CHARLOTTE, N.C. There may be no such thing as a free lunch in politics, but there are definitely free movies – not to mention stars and directors who’ll come to Charlotte to introduce their works and causes in person, including Oscar-winner Jeff Bridges and Golden Globe nominee Eric McCormack.
Most of these films come via the Impact Arts + Film Fund, which was created during the last election as a platform for artists and filmmakers to present political and policy-related projects. It’s truly non-partisan: These films were shown during the Republican National Convention, though the biography of Ethel Kennedy was replaced with one about George H.W. Bush.
The movies are aimed at lawmakers, candidates, delegates at the conventions – and you. Each film will be followed by a panel discussion during the daytime hours of the convention, featuring filmmakers and policy-makers and other issue experts.
To see these films, you have to sign up in advance; do that at www.impactfilmfund.org.
All movies will be shown at the EpiCentre Theatre at Trade and College streets. Here’s the lineup:
“How to Survive a Plague,” 10 a.m. Tuesday. This documentary tells of two coalitions, ACT UP and TAG (Treatment Action Group), whose activism helped turn AIDS from a death sentence into a manageable condition. Director/writer David France is expected to attend.
“The Invisible War,” 2 p.m. Tuesday. Filmmakers Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering made this investigative documentary about one of our country’s shameful secrets: an epidemic of rape in the U.S. military.
“Ethel,” 10 a.m. Wednesday. HBO made this documentary about the life of Ethel Kennedy, told by family members.
“Hunger Hits Home,” 2 p.m. Wednesday. The Food Network and Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry Campaign combined on this look at childhood hunger in America through the eyes of people on the front lines of the battle: parents and children, anti-hunger activists, educators and politicians. Activist Jeff Bridges will attend.
“The House I Live In,” 10 a.m. Thursday. This documentary won the 2012 Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize; it was filmed in 20 states and tells the stories of individuals at all levels of America’s war on drugs: dealers, narcotics officers, inmates, federal judges and others in America’s criminal justice system. Director Eugene Jarecki will attend.
“Butter,” noon Thursday. A quirky comedy about love, sex and winning. Jennifer Garner, Ty Burrell, and Olivia Wilde are rivals who do whatever they must to beat foes in a butter-carving contest.
“Electoral Dysfunction,” 2 p.m. Thursday. After learning that the U.S. Constitution does not guarantee the right to vote, political humorist Mo Rocca (a correspondent for “CBS Sunday Morning”) set out on a road trip to see how voting works (or doesn’t) in America. Rocca will be there.
There’s one more film that’s not part of the Impact festival: “Knife Fight,” a new IFC drama getting a screening at the NASCAR Hall of Fame, Martin Luther King Blvd. and Stonewall Street.
The film starts at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday. Rob Lowe stars as a crisis manager sought by each side in an election: a senator whose masseuse accuses him of going too far and a governor whose affair may cost him votes. Eric McCormack (“Will and Grace”) and Richard Schiff co-star, and both will appear. To go: knifefightdnc.eventbrite.com.