California State University, Long Beach
Inside CSULB Logo

Screening Of Documentary “(T)error” Oct. 4

Published: October 3, 2016

The award-winning 2015 documentary “(T)error” by the filmmaking team of Lyric Cabral and David Felix Sutcliffe will screen on Tuesday, Oct. 4, from 7:30 to 9:45 pm in the University Theater. Admission is free and the event is open to the public.

The screening is part of “Quandaries,” a series of award-winning documentary films followed by question-and-answer sessions with the film directors. It is funded by a Visiting Fellows grant from the California State University Entertainment Initiative and presented by CSULB’s Film and Electronic Arts Department (FEA). “(T)error” is the final film in this series.

Praised by Newsweek as “one of the best documentaries of 2015” and by Variety as “a vital expose,” “(T)error” is the first film to place its filmmakers on the ground during an active FBI counterterrorism sting operation. Unfolding with the drama and intrigue of a spy novel, the film follows Saeed “Shariff” Torres, a 63-year-old African-American revolutionary turned informant, as he takes on what he swears is his last job for the FBI and invites filmmakers to document his covert efforts to befriend a suspected jihadist-without informing his superiors. As surprising revelations emerge, not only about Torres’ past, but also about the increasingly murky ethical grounds of his present mission, the film seeks to explore how far anti-terror efforts may go and what liberties may be sacrificed along the way.

“(T)error” won the Sundance Film Festival Special Jury Prize, the Tribeca Film Festival Creative Promise Award and the international Documentary Association’s Emerging Filmmaker Award.

“We want to bring interesting films and filmmakers to campus whenever possible,” said series organizer Helen Hood Scheer, who joined FEA in 2015. “It’s a great opportunity for students to see important work and dialogue with the creators about both their films and their career paths.”

Scheer explained that she received a grant from the CSU Entertainment Industry Initiative to create “Quandaries,” a four-part series that includes three screenings of award-winning documentary feature films, a post-screening discussion with the director of each film and a master class with an attorney specializing in nonfiction media creation and fair use law.

“The aim of the series is to explore excellence in storytelling, the boundaries between what is ethical versus legal-and the grey area in between-and differences between documentary filmmaking and traditional journalism,” she said. “An additional objective is to highlight works by under-represented filmmakers in leadership roles and positive depictions of diverse populations on-screen. I’ll be applying for additional grants to create a new documentary series next year; fingers crossed.”

Scheer greets the post-screening Q&A with anticipation. “Lyric Cabral, the co-filmmaker, is a highly accomplished documentary filmmaker and journalist-and she’s very funny and open about her craft,” she said. “Lyric will discuss the trials and tribulations she and her filmmaking partner faced making this documentary, and her current work on a film about Ferguson and the Black Lives Matter movement. This is a great opportunity for the CSULB community to engage with her about one of the most important movies in recent years and social/political issue filmmaking.”

Scheer believes the screening helps FEA to fulfill its mission to teach and inspire students to think critically and to engage in lifelong learning.

“Hopefully, this film inspires on-going conversation and an interest in important issues of our time, media literacy, and the non-fiction form,” she said.

More information is available by contacting Scheer.