A winner! Yes, “An Honest Liar,” the 90-minute documentary firm labored over and produced by Justin Weinstein and Tyler Measom, had its world premiere in New York City on April 18th, then the Canadian premiere followed in my home town, Toronto. Deyvi and I have been busy ever since “on the road” trying to personally attend as many screenings as we can. The film has already been shown at numerous film festivals all over the world now, and we just received very welcome news. In theannual AFI DOCS, the American Film Institute’s 12th documentary film festival in the Washington, DC, area, this year’s Audience Award for Best Feature went to “An Honest Liar”! We won in a field of well more than one hundred contenders!
AFI DOCS is the only festival in the U.S. dedicated to screenings and events that connect audiences, filmmakers and policy leaders in the seat of our nation’s government. With such excellent judges as Ken Burns, Spike Lee, and Barbara Kopple on the AFI Advisory Board, I personally take this as a resounding endorsement. I’ve never forgotten Spike’s well-known advice: “Do the right thing.” Thank you, man…
Deyvi and I were at first just a bit surprised at the very serious – yet effusive – audience reaction to “An Honest Liar,” but we soon saw that this was going to be the response we should expect. People were teary-eyed yet smiling as they crowded around us, shook our hands and made their comments. We’re very grateful to Justin and Tyler, as well as to their excellent crew who got it all together and now share our delight.
Thank you, folks, and you can look forward to yet more news on this film. No hints, but we’re only getting started…
Another excellent TAM is in the books. As Randi announced in his closing remarks, exciting times for the organization are ahead.
It's not news that the randi.org website is overdue for a makeover. The JREF is working on that as a high priority. I've just come on board as a Creative Consultant for the organization. (You may know me as the editor of Doubtful News. You can see my bio here.) Loads of unique and exciting content from new contributors will be forthcoming. Bear with us while we build the new platform and expand content.
To anticipate the new online presence, the JREF Facebook and Twitter accounts will be revamped. Please accept our apologies for changing the follow lists and formatting as we streamline and clean up older material. The social network feeds will carry important information about the organization, messages to the public, event announcements, website content links, outside links of interest, and occasional responses to questions and comments. Please continue to Tweet interesting news links and your skeptical event announcements to the JREF twitter account @jref.
If you have any particular questions, concerns, or requests email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your past support and stay tuned... what's ahead will be Amazing!
Folks, this is a serious matter. Our colleague Richard Wiseman explains:
My latest book is called Paranormality. It follows in the footsteps of one of my all-time favourite skeptical books, Randi's Flim-Flam, and examines what seemingly supernatural phenomena tell us about our brain, beliefs and behaviour. I explore lots of topics, including psychic readings, out of body experiences, mind control, ghosts and dream precognition. I made the book as interactive as possible, and Richard Dawkins was kind enough to provide an endorsement, writing “Wiseman shows us a higher joy as he skewers the paranormal charlatans, blows away the psychic fog and lets in the clear light of reason”.
The book has done well in the UK and has been bought by publishers in lots of other countries. However, the major American publishers were reluctant to support a skeptical book, with some suggesting that I re-write it to suggest that ghosts were real and psychic powers actually existed! We didn’t get any serious offers and so it looked like the American public (around 75% of whom believe in the paranormal) wouldn’t get the opportunity to read about skepticism.
Every year on April 1st, the JREF gives out the Pigasus awards; a dubious honor to people or organizations that have done their best in the past year to snuff out science and promote irrationality. Randi talks about the 2008 winners, who receive no plaques, trophies, or banners: just the knowledge that they're getting publicity... but probably not the kind they want.
[Note: We became aware after making this video that Pigasus winner Dr. Colin Ross has recently reactivated his Million Dollar Challenge claim. While the video is still technically correct, we thought it fair to add this.]
As Thanksgiving approaches here in the United States, and we gather with loved ones, I can't help but pause and reflect on the work we do at the JREF, and how grateful we all are for the support from folks like yourself.
Concerned and dedicated skeptics and science advocates like you drive all the work we do combatting unreason and promoting critical thinking at the grassroots, in classrooms, at conferences, in the media, and on our speaking tours.