Tuesday , December 5 2023

Anthem Film Festival Review: Three Films From PLF. Who?

The name Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF) doesn’t have the zing of MGM, Universal or Disney, but three of their films were selected for this year’s Anthem Film Festival. Quota examines the bad consequences well-intentioned laws can have. The Falconer shows the effects of poor police practices. The third film, Seize This House, uses the power of satire to change a law in Michigan.

Anthem Film Festival went virtual this year. You don’t get to go to Las Vegas, where they normally show the films, but you can still get a ticket  and view films online till October 31.



As part of creating better educational opportunity for minority children, the city of Hartford, Connecticut, invested millions of dollars in magnet schools. These state-of-the-art institutions were worlds better than surrounding neighborhood schools. Perfect solution, right?

Just to be sure that everyone got a chance to take advantage of this marvelous opportunity, Hartford established racial quotas for the schools: 75% minority and 25% white. White parents, however, did not want their kids bused in from the suburbs to these schools, so a quarter of the seats remained empty, while minority kids living near the magnet schools had to continue attending the old run-down school system. If quotas weren’t met, schools lost their magnet status.

Parents were told that there were no quotas and no empty seats. In other words, they should not believe what they were seeing with their own eyes.

Quota shows their fight and how PLF helped, and tells their story in their own words.

The Falconer

What if having a pet caused you to be treated like a convicted felon?

In California, you need a license to do this

That’s what happens to falconers. If you adopt and train a wild bird in California, you must allow unannounced and unwarranted searches of your home by game wardens at any time. That happened to a friend of the narrator of this film. Law enforcement authorities broke through a locked gate, demanded entry to his friend’s home at 6:30 AM, and searched it for 45 minutes while he stood outside in his underwear.

With the help of the PLF, he is fighting back against these unwarranted, unconstitutional, crazy violations of individual rights.

The Falconer combines a story about the law with visual poetry and the beauty of nature.

Seize This House

Craig Kotfas plays Bert in ‘Seize This House’

Seize This House takes inspiration from HGTV and satirizes the efforts of Michigan and eleven other states that will seize and sell your house for even small amounts of unpaid property taxes or even the interest on late taxes.

Two Austin-based improv comics add hilarity to this otherwise serious issue. Ace Manning plays Pepperschmidt (the jerk) and Craig Kotfas plays Bert (the nerdy guy). The two government agents hunt down innocent homeowners to seize their property. Don’t worry though. It has a kind of happy ending.

PLF has been victorious in getting this horrible practice changed in Michigan, so enjoy a few laughs on them.

PLF and Anthem

Ace Manning plays Pepperschmidt who
wants to evict you

By viewing the films at the Virtual Anthem Film Festival you also get to see interviews done by Anthem director Jo Ann Skousen with PLF filmmaker Joseph Kast. These provide fascinating insights into both the legal issues and into how the films were made. After Anthem, you can still watch the films online: Quota, The Falconer, Seize This House.

According to their website, Pacific Legal Foundation annually represents hundreds of Americans, free of charge, who find themselves in conflict with government. They try not only to achieve wins for their clients, but to set precedents to protect everyone else.

The Anthem Film Festival and its parent event FreedomFest plan on returning to Las Vegas next year. Information for future events and projects can be found at the Anthem and FreedomFest websites and on Facebook.

About Leo Sopicki

Writer, photographer, graphic artist and technologist. I focus my creative efforts on celebrating the American virtues of self-reliance, individual initiative, volunteerism, tolerance and a healthy suspicion of power and authority.

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