When we last spoke with MFA Producing graduate Janek Ambros, he had just premiered his film Ten Thousand Saints (which he co-produced) at Sundance. He briefly mentioned his upcoming directorial debut film, Imminent Threat, which has now come to fruition. The documentary film, produced by Academy Award nominee James Cromwell, focuses on the War on Terror’s impact on civil liberties — certainly a hot topic in our currently heated presidential race for 2016.
The documentary examines the 2001 AUMF days after 9/11, foreign entanglements abroad, the war on journalism, and the NSA. With interviews from prominent liberals (ACLU, CodePink) and conservatives (Cato Institute, R Congressmen), the film shows the unusual coalition being formed to challenge the two-party system and strike a better balance between security and liberty.
“The film also tackles a larger issue: the fact that these issues aren’t conservative versus liberal, they’re instead about basic rights that are enshrined in the bill of rights and the basis of the United States and the rule of law,” says Ambros. “The film gives the issues context by discussing the war on terror abroad, the use of target killings by drones, and the NSA’s mass surveillance program.”
Ambros said he was originally drawn to the project because he noticed that a “massive encroachment on civil liberties” was coming from the very same political party that criticized the Bush administration.
“It showed a massive hypocrisy of the democratic establishment, and I felt a documentary should be made about how liberal democrats and libertarian republicans can work together to strike a better balance between security and liberty,” said Ambros.
What has certainly helped give the film notoriety, including a recent write up in Deadline, is having James Cromwell attached as producer of the film.
“James loved the film and he was willing to put his name on it as a political endorsement,” recalled Ambros. “He’s one of the great character actors of all time. I really admire him as an outspoken individual and activist, so I was extremely lucky and fortunate.”
You can now rent or purchase Imminent Threat on Amazon.
In three weeks, Ambros will be shooting his next film, Valley of Bones, starring Autumn Reeser.