Monday, September 7, 2015

Inaugural Investigative Film Festival to Be Held in Washington, DC

Michael Keaton & Mark Ruffalo (r) star in Spotlight

From our friends at the Investigative Film Festival...

"Spotlight" Named as Opening Night Selection

The award-winning nonprofit news organization, 100Reporters, announced today the launch of the first-ever Investigative Film Festival (IFF) and Symposium in the United States.

The Investigative Film Festival will run from September 30 to October 2 at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, Newseum, and Woolly Mammoth Theatre in Washington, DC. The festival will offer a new, more social and provocative way of experiencing films, with a focus on dramatic and documentary works inspired by the investigative instinct and discussions that connect films with the real people behind the stories.

The festival will open with the Washington premiere of “Spotlight,” the upcoming film that is the true story of the Boston Globe’s reporting on the sexual abuse of children by priests and the ensuing cover-up by the archdiocese. The Globe’s reporting shook the entire Catholic church to its core, and won the paper a Pulitzer Prize in 2003. Directed by Oscar-nominee Tom McCarthy and featuring an all-star cast including Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Liev Schreiber, Rachel McAdams, Stanley Tucci, John Slattery and Brian D’Arcy James, “Spotlight” dramatizes the power of investigative reporting to challenge injustice, even where entrenched institutions are involved. Open Road Films will release “Spotlight” in select theaters on November 6 and the film will open nationwide November 20.

“The IFF unfolds amid an explosion of creativity, as traditional boundaries blur and collide between journalists and visual storytellers,” said 100Reporters’ Executive Editor Diana Jean Schemo, who is founding director of the festival. “Our goal with the IFF is to shine a light on the critical role investigative reporting plays in today’s society.”

In conjunction with screenings for the general public, the festival will host investigative journalists and visual storytellers for a two-day symposium, where they can network, share best practices, learn new skills and hear from commissioning editors and funders.

Sky Sitney, industry veteran and former director of AFI Docs, is producing the festival, working alongside Ms. Schemo to develop the program and enlist leading filmmakers and investigative journalists to join the conversation.

“There’s been an avalanche of creative work that is straddling the lines between traditional filmmaking and investigative journalism,” said Ms. Sitney. “No other event in the nation’s capital is devoted exclusively to creating a space where journalists and filmmakers can interact and engage in an exchange of ideas, resources, and best practices.”

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation is the founding sponsor of the festival, which also enjoys support from the Reva and David Logan Foundation, the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and the Ford Foundation and Participant Media.

Those interested in attending the IFF film screenings and symposium can purchase individual tickets online and on-site, as well as a Film Pass, which allows entry into all six film screenings at the National Portrait Galley (excluding Opening Night). An All Access Pass is also available and includes entry to all films and symposium programming, including meals and festival events.

For more information on the Investigative Film Festival and Symposium, including tickets, programming, panels and speakers, visit

About 100Reporters:
100Reporters ( is a news organization dedicated to forging new frontiers in responsible journalism. It joins scores of the planet’s finest professional reporters with whistleblowers across the globe to report on corruption and promote civic accountability. The organization, spearheaded by veteran correspondents of top-tier news outlets, aims to raise the caliber, impact and visibility of watchdog journalism, as a means of promoting transparency and good government.