IFC Films’ OFFICIAL SECRETS advanced screening with National Whistleblowers Summit + Film Festival at the National Press Club. Right to left: Gavin Hood, Katharine Gun, Martin Bright.
A pre-Whistleblower Summit & Film Festival publicity rollout began last night with an advanced screening of Gavin Hood’s (Eye In The Sky) new film “Official Secrets” which opens in September 6th in D.C., at the National Press Club. Special guests included writer and director Gavin Hood and real-life inspirations, whistleblower Katharine Gun (portrayed by Keira Knightley) and journalist Martin Bright (portrayed by Matt Smith). “Official Secrets” screened to a full house with many notable whistleblowers such as Marcel Reid, Sheila White, Robert J. Maclean, Dr. Matthew Fogg and influencers like members of the National Press Club, Government Accountability Project, Project on Government Oversight and staffers from various representatives offices on the hill.
She risked everything to stop an unjust war. Her government called her a traitor. Based on world-shaking true events, Official Secrets tells the gripping story of Katharine Gun (Keira Knightley), a British intelligence specialist whose job involves routine handling of classified information. Michael McCray, whistleblower and summit co-host, described Official Secrets as “a modern day All The President’s Men—only better.” Daniel Ellsberg, the famed whistleblower behind the leak in 1971 of the Pentagon Papers (the subject of Steven Spielberg’s 2017 drama The Post), remarked that Gun’s actions signified “the most important and courageous leak I have ever seen. No one else – including myself – has ever done what Gun did: tell secret truths at personal risk, before an imminent war, in time, possibly, to avert it.”
Over the last twelve years members from the Make It Safe Coalition1 have arranged an assembly of whistleblowers in Washington, DC each year for an annual conference originally known as Washington Whistleblower’s Week. ACORN 8, a Washington, D.C. based organization will host its eighth annual event, the Whistleblower Summit & Film Festival on Capitol Hill on July 29 to August 1, 2019. The theme for the Whistleblower Summit this year is True North—Persevering in the Pursuit of Justice. The series of events, which will take place on Capitol Hill and other nearby locations.
Representative Eleanor Holms Norton on behalf of Washington, DC Mayor Muriel Browser will present a proclamation to support Whistleblower Summit organizers and National Whistleblower Appreciation Day on July 30 during a 12 noon opening plenary at the Hart Senate Office Building (Room 902). This DC based summit and film festival is the latest in a series of related conferences the organization has previously hosted inside and outside of the beltway. Organizers will co-host free lectures and events open to the public that celebrate the important role of whistleblowers and their advocates.
The Whistleblower Summit recognizes that cinema is a powerful medium for highlighting civil and human rights violations across the globe. It seeks to shine a light on stories of courage and perseverance in the face of injustice, and to encourage individuals to stand together to achieve human rights for all. Marcel Reid, summit co-host and Festival Director explained, “We are looking for films about whistleblowers, the First Amendment or that touch on one or several human rights issues that are connected to our areas of work this includes freedom of expression, women’s rights, discrimination, communal violence, human rights defenders, among other issues. As well as films centered on other civil and human rights issues.”