Civil Rights

Announcing the Finalists for the 2022 Lights, Camera, Liberty Film Festival

A participant delivers a film pitch during the 2022 Lights, Camera, Liberty Film Workshop

The annual Lights, Camera, Liberty training from Atlas Network features a four-day intensive storytelling and video production training workshop in Los Angeles guided by industry experts. Individuals from partner organizations have the chance to learn how messaging, marketing, and video production can be used to promote their message to greater audiences online.

The most successful online video from each year is recognized during the Lights, Camera, Liberty Film Festival, and the winning organization receives a US$10,000 award. The three finalists for this year’s award have been selected for their achievement in reaching significant and strategic audiences, using impactful storytelling, and demonstrating capable production and editing techniques.

Without further ado, continue reading to find out who this year’s finalists are!

Image of an American: Frederick Douglass and the Right to Vote
The Federalist Society | United States

Prominent American statesman and abolitionist Frederick Douglass famously stated, “Slavery is not abolished until the black man has the ballot.” The Federalist Society (FedSoc) tells the story of the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment in 1865 through a spoken and visual story, with chapters outlining the historical context of Frederick Douglass’ fight to secure the vote. FedSoc’s video features three experts: Professor Lucas Morel from Washington and Lee University, Timothy Sandefur from Goldwater Institute, and Professor Bradley Rebeiro from Brigham Young University, who present a detailed and nuanced telling of the history that “transformed not only the Constitution, but what it meant to be American.”

Watch Cops Seize Combat Vet’s Life Savings
Institute for Justice | United States

Institute for Justice (IJ) tells the story of Stephen Lara, a retired Marine who was stopped by the Nevada Highway Patrol. Officers used the practice of civil asset forfeiture—also known as civil forfeiture—to seize his life savings of US$86,900 from his vehicle without justified cause. Through bodycam footage that was secured by IJ, viewers see a rare first-hand look at how civil forfeiture can happen to anyone. The film also uses graphics and a comprehensive breakdown of the case to show how forfeiture creates a perverse incentive by feeding funds back into state and local agencies. Institute for Justice is a non-profit public interest law firm that represents clients free of charge, and took on Lara’s case and eventually helped to get his life savings returned to him. By sharing Lara’s story, the Institute for Justice sheds light on an unjust process that is rarely held accountable and can rob innocent people of their livelihood.

Sabemos Vender Bien
Libera Bolivia | Bolivia

Feria 16 de Julio is one of the many street markets in El Alto, Bolivia, where everything imaginable is sold, from food to auto parts to pets. The market is chaotic, dynamic, magical even, and at its core it is full of life. Libera Bolivia gives us a firsthand look at all of this through colorful visuals, upbeat music, and narration from “Alteño” a boy who grew up around the market. Jorge Velarde Rosso, academic director of Libera, describes that Libera’s research frames classic markets like Feria 16 de Julio as free-market spaces that are vital generators of wealth in Bolivia. Rosso contends that “economic development is thought to be a plan that should be worked out by the best economists or the most honest politicians (if they exist at all).... Our epistemological approach places the person at the center of the solution. It is human action, the sum of the free people, who create spontaneous orders—although to many “Westerners” it looks like chaos—and the ability to see business opportunities where others don’t. All of that is in the Feria 16 de Julio.”