11th Annual Whistleblower Summit & Film Festival Announced July 22-30 In DC


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From July 22 to 30, 2023, the 11th annual Whistleblower Summit & Film Festival will be held at Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

ACORN 8 in association with the Justice Integrity Project are proud to announce the theme for the event is the "60th Anniversary of the JFK Assassination," with films, speakers and panel presentations reflecting this idea, among others including films about whistleblowers, The First Amendment or that touch on such human rights issues as freedom of expression, women’s rights and discrimination.

“Whistleblowers pay a very high price for speaking truth to power and for having integrity,” says Co-Founder and Managing Director, Michael McCray. “Publishers win Pulitzers, books are bestsellers, but whistleblowers risk their lives and livelihood with nothing in return.”

"Democracies rely on Whistleblowers” said Marcel Reid, Co-Founder and Festival Director. “We are excited to partner with Cemboo and their innovative plaform with Amazon.”

  • View the line-up here for the 11th Annual Whistleblower Summit and Film Festival, including our thought-provoking panels.

“We are excited to recognize Abraham Bolden (African American) an important JFK Secret Service Agent turned whistleblower at this year’s Summit,” said this editor, Abraham Bolden book cover, The Echo from Dealey PlazaAndrew Kreig, director of the Justice Integrity Project and co-host with Wayne Madsen of District Insiders, which provides a video of Bolden's explosive revelations. These will be shown in special edition of District Insiders as part of the film festival on the morning of Sunday, July 30, with some of the material illustrated also in Bolden's memoir, The Echo From Dealey Plaza.

McCray hopes the festival will continue to draw attention to whistleblowers, their powerful stories and their tremendous bravery.

Event schedules for this hybrid event and tickets are available via the Summit website here. The festival will be sponsored by Cemboo, a new platform which enables content owners to control, monetize and distribute their own digital media content. All panels and films will screen virtually through Cemboo. Event organizers are proud that the Whistleblower Summit is a pioneering use case for this exciting new distribution partner powered by Amazon.

“No more fattening frogs for snakes,” McCray says. “It’s time to take back our empowerment.”

Festival organizers are proud to present the event on Capitol Hill where attendees have been able to rub elbows with famous whistleblowers like Frank Serpico and Jeff Wigand or meet political leaders like Senator Charles Grassley or former House Representative and Jonestown survivor, Jackie Speier (D-CA).

The film screenings and panel presentations are available on www.WhistleblowerSummit.com (Powered by Cemboo) Each film will be available at the scheduled release time and date (see below) and will be available for viewing for 72 hours after the individual release window.


Saturday, July 22 (Opening Night)
—Short Film Block—

12:00 pm – Mystery of Faith & Intention: Bruce Springsteen and I – Directed by Kathy Callahan
12:00 pm – Anti-Chevron Day 2022 with Human Rights Lawyer, Steven Donziger – Directed by Peter Menchini
12:00 pm – The Rescue – Directed by Tess Cacciatore
12:00 pm – Rich Appetites: The Foundation – Directed by Ashley Fent

—Virtual Film Presentations—

1:00 pm – Incarcerated girls - escaping “honor” killings – Directed by Marja Grill, Fanny Renman
7:00 pm – At Your Cervix – Directed by A'magine
9:00 pm – La Lucha: Getting Schooled in America – Directed by Joseph Rand Courtney

Sunday, July 23 (Opening Weekend)
—Short Film Block—

12:00 pm – Counterterror – Directed by Yasmin M Neal
12:00 pm – The Rebellion – Directed by Gabriel Hostetler
12:00 pm – FREE(d) by Faith – Directed by Chase Kinney

—Virtual Film Presentations—

1:00 pm – Dismissal Time – Directed by André Joseph
7:00 pm – Unholy Master of Evil – Directed by Tony Moseley
9:00 pm – Science for Hire – Directed by Gary Null, Ph.D.

Monday, July 24
—Capitol Hill Event—

10:00 am – Whistleblower Ombuds Office (House Staff Only)

—Virtual Film Presentations—

7:00 pm – On a Knife's Edge Documentary – Directed by Jen Ayling
9:00 pm – Caller ID: Unknown – Directed by Konrad M Defang

Tuesday, July 25
—Virtual Film Presentations—

1:00 pm – A Better Place – Directed by Jennifer Fearnley
7:00 pm – The illusion of abundance – Directed by Erika Gonzalez Ramirez, Matthieu Lietaert

Wednesday, July 26
—Virtual Film Presentations—

1:00 pm – Ivy Grace – Directed by Allie Delury, Mariah Harkey
9:00 pm – The Sun Rises in The East – Directed by Tayo Giwa

Thursday, July 27
—Capitol Hill Event—

10:00 am – National Whistleblower Day Luncheon – Presented by the National Whistleblower Center (An Independent Event)

