Doug Gamble- Contributor
Gamble is a former writer for President Ronald Reagan and
in Carmel. [go to Gamble index]
A cottage industry is gaining momentum...
[Doug Gamble] 10/13/04
There was a time
when the words “conservative film festival” would
have been an oxymoron, but not anymore. Yes, Virginia, there
are conservative movies.
Not only were some of them screened recently at an event called
the Liberty Film Festival, but it was held in the heart of West
Hollywood, a bastion of southern California liberalism. Talk
about in your face. This is somewhat akin to staging a Bush for
president rally in North Korea.
One of the
guiding hands behind the event was filmmaker Jason Apuzzo,
whose movie Terminal
Island was among those shown during the festival’s three days. He believes there’s
a sizable audience for movies with conservative viewpoints if
only they’re made available.
was fresh out of USC Cinema School, Apuzzo and his wife wrote
called The Terrorist, that they
shopped to 10 film companies in hopes of getting it produced.
It was largely rejected outright, according to Apuzzo, because
the villains were Muslim terrorists, and producers who did like
it insisted it be re-written to reflect the terrorists’ point
of view and explain their motivations.
says that one company had an association with Robert Redford
not allign itself with any project Redford
would disapprove of. So with $7,000 of his own money and the
help of actors willing to work for free, he made Terminal
Island, about a Wahabi Muslim who blows up buildings in
the L.A. area and a bounty hunter tracking him.
If Michael Moore
has done nothing else he has spawned an industry of anti-Moore
filmmakers, three of whose work were featured at
the West Hollywood event. In addition to the west coast premiere
of KABC Radio talk show host Larry Elder’s Michael
and Me, a pro-gun ownership film that takes on Moore’s
Bowling For Columbine, there was Mike Wilson’s
Michael Moore Hates America, and Celsius 41.11, a
response to Moore’s Fahrenheit 911 by Hollywood
writer, producer, director and Oscar nominee Lionel Chetwynd,
a longtime courageous conservative voice in Hollywood.
Although some of the movies at the festival were fiction, the
predominance of documentaries may well foreshadow such productions
as the latest weapon on the political battlefield, becoming almost
as ubiquitous as dueling TV ads by 2008.
What’s encouraging to conservatives who lament the left’s
domination of Hollywood is that the California event followed
a similar one in Dallas last month organized by law school graduate
Jim Hubbard. Originally expected to feature only a few documentaries,
the festival ended up screening almost two dozen.
Hubbard says, “The left has had an inordinate influence
in Hollywood over the last 40 years and we’re going to
change that. The best way to counter Michael Moore and the cultural
elite in general is to get out there and produce films.”
Hubbard believes there are millions of Americans tired of movies
that treat faith, America and traditional values with negativity
and cynicism, and cites
the popularity of The Passion of the Christ as proof that there’s
a sizable audience craving a different type of movie.
The West Hollywood
event erupted into boos whenever Moore’s
name was mentioned, but he may have the last laugh beyond the
millions Fahrenheit 911 has earned. He has withdrawn
the movie from consideration in the Academy Award’s best
documentary category and wants it nominated for the highest award
If President Bush
wins the election, look for Hollywood to not only nominate
Moore’s propaganda piece but to take
a slap at Bush by selecting it as best picture. CRO
California-based Doug Gamble contributed speech material to
Presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush, and writes a twice-monthly
column for the Orange County Register and CaliforniaRepublic.org.
2004 Doug Gamble