New film wrestles with state immigration laws
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Published: 14-Feb-2011
CapitolBeatOK Staff Report

Published 14-Feb-2011
 
The multi-award winning documentary, “Panic Nation,” is an intense look at how state sponsored immigration laws have taken a foothold in America. The film is scheduled for an Oklahoma City premiere this week.
 
With national and state reports indicating a new wave of legislation aimed against illegal immigration, the film is likely to provoke discussion.
 
As the film continues a successful festival run, acclaimed producer/director George Adams (an Oklahoma resident) brings the film home for an Oklahoma City premiere on Thursday February 17th, 6:30 p.m. at the IAO Gallery Downtown, 706 West Sheridan.
 
Appearing in the film is state Representative Randy Terrill of Oklahoma City, currently embroiled in allegations of bribery, who defends the need for immigration laws such as House Bill 1804, the measure he authored for Oklahoma.  Terrill is the subject not only of criminal proceedings, but also of a new state House investigatory committee announced by House Speaker Kris Steele.
 
Adams offers facts and opinions throughout the film documenting contending sides of the volatile issue.  Ruben Navarrette, Jr., a two-time Harvard graduate, syndicated columnist, CNN contributor, states in the film, “We have a broken border, we know that.  But we also have a broken dialogue.”
 
The documentary delves into the history, reasons and the rise of state- sponsored immigration laws and their effects.  Former White House cabinet member Henry Cisneros, multi-award winning writer of “Sesame Street” Luis Santeiro, and multi-award winning actor Esai Morales are among the interviewees. 
 
Father Don Wolf, a prominent Catholic priest, and Altus cotton farmer Tom Buchanan are also in the motion picture.
 
Oklahomans like former state Representative Shane Jett are also featured among various citizens, professionals, business owners and experts, who tell their stories inter-woven with those of lawmakers like Terrill, whose omnibus anti-immigration law was a precursor to Arizona’s S.B. 1070.
 
A release sent to CapitolBeatOK by the film’s producers indicated Jett, who protested Oklahoma’s first immigration bill, H.B. 1804 by walking out on the vote, is attending this week’s premiere.  Jett ran unsuccessfully for the central Oklahoma Fifth District Congressional seat in last year’s Republican primary. Also scheduled as a guest is immigration attorney Steven Langer.
 
Adams who has screened the film in Washington, Arizona, New Mexico, California, Utah, Kansas and in Mexico says, “This is a highly emotional issue and I hope I’ve gotten to the heart of the matter. We need to be honest with ourselves as a nation as to how we got here, what we need and want as a country, before we can achieve real solutions. If I can get people to react in a positive and productive way when addressing the immigration issue, then the film will be successful.”
 
This motion-picture is produced by the multi-award-winning production team of George Adams and Klaudia Kovacs whose film “Torn from the Flag”  (about the fall of Communism and the Hungarian Revolution of 1956) was viewed by scores of people around the world. Their film was screened at 17 festivals in five countries, garnering eight different awards including a run at the 2009 Oscars. 
 
Tickets for the Feb. 17 premiere are available online or at the door the day of the event.  For more information, visit panicnationmovie.com
 
NOTE: Editor Patrick B. McGuigan contributed to this story.

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