Current TV is changing the way news is told and who tells it. I’ve only had Current for about one month since I (finally) upgraded to digital cable, and I’m already addicted. If you are not familiar, Current was started by Al Gore, whom we recently blasted…but as a reader tells us in the comments – maybe not for good reason. Sorry ’bout that Al.
The focus of Current is non-fiction content, typically with each piece (pod) lasting from 3-7 minutes long. Most of the content is viewer created, and it is shown on a completely random schedule. (Think: graffiti artÂ followed by issues in Syria followed by what people are searching for on Google.) They’ve got a great piece on the Tesla Roadster that is only showing on air. (Yes, that’s the electric sports car that George Clooney has already pluncked down $100G’s for.)
Anyway, the reason I get to write about Current today is that I was watching and learned about the AFI Fest coming November 1-12 to Los Angeles. This year celebrates AFI’s 20th year as a film festival in Los Angeles, making it the longest running in LaLa Land. They’ve got 147 films lined up in all – some with familiar names such as Heather Graham, Ashley Judd, and Harry Connick, Jr. The film that is the big talk of the festival is Bobby, written and directed by Emilio Estevez. The story of the assassination of Robert Kennedy has a star-studded cast including Anthony Hopkins, Helen Hunt, Joshua Jackson, Ashton Kutcher, and Lindsay Lohan.
The best part about the fest? AFI Fest is running a 24-hour movie marathon benefiting The Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria. For $60 you can watch “a 35-year feature film retrospective, featuring hits and sleepers from FILMEX and AFI FEST.” It is not clear if all or a portion of that money goes to the global fund, but what is clear is this: they have created a fun way for you to raise money for the charity. Basically, it’s a pledge form that allows people to donate money per movie you watch in the 24-hours:
Passport Holders determine their own amount per film, and might consider making it more challenging by setting a higher value for films taking place in the middle of the night. (The 12:00 noon film may be worth $5.00, for example, whereas the 2:00 AM film could be worth $8.00.)
Movie Marathoners will have Passports stamped following each film viewed. For sponsorship purposes, this is the Passport Holders’ verification of the total number of films attended at the Movie Marathon.
UPDATE: Max & Jason, the guys who intro the AFI Fest are my new Current buddies and my FAVORITE hosts on Current TV. And that was even before they gave us props on the Current blog! Check out their MySpace(s) to learn more about these guys, and see a picture of them in tutus that makes it all worthwhile: Max, Jason.