The film festival will feature the movie "Fish Out of Water", a documentary that 'explores the relationship between homosexuality and the bible'. That description is only a polite euphemism for the documentary's purpose: a panel discussion by a UCM Center for Women's Studies professor reveals its purpose more closely as the 'misinterpretation of homosexuality and the Bible'. There is no understandable or justifiable purpose for using Federal funding to promote this film and its overtly political agenda.
The economic context of the waste makes it even more inexcusable: Missouri budgets slashed by hundreds of millions of dollars, state workers being laid off by the thousands, and state unemployment over 9%.
Other featured 'documentaries' with equally thinly veiled purposes include:
-Training Rules: a documentary about homophobia in women's collegiate sports
-Arpaio's America: a documentary about SB1070
-Immigrant Nation! The Battle for the Dream: a documentary about the immigrant right's movement
Instead of using the stimulus funds for their intended purpose: to create jobs and repair the economy, government bureaucrats are using it to promote a liberal social crusade under the guise of 'documentaries' and 'film festivals'.
Adding waste to waste, meals served at the film festival will include 21 day aged prime rib and pan seared salmon - as well as a wine and cheese tasting. How these inclusions could by justified through any reasonable expectation of how stimulus funds should be used is unclear. This festival will not create jobs, it will not help end the recession, and there will no return on investment for the taxpayers. Conversely, it is impossible to imagine how these funds could be invested in a less meaningful fashion.
For most, the film festival and its funding origins is news - but at least one Missouri Congressman has been aware of the festival for some time. Ike Skelton, a self described fiscal conservative, is one of the event's "special guests" - and his name and credentials are being used to help promote the event.
Rather than legitimizing the festival through his presence, he should refuse to attend unless all stimulus funds are returned by the event's organizers. The federal debt is over $13 trillion dollars and now is not the right time (if there ever is one) for the Federal government to start subsidizing liberal film festivals.
Attending this festival sends the wrong message to the people of Missouri. If Skelton is truly committed to reining in wasteful government spending and being an effective steward of the public trust, he will stand up and oppose this wasteful pork spending.