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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Allison Benner, Cedar Crest College Relations, 610-740-3790
Jillian Lowery, Muhlenberg College Public Relations, 484-664-3235

FIRED UP FILMS

A Series of Challenging New Political Documentaries for Reflection and Discussion at Muhlenberg and Cedar Crest Colleges

Allentown, PA (October 4, 2004) - The communication programs at Muhlenberg and Cedar Crest colleges will present a film series of contemporary political documentaries beginning on Thursday, October 7, 2004.

The series itself is a collaboration between Dr. Jim Brancato and Dr. Jim Schneider of Cedar Crest College and Muhlenberg College respectively. The two professors are both teaching film classes this semester and wanted to expose their students to some of the recent political documentaries that have been released. With the popularity of Fahrenheit 9/11 - the highest grossing documentary of all-time, at over 120 million dollars-interest in documentary films, especially political ones, has reached a crescendo in this country.

"We wanted to spark public discussion and an exchange of viewpoints," says Dr. Brancato. "These films all raise significant concerns about national and international public policy. We wanted to create a forum where people from all sides of the political spectrum could express their opinions about the issues raised in these films. And with any luck, the films will also inspire people to take action during this election season---especially, to get out and vote."

The program is sponsored by the communication departments of Muhlenberg and Cedar Crest Colleges, the Cultural Programs Committee of Cedar Crest, and the Center for Ethics and the political science department at Muhlenberg.

The showings are free and open to the public, but seating is limited. The schedule of films is as follows:

Thursday, Oct. 7, 7:00 p.m. Lithgow Science Auditorium, Trumbower Hall, Muhlenberg
Hijacking Catastrophe: 9/11, Fear and the Selling of American Empire (2004) 58 min.
Argues that fear is used by the present administration to advance a pre existing agenda to radically transform American foreign policy while rolling back civil liberties and social programs at home.

Friday, Oct. 8, 7:00 p.m., Room 33, Miller Science Bldg, Cedar Crest
The Siege of Western Civilization (2004) 42 min.
Herb Meyer, former Reagan administration senior Intelligence official, argues that Western Civilization is under siege from radical Islam, the war on traditional culture, and plunging birth rates.

AND

Independent Media in a Time of War (2004) 35 min.
Amy Goodman, independent journalist and host of the radio show, Democracy Now, analyzes corporate media's coverage of the U.S. invasion of Iraq and the impact of commercialization and consolidation of the media industry on journalism and democracy.

Thursday, Oct. 14, 7:00 p.m. Lithgow Science Auditorium, Trumbower Hall, Muhlenberg
Outfoxed, directed by Robert Greenwald (2004) 80 min.
Examines how media empires, led by Rupert Murdoch's Fox News, are taking control of the public's right to know. This documentary also reveals the secrets of former Fox News producers, reporters, bookers and writers who expose what it's like to work for Fox News.

Friday, Oct. 15, 7:00 p.m., Room 33, Miller Science Bldg, Cedar Crest
Weapons of Mass Deception (2004) 100 min.
Journalist Danny Schecter's examination of media coverage of the Iraq war. The film questions the objectivity of mainstream organizations and challenges media cooperation and complicity with the government in presenting the Iraq War to the American people.

Thursday, Oct. 21, 7:00 p.m. Lithgow Science Auditorium, Trumbower Hall, Muhlenberg
Confronting Iraq (2004) 88 min.
Produced by Roger Aronoff of Accuracy in Media, a conservative watchdog agency, this documentary defends the reasons for going to war in Iraq. Includes interviews with former CIA director James Woolsey, political columnist Christopher Hitchens, and others.

Fri., Oct. 22, 7:00 p.m., Room 33, Miller Science Bldg, Cedar Crest
Fahrenheit 9/11, directed by Michael Moore (2004)
One of the most controversial and provocative films of the year, Fahrenheit 9/11 is Academy Award winning filmmaker Michael Moore's searing examination of the Bush Administration's actions in the wake of 9/11. The top grossing documentary of all time.

Thurs., Oct. 28, 4:00 p.m. Lithgow Science Auditorium, Trumbower Hall, Muhlenberg
AND Fri., Oct. 29, 7:00 p.m., Room 33, Miller Science Bldg, Cedar Crest
Control Room, by Jehane Noujaim (2004) 86 min.
Al Jazeera, the Arab world's most popular news network, is chronicled in this film that gives the viewer a glimpse of international coverage of the Iraq war.

Thurs., Nov. 4, 7:00 p.m. Lithgow Science Auditorium, Trumbower Hall, Muhlenberg AND Fri., Nov. 5, 7:00 p.m., Room 33, Miller Science Bldg, Cedar Crest
The Corporation by Mark Achbar, Jennifer Abbott & Joel Bakan (2004) 145 min.
Explores the history, inner workings, controversial impacts and potential futures of big corporations. When corporations own everything, who will stand for the public good?

Fri., Nov. 12, 7:00 p.m., Room 33, Miller Science Bldg, Cedar Crest
Open Date
This time will be used to exhibit any of the films for which we were unable to accommodate viewers during our regular showing.

Thurs., Nov. 18, 7:00 p.m. Lithgow Science Auditorium, Trumbower Hall, Muhlenberg
Exhibition and Discussion of Local Alternative Media
Co sponsored by the Lehigh Valley Alliance for Sustainable Communities and the Communication Departments of Muhlenberg and Cedar Crest Colleges, this event will exhibit representative samples of local alternative media, discuss the possibilities for expanding production and distribution of community media in the Lehigh Valley, and organize our local efforts to that end. Among the videos shown will be one on anti Iraq war activism in the Valley news.

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