—Virtual Film Presentations—

1:00 pm – My Empty Chair: The Jerroll Sanders Story – Directed by Andrew Tomlinson, Darnell Singleton
7:00 pm – The Unprincipled – Directed by Joan Montreull
9:00 pm – The Poison Garden – Directed by Evellyn Santos, Chris Mancini

Friday, July 28
—Capitol Hill Event—

10:00 am – Opening Plenary – Presented by the ACORN 8 and Justice Integrity Project

11:00 am – Working More Effectively with the Office of Special Counsel – Presented by the Government Accountability Project

12:00 pm – The EEOC Needs Rehabilitation – Presented by the Coalition For Change, Inc. (C4C)

1:00 pm – Dark Side of Dialysis Panel – Presented by Dialysis Advocates

—Virtual Film Presentations—

1:00 pm – Listed – Directed by Leila Almawy
7:00 pm – County – Directed by Fahim Hamid
9:00 pm – Just The Truth – Directed by Kevin Caraher

—Busboys & Poets—

Community Advocacy and Entertainment Industry Panels at Busboys & Poet’s

6:00 pm – Authors Panel & Book Signing
7:00 pm – Screenwriters Q&A Panel
8:00 pm – Filmmakers Q&A Panel
9:00 pm – Law Enforcement Reform Post BLM Panel – Presented by CARCLE and ONUS INC.

Saturday, July 29
—Virtual Whistleblower Summit Panels—

9:00 am – Home Owners Associations: Capture and Abuse – Presented by HOA Reform Leader's National Group

10:00 am – Introducing the Whistleblower Ombuds Office – Presented by the Government Accountability Project

11:00 am – Continued Systemic Discrimination at USDA) – Presented by the USDA Coalition of Minority Employees

12:00 pm – Guardianship Abuse – Presented by T.S. Networks

1:00 pm – Filmmakers Q&A Panel with Rick Goldsmith and Judith Ehrlich

—Virtual Film Presentations—

1:00 pm – I am Kanaka – Directed by Genevieve Sulway
7:00 pm – Silver Dollar Group of the Ku Klux Klan – Directed by Dianne Andrews
9:00 pm – On the Merits: Labor Trafficking – Directed by Josh McCausland

Sunday, July 30
—Virtual Film Presentations—

12:00 pm – District Insiders: Former JFK Secret Service Protector Describes Shocking JFK Assassination Security, Current Implications – Directed by Andrew Kreig, Wayne Madsen

In Person at the National Press Club, Washington, DC: Capstone event of the 11th Annual Whistleblower Summit & Film Festival. A Tribute to Daniel Ellsberg at the National Press Club – Presented by Ridenhour Prizes with Explore Pine Bluff. Promoted also by the Committee for the Republic. Details: https://www.whistleblowersummit.com/.

6:00 pm –  Reception

6:30 Tribute – Diane Perlman and Todd Pierce, Co-Directors. A walk through history of Dan’s evolution as father of whistleblowers. Featuring rememberances by Patricia Ellsberg, John Henry, Diane Perlman, Richard Falk, Helen Caldicott, Peter Kuznick, Gar Alperovitz, Coleen Rowley, John Kiriakou, Medea Benjamin, Ann Wright, Ray McGovern, Jeffrey Sterling and Chris Appy.

7:30 – 11th Annual Whistleblower Summit & Film Festival Pillar Awards Presentation

8:00 pm – The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers – Directed by Rick Goldsmith and Judith Ehrlich


Whistleblower News Updates

Whistleblower Summit & Film Festival, Commentary On 2023 Award-Winners, Michael McCray and Marcel Reid, Aug. 1, 2023. Congratulations to all of the winners of the Film Festival Pillar Award Winners. We are so proud of all the participants of the 11th Annual Whistleblower Summit & Film Festival. We thank everyone who participated, either live or in person.

Best Feature – Just The Truth
Finalist – Caller ID: Unknown
Semi-Finalist – 'La Lucha: Getting Schooled in America

Best Documentary – At Your Cervix
Finalist – The Illusion of Abundance
Semi-Finalist – On a Knife's Edge

Best Short – The Rescue
Finalist – I am Kanaka
Semi-Finalist – Listed

Best Screenplay – No Address
Finalist – Reptile Logic
Semi-Finalist – Proud Girls

Audience Choice – Silver Dollar Group of the Ku Klux Klan

Impact Award – The Poison Garden

Finally, we are also announcing our Extended Festival Run. This is your chance to watch anything you may have missed during the summit. It's a week-long all access pass from now until Sunday, August 6. It's not too late to watch what you want--when you want.

Thanks again!

Michael McCray, Managing Director
Marcel Reid, Festival Director
Whistleblower Summit & Film Festival