MILL VALLEY–The 30th annual Mill Valley Film Festival will feature on October 6 the world premiere of "The People’s Advocate: The Life & Times of Charles R. Garry." The feature length documentary about famed Armenian-American criminal defense attorney chronicles the gripping story of one of the twentieth century’s most influential civil rights attorneys, Charles Garry (1909-1991), who gained national prominence during the 1960s for his defense of notorious anti-establishment icons.
Remembered as the "defender of the despised," lawyer Charles Garry’s clientele list read like a "who’s who" of the civil rights and anti-war movemen’s of the turbulent 1960s. His most famous clients ‘sHuey P. Newton and the leadership of the Black Panther Party ‘s counted on his unique courtroom style and unparalleled legal approach to free them of an array of serious charges leveled by the government. "The People’s Advocate" recounts Garry’s inspirational story by weaving powerful interviews with rare archival footage of him and his times. Among the film’s interviewees are famed historian Howard Zinn, and Black Panther leaders Bobby Seale, Kathleen Cleaver, David Hilliard and Ericka Huggins.
The documentary also features a candid interview with Stephan Jones ‘sson of Peoples Temple leader Jim Jones, who orchestrated the deaths of over 900 of his followers in Jonestown, Guyana on November 18, 1978. Garry, who was attracted to the Temple’s philosophy and teachings, agreed to serve as Jones’s attorney during the year preceding the incident. His involvement would prove to be the most tragic episode of his life, as detailed vividly in "The People’s Advocate."
The film will debut on Saturday, October 6, when it screens at the Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center in San Rafael as part of this year’s Mill Valley Film Festival program. The film will also be shown at CineArts @ Sequoia in Mill Valley on Monday, October 8. Both screenings are co-presented by the San Francisco Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild and the Bay Area Video Coalition (BAVC).
"The People’s Advocate," which is Los Angeles-based director Hrag Yedalian’s first film, is the recipient of the 2007 Bay Area Video Coalition Mediamaker Award. Executive Producer Carrie Lozano previously produced the Academy Award nominated documentary "The Weather Underground" and directed the documentary short "Reporter Zero," which premiered at the 2006 Berlin International Film Festival. The film features an original score by Los Angeles-based trio The Apex Theory that was composed in collaboration with Cinemasque Music.
Named by Screen International as a top ten US film festival, the Mill Valley Film Festival was founded in 1978 and offers a high-profile, prestigious and non-competitive environment perfect for celebrating the best in independent and world cinema. More information about this year’s festival and detailed screening information for "The People’s Advocate" can be found at www.mvff.com.
A film synopsis, filmmaker biographies and a promotional trailer for "The People’s Advocate" can be accessed by visiting www.peoplesadvocatethemovie.com.