The Secret Policeman's Film Festival

Program Synopses

Below, browse synopses for all of the films in The Secret Policeman's Film Festival. You can find full schedules for the LA and NY festivals at the following links:

  LA Schedule
  NY Schedule

Screenings are included with general admission.

Pleasure at Her Majesty’s

Film of the very first Amnesty benefit show—a direct progenitor of The Secret Policeman’s Ball. The show was instigated by John Cleese who rounded up his friends from Monty Python and other Brit-com luminaries including Peter Cook, Eleanor Bron, Neil Innes, and Dame Edna for an historic gathering of the British comedic tribes performing their “greatest hits.” Directed by Beyond the Fringe’s Jonathan Miller, the stage show was originally titled “A Poke In The Eye (With A Sharp Stick)” by Cleese. Setting the pattern for future shows, collaborations abound with Pythons and Beyond-the-Fringers guesting in each other’s skits. Peter Cook becomes an honorary Python, Terry Jones joins Beyond the Fringe. Verite director Roger Graef captured the live show and also documented the preparations, rehearsals, and between-the-skits dressing room banter. (1976, Amnesty International, 101 min.)

In LA: Saturday, July 11, 2009, at 1:00 pm
In NY: Saturday, July 25, 2009, at 1:00 pm & Friday, July 31, 2009, at 1:00 pm

The Mermaid Frolics

TV special of the 1977 Amnesty benefit stage-directed by Monty Python’s Terry Jones. It features some very rare John Cleese performances with his then-wife Connie Booth of Fawlty Towers fame and with one of his hero/role models, Jonathan Miller. Plus Peter Cook, Terry Jones, Peter Ustinov, Sue Jones-Davies (Judith in Life Of Brian), and Julie Covington (Rock Follies and the very first Evita). Never seen in any format in the U.S. Never on VHS or DVD. (1977, Amnesty International, 52 min., Dir. Roger Graef)

In LA: Saturday, July 11, 2009, at 3:00 pm
In NY: Saturday, July 25, 2009, at 3:00 pm & Friday, July 31, 2009, at 3:00 pm

The Secret Policeman’s Ball

This is the first show (and film) with the famous title that gave its name to the entire series. The June 1979 stage show was “slightly directed” by Cleese and features half the Monty Pythons, plus Peter Cook, Eleanor Bron, Billy Connolly, and the breakthrough debut of Rowan Atkinson, who dazzles in solo slots and in ensemble work with the Pythons and Peter Cook. It includes what most critics consider to be Peter Cook’s finest performance—his savage satire of one of Britain’s most salacious political sex scandals. (A skit that is hysterically funny even without knowledge of the details.) The film also captures the start of what has became the rock community’s long-running support for Amnesty with stunning acoustic performances by the Who’s Pete Townshend—simultaneously birthing the “unplugged” phenomenon that followed. This is the original, uncut 1980 UK film—never released theatrically in the U.S. Includes twenty minutes cut from the DVD version. (1980, Amnesty International, 91 min., Dir. Roger Graef)

In LA: Wednesday, July 15, 2009, at 1:00 pm
In NY: Sunday, July 26, 2009, at 1:00 pm

The Secret Policeman’s Other Ball (UK version)

The really big show—codirected by Cleese who revived several classic skits for the event from his pre-Python stint with Graham Chapman in the legendary “At Last The 1948 Show.” Features three Monty Pythons (Cleese, Chapman, Palin), Billy Connolly, the BBC’s Not The 9 'O Clock News team, and newcomers Victoria Wood and Alexei Sayle. Cleese also teams up with the newer generation including Rowan Atkinson. Series cocreator Martin Lewis built on his inclusion of Pete Townshend in the 1979 show by recruiting a slew of established rockers (Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Donovan) and then-emerging talent (Sting, Phil Collins, Bob Geldof) to the Amnesty cause for memorable musical interludes that inspired Live Aid creator Geldof to follow suit. Director Julien Temple (Great Rock ‘n’ Roll Swindle, Absolute Beginners) was brought in to add cinematic flair to the filming. This is the original, uncut 1982 UK film—never released theatrically in the U.S.  (Not to be confused with the quite different U.S. version of the film released by Miramax.) (1981, Amnesty International, 99 min., Dir. Julien Temple)

In LA: Sunday, July 12, 2009, at 2:30 pm
In NY: Sunday, July 26, 2009, at 3:00 pm

