Conference in Huntington to Address Extremism Through Film

Trump QAnon
In this Aug. 2, 2018, file photo, David Reinert holding a Q sign waits in line with others to enter a campaign rally with President Donald Trump in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. A far-right conspiracy theory forged in a dark corner of the internet is creeping into the mainstream political arena. It’s called QAnon, and it centers on the baseless belief that President Donald Trump is waging a secret campaign against enemies in the “deep state.”
AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File

Extremism will be the topic of film screenings and panel discussions during a two-day conference hosted by Huntington’s Cinema Arts Centre on Nov. 4-5. 

Entitled “Extremism: Confronting Hate Without Fear,” the event will gather leading experts – including authors, journalists, academics, filmmakers, and others – on extremism and the recent growth in radicalization in the United States.

“Audience members will get to hear first-hand about the use of hate speech in social media, explore moral questions of bioethics, understand what life is like inside extremism movements, hear about its influencers, and life after someone decides to leave extremism,” according to a Cinema Arts Centre news release. “The focus will be to not only explore the growing trends of extremism but to identify ways that communities can unite and find solutions for this destructive trend.”

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Abortion rights advocates and anti-abortion protesters demonstrate in front of the US Supreme Court. 2021.Credit: Andrew Harnick, AP

The conference will feature four programs highlighting different social issues and the growing right-wing ideas behind them. Two films will be screened, as well: White Noise (2020) and Personhood (2019) about extremist influencers and abortion policy, respectively.

Panel discussions will include speakers such as Jo Ardinger, director of the documentary film Personhood: Policing Pregnant Women in America; Daniel Lombroso, director of the film White Noise; Michael Edison Hayden, senior investigative reporter; Helio Fred Garcia, crisis expert and author of Words on Fire: The Power of Incendiary Language and How to Confront It; Patrick Riccards, CEO of Life After Hate, and more.

Still from the documentary film White Noise (2020)Film still courtesy of The Atlantic.

“The Cinema Arts Centre has a nearly 50-year history of bringing topics of social consequence to our community,” said Dylan Skolnick, co-director of the Cinema Arts Centre.  “This event underscores the values we have, and we are delighted to have such impressive speakers and topics discussed in our community, as we explore this troubling and growing issue of extremism.”

Cinema Arts Centre will give Student Scholar Awards to students interested in attending the conference. Those students who are interested can email [email protected].

Tickets are $40 for members and students; $60 for the general public. For more information and to buy tickets to the conference, visit Cinema Arts Centre’s website.