American INSIGHT Hosts the 2019 Free Speech Awards

American INSIGHT hosted its 2019 Free Speech Award Ceremony on September 22 to honor this year’s recipient, Hollywood Director Robert Greenwald, for his latest documentary, Suppressed: The Fight to Vote. The event was hosted at Cliveden of the National Trust, a historic mansion in Germantown that traces its roots back to the American Revolutionary War. 

American INSIGHT hosts the Free Speech Awards every year in order to celebrate independent filmmakers who champion free speech, human rights, and the rule of law around the world. A sustainable grassroots program, the film festival unites celebrity judges, students, scholars, educators, and the general public from every corner of the Philadelphia community.

This year’s winning film was made by Robert Greenwald, the founder of Brave New Films, and revolves around voter suppression in the modern United States. In particular, the film highlights Georgia’s 2018 gubernatorial race between Stacy Abrams and Brian Kemp; Abrams fought to become the first African-American woman elected as a U.S. governor, but lost to Kemp, who was in charge of running the election due to his position as Secretary of State. Critics have praised the way the film has tied together anecdotes, narratives, and personal accounts from voters across the state of Georgia to highlight the voter suppression epidemic. 

Founded in 1983 as the American Poetry Center, American INSIGHT’s mission encompasses the Free Speech Awards’ goal of providing insight into free speech, human rights, and the rule of law. They accomplish this by encouraging people to speak out against injustice through the film medium and to build social awareness by promoting these films. Through this, they hope to inspire communities to combat injustice worldwide via film and social media. 


Article written by Amelia Winger on behalf of Global Philadelphia Association

Photo credit: Free Speech Center