The Secret Policeman’s Third Ball 

After a six-year hiatus, the Secret Policeman's Ball shows resumed with a strong hybrid of comedy and music. The humor reflected the emergence of a new wave of comedic performers in the UK including: Hugh Laurie (House), Stephen Fry (Blackadder and Peter’s Friends), Robbie Coltrane (Cracker and Nuns On The Run), Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders (creators of Absolutely Fabulous), Lenny Henry, and the Spitting Image puppets. Lending support and continuity was John Cleese. The stellar lineup of musicians includes: Peter Gabriel, Kate Bush, Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour, Dire Strait’s Mark Knopfler, Joan Armatrading, Bob Geldof, Duran Duran, and—for the first time—some American guests: Jackson Browne, Lou Reed, and Chet Atkins. (1987, Amnesty International, 89 min., Dir. Ken O’Neill)

In LA: Saturday, July 11, 2009, at 1:00 pm
In NY: Wednesday, July 29, 2009, at 1:00 pm

The Secret Policeman’s Biggest Ball

The 1989 show returned the Ball to its roots as primarily a comedy gathering with a mixture of the (by-now) older guard: John Cleese, Michael Palin, Peter Cook and Dudley Moore (in their last work together) and new wave including: Hugh Laurie, Stephen Fry, Adrian Edmondson (The Young Ones), Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders, Ben Elton (We Will Rock You), Robbie Coltrane, and the Spitting Image puppets. The stage show was directed by John Cleese and Jennifer Saunders (Absolutely Fabulous), reflecting a cross-generational spirit. (1989, Amnesty International, 94 min., Dir. Mike Holgate)

In LA: Wednesday, July 15, 2009, at 3:00 pm
In NY: Wednesday, July 29, 2009, at 3:00 pm

The Big 3-O: Amnesty's 30th Anniversary

Though it did not carry a “Secret Policeman’s Ball” title, this show celebrating Amnesty’s 30th anniversary emulated the 1987 show in presenting equal numbers of comedians and musicians. The performers included many of the new wave of Britain's comics, including Steve Coogan (24 Hour Party People and Tropic Thunder), Julian Clary, Frank Skinner, Paul Merton, and Vic Reeves. The musical directors were David Gilmour of Pink Floyd and Jools Holland of Squeeze supporting a diverse array of musicians including Dave Stewart, Morrissey, Seal, EMF, Tom Jones, Lisa Stansfield, Rick Astley, Kim Wilde, and Daryl Hall. Hosted by Jonathan Ross and Alexei Sayle. This will be the U.S. Premiere of the film in any media and its World Theatrical Premiere. (1991, Amnesty International, 98 min., Dir. David Hillier)

In LA: Thursday, June 25, 2009, at 1:00 pm & Thursday, July 16, 2009, at 1:00 pm
In NY: Friday, July 3, 2009, at 1:00 pm & Wednesday, July 22, 2009, at 1:00 pm

The Secret Policeman’s Other Ball (U.S. version)

As of spring 1982, none of the Secret Policeman’s Ball films had been released in the U.S.—having been considered “too British” for American audiences by most studios. Producer Martin Lewis finally contracted with budding distributors Bob and Harvey Weinstein and their recently formed Miramax Films to produce a U.S.  version of the latest UK film. Lewis created a new film that fused the highlights of the 1979 and 1981 films into one “made-for-America” movie—replete with a Don Pardo-narrated prologue. Fueled by an artfully-generated feud with the Moral Majority that saw Graham Chapman’s TV spots for the film (as a member of the ORAL Majority) banned by U.S. networks, the film became a big success in the summer of 1982—Miramax’s first. This unique hybrid film was briefly available on VHS and then permanently deleted. Never on DVD. First screening anywhere in twenty-seven years! (1982, Amnesty International, 99 min., Dir Roger Graef and Julien Temple)

In LA: Sunday, July 5, 2009, at 1:00 pm
In NY: Wednesday, July 1, 2009, at 1:00 pm & Sunday, July 12, 2009, at 1:00 pm

The Secret Policeman’s Private Parts

Following the success of the 1982 hybrid US film, Amnesty asked Lewis to create a U.S.-only sequel combining the stellar footage from their 1976 and 1977 shows—and the unseen (in the U.S.) sequences from the 1979 and 1981 shows. Also delving into the original negative of all four films to find outtakes (rare Python and Pete Townshend material) and deploying specially created animation, Lewis fashioned this rarely seen TV special for Cinemax. Seen with the US version of The Secret Policeman’s Other Ball, this is a virtual “best-of” the first four Amnesty shows—stuffed with Pythonesque comedy routines and rare musical treasures. This special was briefly available on VHS and then permanently deleted. Never on DVD. This will be the World Theatrical Premiere.

