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Oliver Stone’s controversial 2003 documentary Comandante to screen on opening night

The first annual American Documentary Film Festival is set to open in Palm Springs, CA, on March 29, 2012. The event, which runs through April 5th at the Camelot Theatres in Palm Springs, will include more than fifty screenings of documentary films, plus a variety of film seminars and filmmaker Q&As. Festivities begin Thursday evening, March 29th with a very special Opening Night Reception and Tribute, honoring legendary filmmaker Oliver Stone.

“Oliver will receive our highest honor – the ‘Filmmaker Who Makes A Difference Award’,” says Ted Grouya, Festival Director. “His grit and determination as an American film director, producer and screenwriter have resulted in films that have raised awareness and inspired change. Oliver has single handedly redefined the way we look at film.”

Following the reception and tribute, Stone’s controversial 2003 documentary, Comandante, will be screened. The documentary, which details Stone’s first journey to Cuba to interview Fidel Castro, was screened extensively in other countries, but was rarely screened in the United States because it was considered too ‘sympathetic’ to the Castro regime.

The American Documentary Film Festival, which is being presented by the Palm Springs Cultural Center, has long been a dream of Grouya’s. “As a filmmaker, and a fan of the documentary art form, I had been working to create a festival focusing on documentaries for a number of years. The opportunity to partner with Ric and Rozene Supple and their Palm Springs Cultural Center was the catalyst I needed to make the American Documentary Film Festival a reality.”

Screenings for the American Documentary Film Festival run daily, at 10am, 1pm, 4pm and 7pm. Most screenings feature multiple documentaries that have been packaged together, both because they focus on similar subject matter, and so that the overall run times are similar. Q&As with the filmmakers follow screenings and are included in ticket prices.

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