October 6, 2008
Roger Ebert Gives “FREE FOR ALL!” Three Stars — Election Protection Film Reveals Kenneth Blackwell & Mike Connell
Filmmaker and citizen journalist John Wellington Ennis' Shoot First Inc. (www.shootfirstinc.com) presents the political documentary "FREE FOR ALL!," which is being released on DVD Tuesday, October 7, 2008. Famed film critic Roger Ebert just awarded the film three stars (out of four) in a Chicago Sun-Times review (http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20081002/ REVIEWS/810049997/1023), calling the film "engrossing, even enraging." The review highlights former Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth J. Blackwell, the man at the nucleus of political corruption that "FREE FOR ALL!" reveals. The film also exposes IT Technician Mike Connell's role, resulting in a subpoena, which alleges that vote-tampering during the 2004 presidential election resulted in civil rights violations.
Election integrity journalist Brad Friedman's story, "Who Is Mike Connell? A Clip from 'FREE FOR ALL' Gives You an Idea" (http://www.bradblog.com/?p=6220), details how Ennis uncovered the information, long before Connell was subpoenaed or Blackwell was charged with "racially discriminatory practices" against Ohio voters.
The case, known as King Lincoln Bronzeville Neighborhood Association v. Blackwell, was filed against Blackwell on August 31, 2006, by Columbus attorneys Clifford Arnebeck, Robert Fitrakis--both featured in "FREE FOR ALL!" The Raw Story details the lawsuit in an article titled "Republican IT consultant subpoenaed in case alleging tampering with 2004 election" published at: http://rawstory.com/news/2008/Republican_IT_consultant_subpoenaed_ in_case_0929.html.
As a co-founder of Video The Vote (www.videothevote.org), Ennis is actively involved with election protection initiatives around the nation.
Ennis states, "There are already numerous cases of voter purging and misinformation that I have documented for Video the Vote in 2008. The kind of disenfranchisement I discovered in making 'FREE FOR ALL!' is back in style, leading up to this election: partisan officials, unprepared polling places and dubious voting machines. The time to fix our elections and confirm registration is NOW--election day is too late."
Just in time for the 2008 Presidential Elections, "FREE FOR ALL!" uncovers evidence of voter suppression schemes that swing U.S. Elections. The feature-length independent film features Ennis in "one dude's quest for democracy" with BBC investigative journalist and best-selling author Greg Palast. Using satire, comedy and animation, the film explores the concept of truth itself, questioning what we often take for granted as the basis for facts.
The film, which is co-executive produced by Richard Ray Perez (co-director of "Unprecedented") and Holly Mosher ("Side Effects"), was fist screened for independent media at the National Conference for Media Reform.
The FREE FOR ALL! DVD with Extras is available for purchase on the website for $20.08. Bonus footage includes a featurette on Blackwell. The DVD also features Spanish subtitles and English closed-captioning.
For more information, please visit www.freeforall.tv -- where the film began streaming online for free on July 4, 2008.