The Forum Film Festival consists of seven nights of films, documentaries, and original shorts that portray the legal system and human rights in alluring and illuminating ways, followed by post-screening discussions with renowned artists, writers, public intellectuals, and members of the legal profession.
Another year of fabulous guests, including Nobelist Elie Wiesel and distinguished actor John Turturro, and the first year of the FOLCS Awards Night, highlighted the 2012 Forum Film Festival. Wiesel and Turturro discussed The Truce, in which Turturro starred as Auschwitz survivor and memoirist Primo Levi. Opening night at HBO featured Episode 1 of the series John Adams with post-screening guests Kirk Ellis, who wrote the screenplay for the entire series, and Judge Denny Chin of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Other films and discussions included The House I Live In, a documentary about America’s failed War on Drugs with the filmmaker Eugene Jarecki, New Yorker film critic David Denby, and Fordham Law Professor Deborah Denno; Good Night, and Good Luck, a film that looked at the role Edward R. Murrow and CBS News played in exposing the demagoguery of the 1950s Red Scare, with David Strathairn, who portrayed Murrow in the film, 60 Minutes correspondent Bob Simon, and New
The world of Wall Street traveled to Lincoln Center at the 6th Annual Forum Film Festival with screenings and discussions of Too Big to Fail, the HBO movie about the 2008 economic collapse, with Paul A. Volcker and Andrew Ross Sorkin; Wall Street, the definitive film of insider trading, with Oliver Stone and Edward R. Pressman; and Absence of Malice, with U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, who that very week concluded the sentencing phase of several high-profile insider trading cases. Other screenings included the iconic movie about child custody proceedings, Kramer vs. Kramer, with Oscar-winning director and screenwriter Robert Benton, and a rare public appearance by the sons of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, Michael and Robert Meeropol, who discussed the film, Daniel.
The 5th Annual Forum Film Festival was a tale of two Als, both named Pacino—Al Pacino both opened the Film Festival with his portrayal of Dr. Jack Kevorkian in You Don’t Know Jack; and a much younger Pacino closed the Festival with his portrayal of an attorney with a conscience in … And Justice for All. Our special guests for the Pacino nights were Dr. Jack Kevorkian himself, and actor Jeffrey Tambor, who made his feature film debut in our closing night’s film. The Supreme Court of the United States played a part in this year’s Film Festival, with our special guest, Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Other films explored legal and moral issues issues surrounding slavery, genocide, and a fictional rendering of the Leo Frank trial and subsequent lynching.
The 4th Annual Forum Film Festival was a tale of two famous film directors: Peter Bogdanovich and Barry Levinson. The legendary filmmakers discussed how matters of guilt, innocence, and revenge can be the subject for astonishing motion pictures. Other screenings dealt with the gross injustices in the Deep South during the Civil Rights Movement, the incivility that always arises from divorce, and how the First Amendment has held up after 9/11.
A month before the historic 2008 presidential election, the Forum Film Festival kicked off with a screening of HBO Film’sRecount. It continued with a mix of classics and box office hits—and its signature post-screening discussions where audiences gained exclusive insights into the films and the issues raised from screenwriters and actors, public intellectuals and legal experts.
From a documentary about school desegregation to a feature film about a publisher seeking First Amendment protection, the 2007 Forum Film Festival engaged audiences in lively discussions about the personal, legal, and moral implications of each film’s subject matter.
The inaugural Forum Law Film Festival was a resounding success, bringing together a wide range of people who shared an equally wide range of viewpoints about six films that demonstrate the reciprocal influence of the legal system on the broader culture.