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Imagine Festival kicks off: see it before you vote

Just in Time for Election Day, Historic Grassroots Tour
To Bring Acclaimed Documentaries To American Cities

Building on the extraordinary success of its massive citywide festival during the Republican National Convention, The Imagine Festival of Arts, Issues & Ideas today launched the Films To See Before You Vote Tour, which will bring a series of acclaimed, issue-oriented films to communities in key battleground states prior to Election Day.

In an entirely new twist on traditional film distribution, the Films To See Before You Vote Tour will offer a complete film festival package free of charge to groups and individuals who have the ability to present one or all of the films in their communities. Curated by Jim Browne, the innovative "Film Festival in a Box" includes films and materials for producing an impromptu festival in theaters, college auditoriums, libraries, churches, community centers, retirement homes, and private residences.

The historic grassroots tour, co-sponsored by FilmsToSeeBeforeYouVote.org (www.filmstoseebeforeyouvote.org), will be making confirmed stops in Cincinnati, Miami, and Boulder over the next three weeks. Additional tour dates will be announced in the coming days.

"Artists and producers across the country are coming together to make their voices heard and share their vision for the future," said Chris Wangro, co-founder and co-executive producer of The Imagine Festival. "This one of the most important elections in history and we're thrilled to be able to give all Americans the opportunity see these extraordinary films which take a hard look at the issues that both the mainstream media and the candidates have overlooked."

According to Peter Broderick, founder of FilmsToSeeBeforeYouVote.org, "Political films are having a greater impact than ever before. They are bringing people together, enabling them to be better informed, and encouraging them to be more involved."

The Films To See Before You Vote Tour will showcase a diverse collection of documentaries screened during the Republican National Convention week. The films focus on a range of issues including voting rights and the electoral process, the war in Iraq, racism, civil liberties, and free speech.

Held in response to the Republican National Convention, The Imagine Festival showcased more than 200 events at 75 venues across the city from August 28-September 2, the week of the GOP gathering. The Festival's film series included screenings hosted by legendary artists such as Robert Altman, John Sayles, and Phillip Glass.

FilmsToSeeBeforeYouVote.org is a new website that has been launched to provide access to the latest political films and promote their use as tools to catalyze action before November 2nd. It connects citizens to films that they can use to inform, inspire, and organize.

To request more information on booking the festival, please contact Jim Browne at 646-732-3725 or Nicole Heidbreder at 917-664-2979 or visit http://www.imagine04.org/filmfest.html.

The Films To See Before You Vote Tour includes the following films:

SOLDIERS PAY
Directed by David O. Russell, Juan Carlos Zaldivar, Tricia Regan, 35 min. 2004 Interviews with American soldiers about the 2004 war in Iraq, including Matt Novak, who was discharged for speaking out against certain aspects of the war. The documentary also includes interviews with Iraqi refugees who acted as extras in the film Three Kings.

ABOUT BAGHDAD
Directed by InCounter Productions, 2004
In July 2003, Sinan Antoon, an exiled Iraqi writer and poet, returned to Baghdad to see what had become of his city after wars, sanctions, decades of oppression and violence, and now occupation.

SIXTY CAMERAS AGAINST THE WAR
Directed by Julie Talen, 2004
On February 15, 2003, every major city on the planet protested the impending war in Iraq. Sixty Cameras uses simultaneous images to chronicle the powerful response in New York City.

THE GROUND TRUTH
Directed by Patricia Foulkrod, 2004
The ongoing story of American soldiers involved in a war in Iraq and Afghanistan that is largely invisible to the American public.

VOTING IN AMERICA
Produced by Laura Harrison & Charlotte Lagarde, 2004
A collection of 9 short films that explore voter apathy, redistricting in Texas, a get out the vote campaign on a Navajo Reservation, the disenfranchisement of Americans with felony convictions and much, much more.

UNCONSTITUTIONAL: THE WAR ON OUR CIVIL LIBERTIES
Written & Directed by Nonny de la Pena, 2004
An exploration of how the Patriot Act has altered the checks & balances on law enforcement and the effect these changes are having on the civil liberties of all Americans.

UNCOVERED: THE WHOLE TRUTH ABOUT THE IRAQ WAR
Directed by Robert Greenwald, 2003
An examination of the Bush administration's case for war through interviews with U.S intelligence and defense officials, foreign service experts, and U.N. weapons inspectors.

UNPRECEDENTED: THE 2000 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION
Directed by Joan Sekler and Richard Ray Perez, 2002
The riveting story of the battle for the Presidency in Florida and the status of democracy in America.

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