentary, “Breaking the Taboo,” narrated by Academy Award Winner Morgan Freeman. The film calls for an honest and open debate about drug laws, encouraging viewers to break the taboo on a subject that has been ignored for too long.

For more on the panel and “Breaking the Taboo,” follow the jump.

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A Journo Interviews Weiner’s Ex-Phone Sex Girlfriend: What Was it Like?

Heading to Vegas to hunt down former Rep. Anthony Weiner‘s (D-N.Y.) ex-phone sex girlfriend isn’t the worst gig in the world. Her name: Lisa Weiss. She’s a blackjack dealer who works at a major casino on the strip. The casino has threatened her with termination if she does additional media interviews. But what the hell? Throw caution to the wind. This was a documentary film, and The Hill‘s political reporter Alex Bolton was up for the task. His employer allowed him to take a break from his congressional duties to freelance for Stateless Media, a new Washington, D.C.-based film company that produces short films on political and international matters.

Many of the questions he asked were concocted before he flew out there. For the shoot, they had to line up a cameraman and a sound guy, and Weiss insisted on Stateless Media getting someone to do her makeup. Her nocturnal schedule allowed for a late-night interview that stretched out for nearly three hours, lasting until 1 a.m. Naturally they smoked cigs and drank wine throughout.

“Hey, it was Thursday night in Vegas — the city is one big party and what happens in Vegas is supposed to stay in Vegas,” Bolton told FishbowlDC.

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