Frequently Asked Questions

How do you watch a film? Are the films on demand or live-streamed? Do you have to pay to watch a film?

Register for free, exclusive access to the film festival, and to receive email updates and reminders about all events.

All film screenings and discussions are live-streamed on our home page at their precise time. Please check
our schedule and be sure to "add to calendar" all film screenings and live panel discussions you don’t want to miss. You may access our website to watch the film from any device that has a browser.

What are film discussions and when do they take place?

Our film discussions are live virtual discussions with the filmmakers themselves. The directors, writers, actors, and producers of these 20 incredible films all agreed to join us — along with scholars, activists, journalists, and in some cases, the impacted people themselves whose stories they chose to tell — to look back on their films all these years later and reflect on the challenges of telling these stories through film and the themes still relevant to us today. Be sure to check our schedule for the film discussions that accompany all our films and set a reminder for them.

Remember: Some discussions take place before the film screening while others take place after.

What is the “War on Terror?”

While we reject this false term, The “War on Terror” is the name of the never-ending war launched by President George W. Bush after the September 11, 2001 attacks, and upheld by every American administration since. Like the “War on Drugs,” its intention was never to combat “terrorism.” The term’s lack of a clear definition and scope has allowed unjust policies to be justified and illegal wars to be launched all in the name of protecting Americans (and “the West”).

Why a film festival to mark 20 years of the “War on Terror?”

While much of the discussion marking the twenty-year anniversary has revolved around the political analysis of these events, the ways in which the “War on Terror” helped shape our culture has not been scrutinized enough. During the 2000s in particular, it was difficult to see or listen to any film, television show, or song, without hearing some reference to the global events of the time.  The War on Terror Film Festival showcases some of the most important films over the last twenty years that take viewers on a journey to bear witness to the devastation of America’s wars and security state. Together, these films paint a picture of the experiences of those who bore the brunt of America’s post-9/11 policies, as well as their pain, trauma, hope, and resilience.

How did you select which films to include?

A significant number of films were produced in the last 20 years by dozens of courageous artists seeking to shed light on unjust policies and tell the stories of those impacted by post-9/11 policies. We wish we could have included all of them, but a team selected by the sponsor organizations carefully selected some of the most well-known and influential films made over the last 20 years that cover a variety of themes related to the “War on Terror,” including the wars on Iraq and Afghanistan as well as the drone attacks the US launches in a number of countries; torture and illegal imprisonment by the US military; FBI entrapment cases, mass surveillance, the targeting of Muslim institutions and social justice movements;  and, of course, the stories of those challenging these policies and working to uncover the truth of how far government repression extends.

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