True & Honest Fan
- Feb 21, 2021
Nick announced on his past show that his documentary "Most Cancelled Man in America" by Paul Escandon was rejected from "Freedomfest" which is a libertarian film festival and part of the "Anthem Film Festival". This year's theme was "cancel culture".
Naturally, Nick chimped out over this and then announced that there will be a private showing for part 1&2 of the documentary on JULY 14th in Las Vegas, Nevada along with the AFPAC 3 conference film. There will be a Q&A, Meet & Greet dinner for VIPs, and a rented out Penthouse suite for the VIP after-party. The tickets have not been announced yet so keep a look out for pricing.
BASIC ENTRY FEE- $80
VIP FEE- $ (unannounced)
Now for why his film was rejected:
Full FB text:
link to original FB post| ArchiveA few weeks ago, some of you might have heard about Freedom Fest "canceling" a film by Jason Rink, ironically called "The Most Canceled Man In America" about the government freezing "America First" livestream show host, Nick Fuentes' bank accounts and putting him on a no fly list without having ever accused or convicted him of a crime.
The basic facts of the situation are as follows:
1) The Anthem Libertarian Film Festival originally accepted "The Most Canceled Man in America" film to be shown next month in Las Vegas;
2) Jason offered to bring Fuentes to the film festival to participate in the screening Q&A. He also said that he would understand if Anthem wasn't interested, given that he is such a controversial figure.
3) Jo Ann Foster Skousen initially agreed to Fuentes' appearance and (unfortunately, for reasons I'll get to in a moment) prematurely made a public announcement that Fuentes would attend;
4) This announcement created a significant backlash from folks (I've heard Nick Gillespie -- UPDATE: Nick messaged me and said he hadn't seen the film or commented to anyone about it, so not him -- David Boaz, and others, but I honestly don't know who and I don't think it was just limited to a few people) who saw this as an endorsement of and giving a platform to Fuentes' views, which are decidedly *not* libertarian and (to the extent you can parse what he actually believes from edge lord nonsense he posts online) spectacularly awful.
5) After this backlash occurred, Anthem rescinded the invitation to have Fuentes speak, and asked Jason Rink to modify the trailer for the film (again, for reasons I'll explain shortly). When Rink refused to recut the trailer, Anthem ultimately chose to remove it from the festival.
As a result...
A) Jo Ann and other people at FreedomFest have been accused by some very uncharitable critics of supporting Fuentes' views, which they emphatically don't...
B) Jason Rink sees this as yet another example of his more controversial work being canceled (which has happened several times in the last year), and has made a few extremely public posts about the whole situation on Substack. He's also gone on various podcasts and made other media appearances talking about it.
So this has all been kind of a shitshow for FreedomFest and a pretty lame experience for Rink at the same time.
Weirdly, that's where I come in.
As someone who's been friends with Rink for a very long time AND who has been a Judge for the Anthem Film Festival for the last 5 years (and had films there several years before that), I've found myself in the middle of all this nonsense.
After speaking with everyone involved at length, I think I have a perspective on the situation that's a little different than what you might have heard.
Also, for the record, I hadn't commented on any of this publicly yet, specifically because I hadn't actually seen the film. I've been super busy transitioning into the new job, and hadn't found the time until tonight.
But now I have seen "The Most Canceled Man in America", and although I don't necessarily want to blow this story up any more than necessary, I do feel compelled to talk about it.
The tl'dr, super short version of what I'm about to say is basically that Jason is wrong, his film is misleading, and that Jo Ann and Anthem Film Festival were right to pull it from the festival. Additionally, I don't think what happened is actually an example of "cancel culture" creeping into FreedomFest, but rather an example of a group of people who made a poor decision based on information that was intentionally withheld.
--- Now, with that out of the way, those of you who wish to know more may read on ---
Having now seen the film, I know exactly why Jo Ann would have accepted it in the first place, and why she thought it would be fine to have Nick Fuentes speak.
She had no idea who he actually was, and the film itself intentionally (for good faith but fundamentally bad reasons) avoids providing sufficient detail about Fuentes' beliefs or who he really is.
In fact, the first several minutes of "The Most Canceled Man In America" make Nick Fuentes look positively "libertarian".
For example, he talks about how his first political influences were Milton Friedman and Thomas Sowell.
Fuentes acts as if he is fondly remembering his intellectual heroes while standing in front of his own "America First" branding, which is pretty ironic if you actually spent any time reading Friedman or Sowell -- who could both probably talk your ear off about the dangers of protectionism and the value of of both free trade and immigration.
Whatever influence Friedman or Sowell had on Fuentes must have died long ago, but the film doesn't make that clear at all.
There is no mention in the film that Fuentes is a self-avowed ethno-nationalist who thinks TPUSA's bomb-throwing, plagiarizing idiot leader, Charlie Kirk, isn't "conservative" enough.
There is no mention of Fuentes' numerous inflammatory statements, which Fuentes seems to alternately play off as statements of his actual beliefs or jokes, depending on what people's reaction happens to be.
If he says that women shouldn't be allowed to vote, or that he's an Incel because having sex with a woman "is gay", or that the government is controlled by the Jews, or if he's just promoting some classic Alex Jones conspiracy theories, you can never tell if he's "serious".
But he does seem to be serious about a lot of this stuff.
Towards the middle/end of the film, "The Most Canceled Man in America" shows Fuentes supporting patently unconstitutional legislation where the government could dictate to large tech companies who they can and cannot boot from their platforms, because he's upset about being kicked off of Twitter.
