- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The American Film Renaissance will bring a taste of Tinseltown to the Beltway as it kicks off its first film festival on the East Coast. Beginning tonight, filmgoers will have the opportunity to view screenings of more than two dozen movies at locations throughout the Washington area.

Since 2003, the American Film Renaissance has held film festivals throughout the United States attracting audiences of more than 4,000At this year’s event, organizers say, they expect standing-room-only crowds.

Jim and Ellen Hubbard, co-founders of the group, say the goal is to “celebrate American values” by “inspiring principles of individual freedom, rugged individualism and the triumph of the human spirit.”

“American Film Renaissance has screened films on the West Coast, in the Midwest, and we’ve held events in the South, but we’ve never done anything on the East Coast,” Mr. Hubbard said. “D.C. was the perfect location. Although a lot of our films are not of a political nature, there were some documentaries that dealt with politics. Also, D.C. is a savvy town when it comes to film. It’s a perfect convergence of people who are not just interested in public policy, but also interested in movies and documentaries.”

One of the festival’s films, “Indoctrinate U,” which will be shown Friday at the Kennedy Center, deals with freedom of speech on the nation’s college campuses. “O Jerusalem,” which will be shown Saturday at the Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse, deals with the founding of Israel.

The festival begins at 7 tonight at the E Street Theater in Northwest with “The Call of the Entrepreneur,” produced by the Acton Institute, a free-enterprise think tank in Grand Rapids, Mich.

The full schedule can be found online at www.afrfilm.com.

“If our festival is a success, we very well may set up shop in D.C. and run training programs out of D.C.,” Mr. Hubbard said. “We’re building an institute and I think D.C. could be a place where we could not just have a one-time event, but it could be fertile ground for the future.”

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