The Secret Policeman's Film Festival: New York City and Los Angeles June / July 2009
June 2009 marks the 30th Anniversary of the first Amnesty International benefit show, "The Secret Policeman's Ball." In the ensuing years, a series of Secret Policeman's Balls have taken place in England to raise fund for the human rights organization. The shows spawned movies, TV specials, home videos (and later DVDs in both the U.K. and U.S.) records and CDs and inspired the 1986 US Tour, "Conspiracy of Hope" and 1988's "Human Rights Now!" world tour.
In September 1981, Eric Clapton appeared at "The Secret Policeman's Other Ball" dueting with Jeff Beck. That night also featured performances from Sting, Bob Geldof, Phil Collins and Donovan.
To celebrate the anniversary, a retrospective film festival will take place in New York City and Los Angeles in June and July 2009. In New York, films will be screened at both Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and The Paley Center for Media / New York (formely the Museum of Televison and Radio). In Los Angeles, they will be screened at The Egyptian Theater and The Paley Center for Media / Beverly Hills.
The festival will present rare versions of films, TV specials and documentaries that chronicled the shows. These will include the films of all the original shows - including two ultra-rare predecessor events that led directly to the first Ball. In many cases, the screenings will be of the original UK theatrical versions never released in the US - versions never available on VHS or DVD.
A few of the films to be screened during the festival include:
A Conspiracy of Hope
Human Rights Now!
The Mermaid Frolics
The Paris Concert for Amnesty International
Pleasure At Her Majesty's
The Secret Policeman's Ball
The Secret Policeman's Ball 2006
The Secret Policeman's Ball 2008
The Secret Policeman's Biggest Ball
The Secret Policeman's Other Ball (both U.S. and U.K. versions will be screened separately)
The Secret Policeman's Private Parts
The Secret Policeman's Rare Nuggets
The Secret Policeman's Third Ball: The Music
and many more!
Participating rock musicians seen in the various films include: Bryan Adams, Joan Armatrading, Chet Atkins, Badly Drawn Boy, Jeff Beck, Bono, Eric Clapton, Phil Collins, Miles Davis, Duran Duran, Erasure, Bob Geldof, David Gilmour, Tom Jones, Mark Knopfler, k.d. Lang, Wynton Marsalis, Pat Metheny, Neville Brothers, Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, The Police, Radiohead, Razorlight, Carlos Santana, Bruce Springsteen, Sting, Pete Townshend, U2 and World Party.
Participating comedians seen in the various films include: Rowan Atkinson, Beyond The Fringe, Rory Bremner, Graham Chapman, Chevy Chase, John Cleese, Dame Edna, Colin Firth, Dawn French, Terry Gilliam, Neil Innes, Eddie Izzard, Hugh Laurie, Jonathan Miller, Sarah Millican, Dudley Moore, Michael Palin,
Jennifer Saunders, Frank Skinner, Peter Ustinov and Victoria Wood.