RARITY NOTICE: Because the content in these U.S.-only releases has now been standardized back to the original UK films for worldwide DVD release, these two U.S.-only 1980s films are unlikely to ever be released on DVD or publicly seen again in this form. (1983, Amnesty International, 78 min., Dir. Martin Lewis)

In LA: Sunday, July 5, 2009, at 3:00 pm
In NY: Wednesday, July 1, 2009, at 3:00 pm & Sunday, July 12, 2009, at 3:00 pm

We Know Where You Live, LIVE!

Early in the New Millennium, John Cleese handed over the organizing of future Amnesty-UK shows to Eddie Izzard, who described his first production as “the son of the Secret Policeman's Ball.” Izzard refashioned the concept for the new era in this 2001 show held at London's Wembley Arena. Izzard handpicked the cream of contemporary British comedians to join him including: Harry Enfield, Paul Whitehouse, Jeremy Hardy, Vic Reeves, Phill Jupitus, Dom Joly, and Jonathan Ross. The show’s Python heritage was saluted with a spirited updated version of the “Four Yorkshiremen” skit that included Izzard and actor Alan Rickman. The show also featured cameo appearances by Dawn French, Colin Firth, Richard E. Grant, Tim Roth, Emma Thompson, Julie Walters, Kate Moss, and Michael Stipe. U2, Tom Jones, the Stereophonics, and Badly Drawn Boy provided live music. This will be the U.S. Premiere of the film in any media and its World Theatrical Premiere. (2001, Amnesty International, 97 min., Dir. Declan Lowney)

In LA: Thursday, June 25, 2009, at 3:00 pm & Thursday, July 16, 2009, at 3:00 pm
In NY: Friday, July 3, 2009, at 3:00 pm & Wednesday, July 22, 2009, at 3:00 pm

The Secret Policeman’s Ball 2006: The Ball in the Hall

For its 2006 benefit show, Amnesty brought back the iconic "Secret Policeman's Ball" title. Eddie Izzard headlined the show at London's Royal Albert Hall featuring a roster of the UK's most popular emerging comedic acts, including Russell Brand, Graham Norton, Jon Culshaw, Al Murray, and the Python-inspired Mighty Boosh troupe. Also featuring performances by visiting American guest stars Jimmy Fallon, Sarah Silverman, Chevy Chase, and Seth Green. Cameo appearances by Richard E. Grant in an Agatha Christie spoof (replete with Withnail & I references!) and Jeremy Irons. Live music performed by Martha Wainwright and top UK indie bands the Magic Numbers and the Zutons. This will be the U.S. Premiere of the uncut film. (2006, Amnesty International, 117 min., Dir. Julia Knowles)

In LA: Friday, June 26, 2009, at 2:30 pm; Wednesday, July 1, 2009, at 1:00 pm; Friday, July 17, 2009, at 12:30 pm
In NY: Wednesday, July 8, 2009, at 2:30 pm & Saturday, July 11, 2009, at 2:30 pm

The Secret Policeman’s Ball 2008

The 2008 edition of the show was presented again at London’s Royal Albert Hall. Eddie Izzard headlined the cast of Britain’s top contemporary comedians, including Graham Norton, Jonathan Ross, Frank Skinner, Ed Byrne, Alan Carr, Sarah Millican, Russell Howard, Mitchell & Webb, Sean Lock, Jon Culshaw, and Iranian Shappi Khorsandi. Music by top indie band Razorlight. This will be the U.S. Premiere of the film and its World Theatrical Premiere. (2008, Amnesty International, 120 min.)

In LA: Saturday, June 27, 2009, at 2:00 pm; Wednesday, July 1, 2009, at 3:00 pm; Friday, July 17, 2009, at 3:00 pm
In NY: Friday, July 10, 2009, at 3:00 pm & Sunday, July 19, 2009, at 3:00 pm

The Secret Policeman’s Retro Ball!