But that line doesn't actually get explored any more than any of his other views, so the film not only fails to tell you who Fuentes really is, it also actively avoids challenging him on libertarian grounds when it would be extremely easy to do so.
It does make it clear that he's a vocal Trump-supporter, but apart from that, it doesn't give the audience any meaningful sense of him overall.
Instead, the film mostly packages Fuentes as someone who just happened to be generally controversial / politically incorrect, and who was railroaded by the US Government for no reason.
In Fuentes' own words (in the film):
"I'm a person who's done nothing wrong, I haven't violated the law. I've not been charged with a crime. I've not been convicted for committing a crime. And yet, I'm essentially being punished and being imprisoned in a certain way. It's almost like I'm on house arrest.
They've taken my money, they've taken my freedom to travel...
...because I'm a political activist for a cause they don't agree with, and it's as simple as that. I've done nothing but host a live-stream show. I did some activism for Stop The Steal, and because this challenges the current regime, I'm banned from getting on a domestic flight."
Hilariously, at one point in the film, Fuentes literally claims that he's being "targeted because he's actually effective".
He then compares himself to MLK and Malcolm X.
And while he's talking about all this, the music and imagery gets really empathetic and heroic and makes it seem like he's some kind of good guy.
But what's he "effective" at?
Being a narcissist?
Convincing people to support a worldview that rejects free trade and immigration?
Convincing people to support anti-semitism?
...to support racial collectivism, pro-white identity politics, and outright racism?
The film does an absolutely abysmal job of showing you who this guy is. And he's not good.
But.... Here's the thing.
Rink made that choice intentionally. He told me so himself.
He *explicitly* avoided including anything about how shitty Nick Fuentes' views actually are because he was trying to make the point that it doesn't actually matter what Nick's views are. No one should be denied due process.
I think Rink is right to make that point, but I think his execution was severely flawed.
Many of Fuentes' core views are absolutely abhorrent, and he's participated in several high-profile events that turned ugly such as the Charlottesville "Unite the Right" rally and the January 6th protest that turned into a riot.
That context matters.
Fuentes is not just some random middle of the road conservative or any kind of libertarian speaking truth to power. I even think calling him a white nationalist or white supremacist is probably accurate, although Fuentes denies it.
As a filmmaker and producer, I think Jason made the wrong choice by downplaying Nick's garbage-tier views.
I actually think the point that due process matters, no matter who you are would have been made much more powerfully by the inclusion of Nick Fuentes' ideology.
Knowing who this guy really is... Disagreeing with most everything he stands for, and still defending him anyway is a much bolder take than what the film actually does, which is make it seem like he's just some guy who's being unfairly, unjustly screwed by the state.
And this gets us all the way back to Jo Ann and Anthem.
Jo Ann invited Fuentes because she didn't know who he was. She just thought he was a guy getting screwed and it's always exciting to have the subject of a documentary come to the festival and do Q&A.
And who can blame her?
It's not like she travels in Alt-Right circles or pays attention to social media edgelords like Fuentes. All she had to go on was the documentary... Which means that all she knew about him was that he was:
1) aware of important thinkers like Friedman and Sowell;
2) some kind of radio host / political activist who is critical of the Biden administration; and
3) is having his life wrecked by the government and big tech companies without a trial.
She'd probably be the first to tell you that she should have looked him up, and I know some of my other friends at FreedomFest are kicking themselves for not vetting him and shutting it down before anything was made public -- but having seen the film, I totally get how that could have happened.
Hell, until all this went down, *I* didn't even know who he was. I'd seen his name mentioned once or twice, but I had no idea what he actually believed or said.
Keeping tabs on people like Fuentes is just not something that I find to be worthwhile. I had to look him up in the last few weeks to really understand what we were dealing with.
And that's why I *also* totally get why Jo Ann and other folks there wanted Jason Rink to change the film.
Frankly, I think the film is deceptive and if you're not already hyper-aware of Fuentes' nutty little corner of the ideological spectrum and all you did was see "The Most Canceled Man in America", you'd have a sense of him that is just flat out incorrect.
I'm not trying to bash Jason's film here, by the way... I know what he was trying to do, and why.
I accept that Rink stands by his artistic judgement, his reasoning as a storyteller, and his editorial decisions, even though I think they were incorrect.
He's not going to change the film, and he was insulted that he'd even be asked to do so.
But that's also why I think that his film shouldn't be shown at Anthem.
With changes, it might be a really interesting documentary about why we should still support due process rights, even for horrible people. That would be a bold and controversial point, all by itself. But without changes, it just makes it seem like Fuentes is a victim and it misled the festival's Founder and Lead Programmer so much that she was willing to invite someone to attend and speak whose views are so at odds with the core principles of her event that she was immediately accused of being a horrible person herself.
That's not cool.
At this point, it's Rink's decision to change the film, and he's emphatically decided that there will be no changes. He is confident in his vision as an artist and doesn't need a film festival's approval to tell the story he wanted to tell.
But consequently, I don't think it's an example of "canceling" him to pull the film under these circumstances, nor is it canceling Nick Fuentes to disinvite him when his invite was made with deliberately limited information.
Sorry this post was so damn long, and I hope everyone I mentioned doesn't hate me for it. But I'm done now.
Twitter Highlight RT'd from one of the film producers
Surely the judges are just biased and Nick is never conceited or wrong and would never put up any false airs.
VITAL UPDATE 06/22/2022:
Nick stated on his show he is going to show up to the libertarian film festival anyways. He is going to roll up "20 Groypers deep in a white Benz" to alog while "follwing the rules" of the film festival.
The DOUBLE FEATURE trashfire is incoming.