There’s Some Bad News… and Some Good News! by Helen Straight, Passing Lane Films

I’ve got some bad news… Drew and I won’t be screening a film at this year’s Anthem Film Fest at FreedomFest 2018.

Sorry to disappoint all the ardent Passing Lane Films fans! But no worries– you can watch our films here on our newly updated website.

Something to get you excited and inspired, before you even get to Anthem!

Now for the good news… There’s a good reason we aren’t competing at Anthem this year: Passing Lane Films (PLF) will play a prominent role at Anthem and FreedomFest. We are pleased to announce we will be assisting the venerable, Jo Ann Skousen and her intrepid team, in hosting Anthem Film Fest 2018!

We are honored by this invitation, and delighted to assist her team in making Anthem Film Fest 2018, the best Anthem yet!

Anthem is one of my favorite film festivals. When we produce films, in the back of my head I always think, “How much fun will it be, to show this at FreedomFest!”

The reason it’s so fun? You!

Other film fests are more…unpredictable.

But Anthem is different. It’s a unique venue that screens freedom films, for our freedom-loving friends. Some might call that “preaching to the choir,” but I look at it more like “show and tell” at a family reunion.

Making films and running a production company are demanding and exhilarating, but sometimes discouraging, and wearying.

Anthem offers a refreshing “oasis” of support for people working hard, telling great stories about freedom.

Many filmmakers I’ve talked with feel the same. We are so grateful to Jo Ann and her team for continuing to build this ever-expanding oasis.

Anthem gives all of us the rare opportunity to show our work to an audience we know will like it before they’ve even seen one frame.

Thank You!

PLF believes in making the kind of freedom films you can share with all your friends and family. Even the ones whoaren’t too sure what they think about these ideas, or who find our viewpoints “challenging,” can’t deny how they feel about these ideas when they are presented within a compelling story.

We believe in making these connections, and having these conversations. Perhaps they are the most important ones, right now.

At Passing Lane Films, our short films contain big ideas. Ideas we share in a subtle and beautiful way. They may be different from other films you’ve seen, but that’s how we like it, and we hope you will too. Sometimes in the midst of beauty, you might wonder, what was the message? Was there a message? Did I miss it? Look closer, you’ll find it.

More good news, if you’re an Anthem regular, you know what to expect: intriguing films, lively panel discussions, new ideas, old friends. A return to the oasis!

If this is your first time at Anthem, we welcome you, and please come chat with Drew or me at anytime during the festival. We’ll have a booth in the theater lobby, but you’ll find us mostly in the screening room.

We look forward to meeting you, and would love to hear your take on the films, and the festival, and of course, freedom!

Let’s encounter bold ideas, and have fun! That’s what freedom is all about.

See you at the movies!

Helen Straight

P.S. When you’re feeling discouraged, remember what makes this all work… Funny, but true quotes from our friends!

In honor of Freedom Fest 2018, and while incidentally doing some research, I stumbled across…

Some Real Zingers from George Will, one of FreedomFest’s keynote speakers this year: 

The nice part about being a pessimist is that you are constantly being either proven right or pleasantly surprised.

Baseball, it is said, is only a game. True. And the Grand Canyon is only a hole in Arizona. Not all holes, or games, are created equal.

Football is a mistake. It combines the two worst elements of American life. Violence and committee meetings. 

“Avoidance of lunacy is an insufficient agenda.”
-George Will on Ronald Reagan, 3-6-1987”

“There is no hatred as corrupting as intellectual hatred.”

“Liberalism is not fond of fun, or at least of many forms of fun that many people like.”

The last one’s my favorite! What a great attitude! More importantly, George Will  is coming to his first FreedomFest. Check out his presentation!

P.P.S. – Don’t worry about feeling overwhelmed. It’s always a challenge to choose from so many events and so many films, just pace yourself! And you can’t go wrong be simply hanging out at the film festival the whole time.

P.P.P.S. – Biggest Tip for FreedomFest: Stay Hydrated! This is Vegas people, and despite the AC, it is July out there. Head to Walgreens next to Planet Hollywood (across the street from Paris) and pick up a case of water! Also try dining one evening on the patio at Mon Ami Gabi (Paris) Excellent views of the Bellagio Fountain. C’est Magnifique! Always.


Helen Straight and Drew Tidwell are the founding directors of Passing Lane Films, a full service film and video production company located just outside of Washington DC, offering personalized service and high production values. They creatively select the team, tools, and talent, in order to craft high-quality visual media with an artistic vision that remains true to the client’s message, and in a way that shapes the client’s identity, and resonates with their audience. PFL is dedicated to its clients and their vision. Each video is different. Each client is unique.

Purchase a FilmLovers Pass to Anthem here.  It includesall the films for all four days, plus the FreedomFest exhibit hall and opening cocktail reception. Or register here for the the full FreedomFest experience.





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