9500 Liberty

9500 Extended for 4th Week in Tempe, National Roll-out begins in June

Arizonans embrace immigration documentary as blueprint for civic participation

view the 9500 Liberty trailer

Arizona premiere poster for 9500 Liberty


Tempe, AZ, May 21, 2010 —Hailed by the Arizona Republic and the Phoenix New Times, the documentary film 9500 Liberty begins its fourth week in Tempe, AZ today, and its first in Prescott Valley. The award-winning film, which explores the controversial intersection of politics and immigration, also opens in Tuscon next week, with a national roll-out starting in June.

During the filming of 9500 Liberty, co-directors Annabel Park and Eric Byler released raw footage on YouTube, allowing public comment and inviting residents of the county to add their voice to what became the world's first "interactive documentary." The feature film provides an inside look at how ordinary citizens used YouTube and other new media tools to respond to extreme political tactics and repeal a controversial and counter-productive law. Inspired by these events, Arizonans are creating their own interactive documentary called "Liberty Arizona," with more than 70 people attending the first meeting last Sunday afternoon. Byler, who is training filmmakers and other volunteers for Liberty Arizona, will attend the Opening Night Premiere screening at 7:40 tonight at the Harkins Prescott Valley 14, as well as the 5 PM and 7PM screenings at the Harkins Valley Art Theatre in Tempe on Saturday.

Harkins Valley Art Theater
Daily 1:00, 3:00, 5:00, 7:00, 9:00
509 S Mill Ave. • Tempe, AZ 85281
*Director Eric Byler in person Sat. 5/22 5 & 7 PM shows

Prescott Valley 14
Daily 10:20, 12:40, 2:50, 5:20, 7:40, 9:50
7202 Pav Way • Prescott Valley, AZ 86314
*Director Eric Byler in person Fri. 5/21 7:40 PM show

9500 Liberty was rushed into theatrical release by Harkins Theatres after Governor Jan Brewer (R) signed SB 1070, which requires law enforcement officials to conduct immigration status checks if they have "reasonable suspicion" that a person lacks proper documentation. 9500 Liberty is of special interest to Arizonans because the short-lived Virginia law similarly required police to conduct immigration status checks based on "probable cause." Both laws were drafted by an anti-immigration lobbying firm in Washington DC called Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), and one of FAIR's top lawyers is a key figure in the film.

The "probable cause" mandate in Prince William County was repealed after two months of implementation when citizens organized in opposition, citing its negative economic impact, the tax increases it had caused, and the threat of expensive law suits. After 15 years of falling crime rates, Prince William County saw a rising crime rate during the year of its immigration culture war, but both the economy and public safety have improved since the repeal of the controversial provision.

Byler of Gainesville, VA and Park of Silver Spring, MD are also known as founding members of Coffee Party USA, a national grassroots organization that is reengaging America's silent majority by promoting fact-based and solutions-oriented civic participation, with an emphasis on respect for diverse opinions and diverse cultures. The first Coffee Party convention will be held in August in Louisville, Kentucky.

Celebrating 77 years in Arizona and headquartered in Scottsdale, Harkins Theatres is the largest family owned theatre chain in the country and the premier movie exhibitor of the Western U.S. operating over 400 screens. Featuring a larger selection of film, snacks, and innovative amenities to moviegoers since 1933, Harkins Theatres is renown for its commitment and passion for offering the Ultimate Moviegoing ® experience. Founded by renowned showman, inventor, and community leader Dwight “Red” Harkins, Harkins Theatres has historically been a trailblazer for advancements in the motion picture exhibition industry. For more history, awards, and other info, visit www.harkinstheatres.com. Or, call Bryan Laurel at 602-738-3906 or Melissa Rich at 602-390-4232.

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