Over the last eight years members from the Make it Safe Coalition (MISC) have arranged an assembly of whistleblowers in Washington, DC each year for an annual conference originally known as Washington Whistleblower’s Week. Host committee members—ACORN 8, Coalition for Change (C4C), Project Censored, Justice Integrity Project and Federally Employed Women Legal Education Fund (FEW-LEF), will co-host this year’s Whistle Blower Summit for Civil & Human Rights on Capitol Hill. The theme for the annual conference this year is Black Lives Matter—This Is The Movement!
We are a coalition of individual whistle-blowers, grassroots activists, public interest advocates and policy makers. We provide a sense of community and mutual support for whistle-blowers or civil and human rights activists. During the conference, we also present the Pillar Award for Human Rights. The Pillar is awarded to notable civil and human rights champions; previous recipients include Representative Elijah Cummings (D-MD), Senator Charles “Chuck” Grassley (R-IA) and Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO). The Pillar is awarded to politicians, community activists and journalists—including documentary filmmakers.
In light of the recent interest in Hollywood films and documentaries about whistleblowers; this year we will present a Pillar Award for filmmakers at the Whistle Blower Summit for Civil & Human Rights. This award will highlight important whistleblower films—from documentaries to feature films. Our goal is to draw attention to important films about whistleblowers or investigative journalists, which may have been overlooked by traditional film festivals. Participant Media screened “The Fifth Estate” to the whistleblower community at the National Press Club during the Whistle Blower Summit in 2013.
The Pillar Award Nominees for “Best Whistle Blower Film” 2015 finalists are
(Listed In Alphabetical Order)
Ian Thomas Ash A2-B-C. Director / Cinematographer.
A2-B-C: (Censored Fukushima Film)
Eighteen months after the nuclear meltdown in Fukushima, children who were not evacuated are found to have thyroid cysts and low white blood cell counts. What will this mean for their future?
- Winner—Castell Award: Barcelona International Film Festival (2014)
- Winner—Best of Festival Award: Guam International Film Festival (2013)
- Nominated—Grand Jury Award: Best Documentary Feature (2013)
Michael Cuesta-- Kill the Messenger. Director / Producer.
Kill the Messenger
A reporter becomes the target of a vicious smear campaign that drives him to the point of suicide after he exposes the CIA's role in arming Contra rebels in Nicaragua and importing cocaine into California. Based on the true story of journalist Gary Webb.
- Nominated—Joe Barber Award / Best Portrayal of Washington, DC: Washington DC Area Film Critics Association Awards (2014)
- Nominated—Best Actor (Jeremy Renner): Women Film Critics Circle Awards (2014)
- Nominated—Best Male Images in a Movie:Women Film Critics Circle Awards (2014)
James Spione—Silenced. Director / Producer.
Three National Security whistleblowers fight to reveal the darkest corners of America's war on terror, challenging a government that is increasingly determined to maintain secrecy.
- Nominated—Greg Gund Memorial Standing Up Award: Cleveland International Film Festival (2015)
- Winner—Founders Prize / Documentary Feature: Traverse City Film Festival (2014)
Randall Stith--The Hidden Enemy. Director / Producer.
The Hidden Enemy: Inside Psychiatry's Covert Agenda
Today, with militaries of the world awash in psychiatry and psychiatric drugs, 23 soldiers and veterans are committing suicide everyday. Psychiatrists say we need more psychiatry. But should we trust them? Or is psychiatry the hidden enemy? Featuring interviews with over 80 soldiers and experts, this penetrating documentary shatters the facade to reveal the real culprit who are destroying our world's militaries from within. The most dangerous enemy is the one you never suspect...
Kristina Borjesson (filmmaker and journalist)
TWA Flight 800
A thought-provoking documentary about the ill-fated Trans World Airline Flight 800 to Paris, France, which exploded on July 17, 1996 just 12 minutes after takeoff from JFK International Airport, killing all 230 people on board. The special features six former members of the official crash investigation breaking their silence to refute the officially proposed cause of the jetliner's demise and reveal how the investigation was systematically undermined.
The Whistle Blower Summit includes a historic panel discussion with distinguished authors of whistleblower books who will be present to autograph and discuss their books. The book signing will be followed by film screenings of “Pillar Award” nominated whistleblower films. Thus “Movie Night” with the whistle-blowers is one of the highlights of our annual summit, because it gives whistleblowers, advocates and conference attendees an opportunity to interact with the general public in a relaxed atmosphere that promotes camaraderie and builds broad community support.
Teaching for Change's Busboys and Poets Bookstore and Zinn Education Project have sponsored venues for whistleblowers and authors during the Whistle Blower Summit over the last few years. By drawing direct connections to real world issues, Teaching for Change encourages teachers and students to question and re-think the world inside and outside their classrooms, build a more equitable, multicultural society, and become active global citizens.
Last year we launched our own Whistle Blower / Social Justice children’s education initiative, which encourages young people to learn about, appreciate and respect the contributions that ordinary citizens make to society—everyday. We have sponsored a ”whistleblower” essay contest, given out college scholarships to the essay contest winners, and have developed a K-12 / college curriculum that teaches social integrity and corporate responsibility.