I just returned from a spectacular opening night at the AFI Silver theater for the AFI-Discovery Channel Silverdocs Film Festival.
Attending the opening just reminded me what a beautiful venue AFI – and local residents- have in the Silver. The architecture is retro but unlike other refurbished theaters, the seats are comfortable, there’s plenty of leg room, and they have a stellar sound system.
FREAKONOMICS was the main event. And besides the slow start – the night was a success.
Without giving too much away – I will say FREAKONOMICS stayed true to the book. First, the authors were directly involved in the movie. Also, like the book, the movie is divided into easily digestible segments directed by a variety of recognizable filmmakers.
The powerhouse lineup includes:
Seth Gordon: Directed THE KING OF KONG in 2007 and he’s also A TV director for Parks and Recreation & The Office.
Alex Gibney: Won the Oscar for his 2007 documentary TAXI TO THE DARK SIDE.
Morgan Spurlock: Known for his 2004 Oscar nominated documentary SUPER SIZE ME.
Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady: Nominated for an Oscar for their 2007 doc JESUS CAMP.
Eugene Jarecki: Known for his 2005 doc called WHY WE FIGHT.
The film highlighted the most memorable moments from the book including the explanation of “what’s in a name”, “causes of drop in violence” and “incentives for students”. My favorite segment-hands down-was called “Incentives”. The segment brought a “face” to the story of an economic experiment at a Chicago high school. The University of Chicago paid students for good grades and tracked the number of students who improve their scores. I found myself laughing out loud with the entire audience during this final segment – ending the film on a good note. The characters were beyond endearing and their story was supported by hard facts and good camera work. As it happens the two directors (Ewing & Grady) and many of their local “cheer leaders” attended the event. I am sure those two could “feel the love” in the building.
You can’t ask for more than a great feature and full and animated crowd for an opening night film festival.
I am sure Silverdocs is going to be exciting and educating all week. JOIN THE FUN – GET YOUR TICKETS NOW!. Tickets are going fast.
Cheers & Beers —
— Becky Beamer, Writer, Doc & a Drink