In 1992, VH1 celebrated the 10th anniversary of the release of the live music album from The Secret Policeman’s Other Ball by creating a TV special that told the story of how rock musicians had become involved in supporting Amnesty International. The special featured excerpts from various shows and looked at how the performances by Pete Townshend, Sting, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Peter Gabriel, Bob Geldof, Phil Collins, and others had led to Amnesty’s 1986 Conspiracy Of Hope and 1988 Human Rights Now tours. Shot on location in the London theatre where the original performances took place, the program was written, produced, and hosted by Secret Policeman’s Ball series cocreator and coproducer Martin Lewis, who instigated the introduction of rock music into the original all-comedy format and who recruited the musicians to the Amnesty cause. The show premiered on Human Rights Day in December 1992 and aired only three times on VH1. Never on DVD or VHS. This is the World Theatrical Premiere of the film. (1992, VH1/Amnesty International, 45 min.)

In LA: Thursday, July 2, 2009, at 2:30 pm & Saturday, July 18, 2009, at 2:30 pm
In NY: Thursday, July 9, 2009, at 2:30 pm & Wednesday, July 15, 2009, at 2:30 pm

Remember the Secret Policeman’s Ball?

This entertaining documentary was commissioned by the BBC to celebrate the 25th anniversary of The Secret Policeman’s Ball. Stuffed with a “That’s Entertainment” style array of performances from the original shows, the film is a virtual “Best of the Balls.” Providing history and context, the film presents recollections of many of the key participants including John Cleese, Michael Palin, Terry Jones, Terry Gilliam, Rowan Atkinson, Stephen Fry, Jennifer Saunders, Sting, and Bob Geldof. The film delves into the archives of the earliest shows and confronts some of the performers with their younger selves with some memorable results. The film also looks at how the Amnesty shows reflected the evolution of British comedy from the mid-1970s to the present day. The film also traces how the introduction of rock music into the original format of comedy galvanized a generation of musicians into becoming social activists and led directly to Live Aid. As Sting describes it: "The seed was planted at Amnesty for Bob Geldof. He saw what they were doing. He saw how entertainment could help that process and then he took the "Ball" and ran with it. Further than anybody could possibly imagine." (2004, BBC/Amnesty International, 75 min., Dir. Margaret Kinmonth)

In LA: Thursday, July 2, 2009, at 1:00 pm & Saturday, July 18, 2009, at 1:00 pm
In NY: Thursday, July 9, 2009, at 1:00 pm & Wednesday, July 15, 2009, at 1:00 pm

Think About Tomorrow

A short documentary about the important human rights work undertaken by Amnesty International. Features rare performances by Sting at Amnesty’s 1990 “Embrace Of Hope” concert in Chile. Corey Glover of Living Colour talks about Amnesty’s work. Also features music by Jackson Browne. Never seen on U.S. TV. Not available on DVD. (1991, Amnesty International, 25 min.)

In LA: Sunday, June 28, 2009, at 4:00 pm & Thursday, July 2, 2009, at 3:30 pm
In NY: Thursday, July 9, 2009, at 4:30 pm & Wednesday, July 15, 2009, at 3:30 pm

Conspiracy of Hope

Inspired by the success of the UK-produced Secret Policeman’s Ball shows, films, and albums—and in particular the impact of rock musicians on galvanizing the public—the U.S. section of Amnesty organized a six-city tour of the U.S. in June 1986 in which a caravan of musicians would spread the human rights message at concerts. Starring U2, the Police (specially reformed after a four-year hiatus), Peter Gabriel, Jackson Browne, and Lou Reed—the shows were a rollicking success. The tour’s grand finale was an all-day concert at Giants Stadium. The touring artists were joined by a plethora of artists including Bryan Adams, Carlos Santana, Miles Davis, Joan Armatrading, Rubén Blades, Joan Baez, Fela, the Neville Brothers, Bob Geldof, Howard Jones, Joni Mitchell, Yoko Ono, and Steven Van Zandt. With appearances by Robert DeNiro, Michael J. Fox, and Muhammed Ali. The eleven-hour concert was televised by MTV as a Live Aid–style spectacular. This all-day special only ever aired live—and was never repeated. Never on VHS or DVD. (1986, MTV/Amnesty International, 11 hours)

In LA: Not screening in LA
In NY: (Part 1) Thursday, July 23, 2009, at 1:00 pm; (Part 2) Thursday, July 30, 2009, at 1:00 pm

Human Rights Now!

