Beyond the Books

Your Guide to student life

Wednesday, June 22, 2011 3:46 p.m.

Silverdocs sparks debate with new films

Crowds of cinemaphiles celebrate during the opening night party for Silverdocs. Photo courtesy of Silverdocs.

Described by Variety magazine as “non-fiction nirvana,” Silverdocs is a seven-day international film festival open to documentary buffs this week in Silver Spring, Md.

The ninth-annual festival opened Monday and highlights a mix of conferences, networking and film screenings. The festival aims to build support for independent filmmakers and fuel audience discourse on hot-button issues, from 9/11 and immigration, to sex-change and interracial marriage.

Some of the week’s highlights will include “Better This World,” a film about childhood friends who made Molotov cocktails at the 2008 Republican Convention and the repercussions of domestic terrorism; “Position Among the Stars,” an intimate look at an impoverished Indonesian family battling the effects of globalization and religious instability; and “Life in a Day,” a film composed of people’s own footage of their normal day, edited down from 4,500 hours of submitted video from 192 countries.

The festival continues throughout the week, with an awards ceremony on Sunday.  Screenings will also continue at the AFI Silver Theatre and nearby locations for the next two weeks.