What prompts this request is a chat we had Tuesday with Jim Hubbard, law school grad and soon-to-be lawyer who, along with his lawyer wife, Ellen, is behind the American Film Renaissance Institute, a new Dallas group that is organizing a film festival here September 9 through September 11. The festival intends to show "movies dedicated to celebrating pro-American values, messages and themes." So what would a right-wing film festival give us then? Dirty Harry? Selected works from Charlton Heston's filmography?
We had high hopes that Hubbard would rant, call for a Hollywood boycott and say Michael Moore is in league with Satan. "My criticism is not with liberals. My criticism is with conservatives," Hubbard says. "The film industry is not your enemy."
In a country evenly split on politics, he says, there should be a market for documentaries and feature films with a conservative slant. Conservative commentators rule talk radio, so why is there no conservative answer to Fahrenheit 9/11?
"A lot of people are calling this an anti-Michael Moore film festival," says Hubbard, and indeed at least two films that may show at the festival (they haven't picked a final lineup or venue yet) are aimed squarely at the creator of Fahrenheit 9/11. Yet the depressingly reasonable Hubbard opposes efforts by some conservatives to boycott Moore's film or limit its distribution. Suppressing a point of view is a sure way to give it more life, he says. Conservatives instead should pony up their own movies and engage the opposition.
That's why he and his wife are putting together their festival. (The group's Web address is www.afrfilmfestival.com.)
Now, granted Buzz fully suspects that despite Hubbard's own niceness some of the right-wing documentaries that will be screened will foam at the mouth, be long on polemics and short on thoughtfulness, etc. On the other hand, we saw Fahrenheit 9/11 this weekend, and sauce for the goose...