Written by: Maya Wilbourn, Film Fest Coordinator

Whether I am watching an unedited independent film in a small local theater or a film that won the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, there is something very exciting about film festivals.  Filmmakers are eager to share their artistic expressions and answer questions about their experiences making movies.  Audience members readily give their undivided attention.  And unlike the limited formats given to the news or presidential candidate debates, films tell a complete story.  The inaugural AILA Film Fest at the Annual Conference in Nashville this year is sure to be a hit.

Immigration films are important because they shape the public’s perception of immigrants.  They offer viewers a chance to connect with characters and in turn, our clients.  Filmmakers can educate the general public about why our current immigration system needs to be fixed.  The lack of poetic justice can make viewers feel uncomfortable with the fairness of our immigration laws.  Films can be persuasive, arguing against the border wall for example, or they can simply examine a unique perspective on immigration.  No matter how many clients and different types of cases I have, it is always eye opening to see the points of view expressed in films about immigration.

The AILA Film Fest will offer a variety of feature films and shorts that will be aired at 9:30 Wednesday, Thursday and Friday night of the conference.  I hope to see you all on the red carpet!

This blog is the first in a series on the AILA Film Fest. Stay tuned in coming weeks as several of the filmmakers featured at this years’ event will be blogging about their films. For more information, including a complete list of films titles and trailers, visit the AILA Film Fest homepage.  For more information on AILA’s Annual Conference, please visit: www.aila.org/ac.