Following the success of Amnesty’s Conspiracy of Hope U.S. tour, Amnesty decided to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights with a world tour that would touch down in every continent. Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band, Youssou N’Dour, and Tracy Chapman joined amnesty stalwarts Sting and Peter Gabriel for the twenty-concert tour. During the course of the tour, they were joined by an array of guests, including Bono, Joan Baez, Ravi Shankar, k.d. lang, and Pat Metheny. This exhilarating film presents the tour’s grand finale concert in Buenos Aires augmented by highlights from the preceding six weeks of performances and campaigning about human rights in exotic locales throughout the world. A highlight of the concerts was the musical collaborations. Sting and Springsteen dueting on “The River” and “Every Breath You Take.” All the musicians singing Bob Marley’s “Get Up, Stand Up” and Bob Dylan’s “Chimes Of Freedom.” This TV special only ever aired on HBO in December 1988 and has never been repeated since. Never on VHS or DVD. First time shown anywhere since December 1988. (1988, HBO/Amnesty International, 180 min., Dir. Larry Jordan)

In LA: Friday, July 3, 2009, at 1:00 pm
In NY: Thursday, July 16, 2009, at 2:30 pm & Friday, July 24, 2009, at 3:30 pm

From Chile: An Embrace of Hope

Amnesty had wanted to visit Chile as part of the Human Rights Now tour in 1988, but the presence of General Pinochet’s dictatorship prevented that. In 1990, Pinochet was finally banished and Amnesty helped the people of Chile celebrate with a two-day music festival in the very stadium where Pinochet’s thugs had once imprisoned and murdered Chilean citizens. The festival was headlined by an eclectic lineup, including Sting, Peter Gabriel, Jackson Browne, Sinéad O'Connor, Wynton Marsalis, Ruben Blades and a newly politicized New Kids on the Block. Never seen in the U.S. Never on home video or DVD anywhere in world. This will be the U.S. Premiere of the film in any media and its World Theatrical Premiere. (1990, Amnesty International, 68 min.)

In LA: Thursday, July 9, 2009, at 3:30 pm
In NY: Thursday, July 2, 2009, at 2:30 pm; Sunday, July 5, 2009, at 2:30 pm; Friday, July 17, 2009, at 1:00 pm

The Paris Concert for Amnesty International

Amnesty celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration Of Human Rights with a concert in the city where the historic document was signed. Amnesty stalwarts Peter Gabriel, Bruce Springsteen, Tracy Chapman, and Youssou N'Dour were joined by Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, Radiohead, Alanis Morisette, and Shania Twain for this three-hour extravaganza, including an appearance by the Dalai Lama. Only seen once in U.S. in 1999 (on an obscure Pay-Per-View channel). Never seen on regular U.S. TV or cable. (1998, Amnesty International, 180 min., Dir. Stanley Dorfman)

In LA: Friday, July 10, 2009, at 1:00 pm
In NY: Thursday, July 2, 2009, at 4:00 pm & Saturday, July 18, 2009, at 1:00 pm

Sky at Westminster Abbey

The twentieth anniversary of Amnesty International was celebrated by what was the first-ever (and to date only-ever) rock concert at London’s 900-year-old Westminster Abbey. It was an historic event instigated and produced by the late Nicholas Wright (a noted Egyptologist and former Abbey chorister) and Secret Policeman’s Ball series cocreator/coproducer Martin Lewis. A dramatic “son-et-lumiere” concert by the British classical-prog-rock fusion band Sky, founded and led by acclaimed classical guitarist John Williams (theme from The Deer Hunter); legendary session musician Herbie Flowers (bassist for David Bowie, Lou Reed, etc); and Francis Monkman, founder of British prog-rock pioneers Curved Air (the band Stewart Copeland played in before the Police). Popular throughout most of the world in the ‘80s, in the U.S. the band was best known for its 1987 release Sky: The Mozart Album. The concert took place in February 1981 on the day that Prince Charles and Princess Diana announced their plans to marry later that year. Westminster Abbey had been expected to be the venue for the nuptials (as was traditional for royal weddings), but in a move widely seen as a Buckingham Palace rebuke of Westminster Abbey for having desecrated its sacred ground by permitting heathen rock music to be played in its hallows, the wedding was shifted to rival St. Paul’s Cathedral! This show has never been seen or released in any format in the U.S. Never on DVD. This will be the U.S. Premiere of the concert in any media and its World Theatrical Premiere. (1981, BBC/Amnesty International, 85 min., Dir. Ken Griffin)

In LA: Saturday, July 18, 2009, at 3:30 pm
In NY: Friday, July 17, 2009, at 2:30 pm

The Secret Policeman’s Private Party

Secret Policeman’s Ball series cocreator and coproducer Martin Lewis created this one-hour comedy special in 1984 drawing on highlights from the first four Amnesty shows. Starring John Cleese, Graham Chapman, Michael Palin, Terry Jones, Terry Gilliam, Neil Innes, Peter Cook, Jonathan Miller, Alan Bennett, John Bird, John Fortune, Eleanor Bron, Rowan Atkinson, Dame Edna, and many more! The special was made for international TV audiences and it has never been seen in the U.S.  Never on VHS or DVD. This is its World Theatrical Premiere. (1984, Amnesty International, 60 min.)

