By Film Threat Staff | June 8, 2004

Silverdocs brings more documentaries to the AFI Silver Theatre in Silver Spring, MD, June 15-20.
The following films will be premiere at this year’s festival:

SEEDS ^ Marjan Safinia, Joseph Boyle ^ Ten bold teenagers from Israel, Palestine, India, Pakistan and Afghanistan come together for three extraordinary weeks at the Seeds of Peace International Camp in Maine. Headed by former U.S. State Department Arab-Israeli negotiator Aaron David Miller, the camp exposes the teens to role-playing and trust-building techniques that teach nonviolent communication and respect. Directed by first-time filmmakers Marjan Safinia and Joseph Boyle, the film also takes us back to Israel and Palestine to track the reality of these young people’s lives, as they try to bring the message of peace and reconciliation back home. Following the screening, CNN’s Judy Woodruff will moderate a discussion with campers from the film, Aaron David Miller and the filmmakers. The evening concludes with a gala reception at Discovery Communications World Headquarters at One Discovery Place, across the street from the AFI Silver. ^ Tuesday 6/15 at 7:00 p.m.

CHILDREN WILL LISTEN ^ Charlene Gilbert ^ In 2002, the Kennedy Center invited a group of D.C. public elementary and middle school students to literally “put on a show.” Their mission: to stage and produce Steven Sondheim’s INTO THE WOODS. From set and costume design to learning lines, the kids were in charge! The film captures the comical moments and not-so-funny frustrations of this groundbreaking educational program. This project was a collaboration between: the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Education Program; Broadway, Jr.; six Washington D.C. public schools; the School of Communication at American University; AFI and Hallmark Entertainment. Following the film, the filmmaker and featured students will participate in a panel discussion. ^ Sunday 6/20 at 3:00 p.m.

LIBERIA: AN UNCIVIL WAR ^ Jonathan Stack ^ Summer 2003: Two armies arrived at the Liberian capital for the final battle of a decadelong civil war. Filmmaker Stack documented the events as the innocent sat still, waiting for America to arrive and end the violence. ^ Wednesday 6/16 at 9:45 p.m., Thursday 6/17 at 5:00 p.m.

MUSIC FROM THE INSIDE OUT ^ Daniel Anker ^ A captivating tour-de-force that explores the mystery and magic of the musical experience. Featuring the stories, ideas and surprising musical tastes behind the curtain of The Philadelphia Orchestra. ^ Friday 6/18 at 7:00 p.m.

OTHER PEOPLE’S PICTURES ^ Lorca Shepperd, Cabot Philbrick ^ The uninitiated ask: Why would anyone buy someone else’s family photographs? At the Chelsea Flea Market, ten obsessive collectors – including a gay man who collects vintage erotica – are ready to pay hundreds of dollars for a single snapshot, hunt for the perfect images that feed their photographic fantasies and add to their offbeat collections. ^ Wednesday 6/16 at 4:45 p.m.

OUT OF THE SHADOW ^ Susan Smiley ^ This very personal documentary chronicles several years in the life of the filmmaker’s mother, Millie, who was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, as she suffers through the chaos of both our mental health system and her own mind. ^ Friday 6/18 at 2:30 p.m.

RIGHT WING HOLLYWOOD ^ Jesse Moss ^ Now that Arnold Schwartzenegger is in public office, filmmaker Jesse Moss reveals the political truth about Republicans in Tinseltown who are finally able to come out of the conservative closet and voice their opinions. ^ Sunday 6/20 at 3:30 p.m.

VENUS OF MARS ^ Emily Goldberg ^ Onstage, wearing a vinyl corset and stiletto boots, is Venus, a transsexual and lead singer of the glam rock band All The Pretty Horses. At home with the wife, she/he’s known more simply as Steve. Witness this contemporary love story about a relationship in uncharted territory. ^ Saturday 6/19 at 9:30 p.m.

RAISE THE ROOF ^ Patrick Farrelly, Kate O’Callaghan ^ In the West of Ireland, a determined woman works against time to open a center dedicated to traditional Irish music. RAISE THE ROOF shows the madness people go through to bring artistic endeavors to life. ^ Saturday 6/19 at 6:45 p.m.

GUNNAR GOES COMFORTABLE ^ Gunnar Hall Jensen ^ Armed with a $25 amateur camera, a commercial art background and an ear for great music, Gunnar Hall Jensen creates a beautiful documentary which reveals his painful and brutally honest transformation: from a callous, manic alcoholic to compassionate family man. ^ Friday 6/18 at 9:30 p.m.

MADEMOISELLE AND THE DOCTOR ^ Janine Hosking ^ A charismatic and healthy 79-year-old French academic decides she has lived her life to the fullest and does not want to die of old age. She seeks the help of Dr. Nitschke, an Australian euthanasia advocate, who has created a do-it-yourself suicide device. ^ Thursday 6/17 at 3:15 p.m.

DASHA ^ Barbara Pawlowska ^ Having fun is all that matters in kindergarten, as evidenced by Dasha, the cute and precocious star of her own Polish TV show. Yet when the camera follows her home, Dasha’s life is a far cry from that of the television playground. ^ Wednesday 6/16 at 2:15 p.m.

LOSER, THE THIEF (GAP ZLOOZIEJ) ^ Monika Gorska ^ “Loser” is his name and thievery is his game. After years of stealing and doing time, Loser’s idea of going straight is to steal merchandise and then immediately return the items—along with some free security tips for the shopkeeper! ^ Wednesday 6/16 at 2:15 p.m.

THE KISS THAT WOULD LAST A BILLION YEARS ^ Leon Giesen, Marcel Prins ^ In 1977, NASA launched the Voyager Spacecraft to take a complete description of mankind to other worlds. Meet the freethinking scientists whose sweeping mission was to choose the music, photos, and sound-bites that would portray all of humankind. Saturday 6/19 at 12:00 p.m.

FUTURE FRONTIERS: MARS ^ Learn about the daily dramas, mind-boggling physics and high price tag behind NASA’s Mars Rover Mission. ^ Saturday 6/19 at 12:00 p.m.

TINTIN AND I (TINTIN ET MOI) ^ Anders Ostergaard ^ Interviews, stock footage and animation are used to create a beautiful portrait of Herge, the creator of the Belgian cartoon series Adventures of Tintin who sat at home researching far-off lands, while Tintin got to go and explore the world. ^ Saturday 6/19 at 2:15 p.m.

LOOKING FOR VICTORIA, AN ARGENTINE STORY ^ Ton Vriens ^ Adriana Lewi sets out to find the truth about her parents, political leftists who were kidnapped by the Argentine military when she was just 18 months old. Her journey leads to painful questions: What were her parents fighting for and why did they leave her behind? ^ Saturday 6/19 at 12:30 p.m.
For the full schedule, visit the Silverdocs website.

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