Unprecedented New TV Series ACLU Freedom Files Comes to DVD

July 24, 2006 12:00 am

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Fully Translated into Spanish and Arabic, Two-Disc Set Available July 25

Ten Episodes Addressing the Critical Civil Rights Issues of the Day and Featuring Real Clients and the Attorneys Who Represent Them

NEW YORK — Through a mix of interviews, documentary footage, re-creations, comedy, drama, music and animation, The ACLU Freedom Files strips away the sound bites to reveal how civil liberties affect real people everyday, regardless of political affiliation. As the series is released on DVD tomorrow, the ACLU announces its full translation into both Spanish and Arabic.

“We created this series to take our message directly to the American people,” said ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero “We want to bring them face to face with the individuals behind the headlines and show that the fight to protect our hard-won freedoms is a constant struggle.”

The first season explores a broad range of topics, many of particular interest to Spanish and Arabic speaking communities. Shows that will have particular resonance with a Spanish speaking audience are those about voting and women’s rights. Of specific interest to an Arabic speaking audience are episodes on the Patriot Act and religious freedom. Both language groups will find much to discuss in the racial profiling episode. Of interest to everyone in America are the episodes on the Supreme Court, free speech and dissent, gay and lesbian rights, drug policy, and youth freedoms. The stories are told by those who have had to fight for their rights and the attorneys who represent them.

“Not only is the ACLU highlighting topics and issues that desperately need to be addressed, but they are doing it in an entirely new way,” said Robert Greenwald, Executive Producer of the The ACLU Freedom Files. “The ACLU is the first non-profit of its kind to have a series on television. And with the DVD release of The ACLU Freedom Files, we’re reaching the general public like never before.”

Since the series debut, the ACLU has enlisted its most devoted supporters to help broaden the audience for The ACLU Freedom Files. A nationwide network of activists-from librarians, educators and students to members of neighborhood associations and other concerned citizens-is bringing this important educational series to community centers, schools and living rooms across the country, and spreading the word through e-mail and the Web.

The ACLU Freedom Files airs monthly on Court TV, as part of the network’s “In Pursuit of Justice” programming, through November. A companion Web site, www.aclu.tv, provides digital trailers for each of the episodes, expanded information on the issues along with blogs, interactive games, podcasts, viewers’ guides, and more. It also offers organizing tools to Producers Club members — “do-it-yourself” activists who organize screenings of the programs and spread the word about the shows through blogs and e-mails.

The series features real clients and the attorneys who represent them, as well as well-known actors, activists and comedians including Lewis Black, Margaret Cho, Richard Belzer, Harry Shearer, Judy Gold, Noah Wyle, and more.

Through the powerful combination of DVD, television and the Internet, the ACLU and Greenwald hope The ACLU Freedom Files will show millions of Americans how critically important it is that we preserve our fundamental freedoms. The set, which will also offer closed captioning for the hearing impaired, will retail for $24.95.

DVD copies of The ACLU Freedom Files are available for review.

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The American Civil Liberties Union is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America.