Monday, September 6, 2004

Fed up with what they say is the radical left’s domination of Hollywood, a group of conservative filmmakers will debut their newest films in a festival this weekend in Dallas.

The film festival, scheduled Sept. 10-12, is the brainchild of Jim Hubbard, a law school graduate who felt conservatives have sat on the sidelines too long while liberals dominate moviemaking. He and others tired of filmmakers like Michael Moore, whose “Fahrenheit 9/11” bashed President Bush for how his administration dealt with the September 11 terrorist attacks.

“The left has had an inordinate influence in Hollywood over the last 40 years and we’re going to change that,” Mr. Hubbard said in an interview last week. “The best way to counter Michael Moore … and the cultural elite in general, is to get out there and produce films.”

Mr. Hubbard said the idea for the festival came when he and his wife were in law school a few years back and were frustrated at their movie choices. Mr. Hubbard estimates there are about 50 to 70 million evangelical and fundamentalist Christians in America who feel the same frustration, and would like to see movies that don’t portray faith, America or traditional values in a cynical or negative light.

“Many of these people feel that Hollywood is their enemy,” Mr. Hubbard said, noting that the immense box-office success of “The Passion of the Christ” proves there is a large audience craving a different type of movie, and hopefully Hollywood will begin to realize this.

Mr. Hubbard initially hoped to have a handful of documentaries at his film festival, but the roster stands at about two dozen — “bigger and better than we ever imagined.”

Among the films making their debut are two aimed directly at Mr. Moore. The first movie, “Michael and Me,” by Larry Elder, is designed to answer Mr. Moore’s earlier antigun movie “Bowling for Columbine.” In the second, “Michael Moore Hates America,” filmmaker Mike Wilson “not only challenges Mr. Moore’s radical left-wing propaganda, but also tells the truth about a great nation.”

Other films tackle difficult topics such as Iraq, religious faith in politics and political correctness.

Filmmaker Don Noth tells the stories of six Iraqi men who were tortured by Saddam Hussein and explains “why they are among America’s staunchest supporters,” in his film, “Remembering Saddam.” In “Confronting Iraq,” former CIA Director James Woolsey and others make the case for why the United States invaded the country.

“George W. Bush: Faith in the White House” looks at how the president’s religious beliefs have affected his life, and “Brainwashing 101” is “a disturbing look at political correctness, the ideology that dominates campus life.”

“Beyond The Passion of the Christ” examines the effects the movie has had around the world.

Mr. Hubbard said he’s not making a profit from the festival and that 90 percent of it was paid for by friend and family donations or by people purchasing tickets for the shows.

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