9500 Liberty: Film on Immigration Battle Wins Best Documentary at the Charlotte Film Festival

This remarkable film about the debate over immigration reform received duly earned recognition at the Charlotte Film Festival as it won the award for Best Documentary.  NDN has had the pleasure of working with the filmmakers, Annabel Park and Eric Byler, as we hosted screenings for 9500 Liberty in Washington, DC and at Netroots Nation.  Annabel and Eric joined creators like Michael Moore and some other 60 filmmakers who showed 24 films in Charlotte, NC as part of the festival, which included international films.  

The film originated as footage shot by Annabel and Eric documenting the struggle of their own suburban community - Prince William County, VA - to deal with rapidly changing demographics and the issue of immigration at a local level.  Among the hundreds of visitors who viewed the films at the film festival, 9500 drew much attention in part because of the parallels that can be drawn between Charlotte, NC and Prince William; both have undergone dramatic growths in population and shifts in the local demography, both are suburban areas that have seen clashes between those in the community that have been there for decades or centuries and new immigrants (particularly Hispanic immigrants).  

Said Annabel, "The award means a lot to us because [we were competing with] some great films at the festival."  Moreover, the filmmakers were encouraged by how much moviegoers loved the film, "festival organizers and goers were mostly not from a political background, and their positive response indicates that the film is not just for the politically-minded."  Annabel reported, "I could sense the transformation happening in the audience after the screening.  The lessons [on the immigration debate] were very clear to people...Eric, Chris and I are really proud that the film has the potential to change opinions and lives."

We know that 9500 Liberty has the power to reach a wide audience, to inform, and to affect opinion on this issue.  Click here to see a trailer of the film.  You can catch the full-length feature as it officially premieres this Thursday, October 1 at the DC Asian Pacific American Film Festival, and stay tuned for additional screenings to be hosted by NDN.