Film fest focuses on social justice
This article has been read 214 times.
Boyd School of Law hosts renowned documentarian and movie-screenings
The William S. Boyd School of Law held its first film festival emphasizing the practice of social justice law on Saturday, with the goal of educating students on how the media plays an integral role in public interest advocacy.
Award-winning documentary producer Abby Ginzberg kicked the festival off on Thursday with a round-table discussion on “Getting the Message Out: Media Skills for Public Interest Advocacy.” She spoke to a group of students, faculty, alumni and public interest lawyers.
“Media plays a large role in bringing a case, cause or public interest from what may only be heard by a small group to a large stage, which in turn will educate and inform the community, its residents and other organizations,” Ginzberg said. “Media can educate the public more effectively than an individual lawyer can.”
Four films were shown, each providing a glimpse into a different social movement and how the media played an integral role in dissemination of information.
Ginzberg began her career as an attorney and teacher, spending the past 25 years producing and directing documentaries that focus on social justice law, dealing with plaintiff-oriented cases such as immigration, discrimination and family court issues.
Ginzberg said she wasn’t satisfied by merely winning cases for people in court.
“I didn’t want an audience to be just a judge or jury. That’s just too small, and there are points I wanted to make before I’m dead,” she said.
Ginzberg said she has never regretted giving up her career in law or education and feels content as a filmmaker who reaches a much larger audience with her message.
Because 80 percent of Boyd students end up practicing in Nevada, according to school numbers, it’s important to bring the message of social justice to them, said Ann Cammet, associate professor of law and organizer of the festival.
“Our law school populates the Nevada State Bar,” Cammett said. “We are training a new generation of lawyers that will be responsible for the law and justice system in our state and we have a responsibility to them and our community to teach them about social justice.”
The Thomas & Mack Legal Clinic in the Boyd School of Law is an interdisciplinary law office in which specially licensed law students work with graduate level education and psychology students under the supervision of law faculty to represent and advocate for child and adult clients in a variety of legal matters, including child welfare, family justice, appellate, innocence, education advocacy, juvenile justice and immigration. The film festival highlighted similar efforts.
“The state of Nevada is under-resourced during this economic climate, especially as it relates to social support that affects lower-income individuals in the state,” Cammet said.