‘Blackfish,’ ‘Cartel Land’ directors screen latest at Double Exposure Film Festival

WTOP's Jason Fraley previews the Double Exposure Film Festival (Part 1)

In 2015, its inaugural year catapulted “Spotlight” to win Best Picture at the Oscars.

Next week, the Double Exposure: Investigative Film Festival returns from Oct. 13 to 16 at the U.S. Navy Memorial Visitor Center and National Geographic’s Grosvenor Auditorium.

“Double Exposure is the nation’s only investigative film festival,” co-founder Diana Jean Schemo told WTOP. “It’s both investigative journalism and it’s filmmaking and it’s where they meet. It’s the intersection of cinematic storytelling and investigative inquiry.”



The festival kicks off Thursday with “The Grab” by Gabriela Cowperthwaite (“Blackfish”).

“It’s looking at the cross-border chase for land and water resources that’s going on by countries that are concerned that food shortages could lead to civil unrest and bring instability,” Schemo said. “Any country is nine meals away from revolution.”

Friday brings the centerpiece film “American Pain” by Darren Foster. Schemo calls it a “hallucinatory story about Chris and Jeff George, two brothers who open up a chain of pain clinics in Southern Florida and become this magnet for addicts all over the country, really like an ATM for opioid prescriptions. … They are estimated to have taken in $500 million.”

Saturday brings “The New Greatness Case” by Anna Shishova-Bogolyubova.

“It’s a KGB sting operation that entraps teenagers into saying things challenging the authority of Vladimir Putin. … Teenagers are caught in the net and hauled off to prison and are still there. It gives you a glimpse even before Ukraine of [Putin’s] brutality on a small scale.”

It culminates Sunday with “Retrograde” by Oscar nominee Matthew Heineman (“Cartel Land”).

“It’s about the mess that the U.S. leaves behind when it withdraws its military. My generation saw this with the U.S. withdrawal from Vietnam and we see very similar scenes in Afghanistan all these years later with people clamoring to get out at the airport.”

See the full schedule here.

WTOP's Jason Fraley previews the Double Exposure Film Festival (Part 2)

Listen to our full conversation here.

Jason Fraley

Hailed by The Washington Post for “his savantlike ability to name every Best Picture winner in history," Jason Fraley began at WTOP as Morning Drive Writer in 2008, film critic in 2011 and Entertainment Editor in 2014, providing daily arts coverage on-air and online.

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