In LA: Friday, June 26, 2009, at 1:00 pm
In NY: Wednesday, July 8, 2009, at 1:00 pm & Saturday, July 11, 2009, at 1:00 pm

The Secret Policeman’s Rock Concert

Secret Policeman’s Ball series cocreator and coproducer Martin Lewis, who first recruited rock musicians for Amnesty, created this one-hour music special in 1984 drawing on musical highlights from the Amnesty shows. Features historic performances by Pete Townshend, Sting, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Phil Collins, Bob Geldof, Donovan, Tom Robinson, John Williams, and more. The special was made for international TV audiences and it has never been seen in the U.S. Never on VHS or DVD. This is its World Theatrical Premiere. (1984, Amnesty International, 60 min.)

In LA: Sunday, June 28, 2009 at 1:00 pm & Wednesday, July 8, 2009, at 1:00 pm
In NY: Thursday, July 2, 2009, at 1:00 pm & Sunday, July 5, 2009, at 1:00 pm

The Secret Policeman Rocks

Secret Policeman’s Ball series cocreator and coproducer Martin Lewis, who first recruited rock musicians for Amnesty, was commissioned to create this brand-new music special celebrating the thirtieth anniversary of the series. Features historic performances by Pete Townshend, Sting, Peter Gabriel, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, David Gilmour, Mark Knopfler, Dave Stewart, Kate Bush, Phil Collins, Bob Geldof, and more. Not on DVD. (2009, Amnesty International, 60 min.)

In LA: Wednesday, June 24, 2009, at 3:30 pm; Thursday, July 9, 2009, at 1:00 pm; Sunday, July 19, 2009, at 3:30 pm
In NY: Friday, July 24, 2009, at 1:00 pm

The Secret Policeman’s Private Party (30th Anniversary Edition)

Secret Policeman’s Ball series cocreator and coproducer Martin Lewis was commissioned to create this brand-new comedy special celebrating the thirtieth anniversary of the series. Featuring highlights from the iconic first six shows, this “Best of the Balls” stars John Cleese, Graham Chapman, Michael Palin, Terry Jones, Terry Gilliam, Neil Innes, Peter Cook, Dudley Moore, Rowan Atkinson, Dame Edna, and many more! Not on DVD. This is its World Premiere. (2009, Amnesty International, 106 min.)

In LA: Wednesday, July 1, 2009, at 2:00 pm & Sunday, July 19, 2009, at 2:00 pm
In NY: Friday, July 10, 2009, at 1:00 pm & Sunday, July 19, 2009, at 1:00 pm

The Secret Policeman’s Rare Nuggets

Hilarious rarities from the Secret Policeman vaults including promotional spots, premieres, TV appearances, and outtakes featuring John Cleese, Graham Chapman, Peter Cook, Billy Connolly, and Rowan Atkinson. With a few exceptions, this material has never been on TV. World Theatrical Premiere. (2009, Amnesty International, 15 min.)

In LA: Saturday, July 11, 2009, at 4:00 pm & Sunday, July 12, 2009, at 4:30 pm
In NY: Saturday, July 25, 2009, at 4:00 pm; Sunday, July 26, 2009, at 5:00 pm; Friday, July 31, 2009, at 4:00 pm

The Secret Policeman’s Third Ball: The Music

When Amnesty resumed presenting its Secret Policeman's Ball shows in 1987 after a six-year hiatus, the benefit show landscape had changed radically from the era of their very first shows a decade earlier in no small part because of the recruitment of rock musicians to the human rights cause that started with Pete Townshend in 1979. Building on this new willingness of musicians to support Amnesty, The Secret Policeman's Third Ball eschewed the earlier template of presenting a comedy show augmented by a few music performances and instead staged two nights each of comedy and music. The results were distilled into one film. Naturally there were many more musical performances that could fit into one film. Consequently this music-only TV special was assembled including several of the performances that had been left out of the film. These include Jackson Browne performing his signature "For Everyman," rare live appearances by World Party ("Ship Of Fools") and Erasure ("Victim Of Love"), along with stellar performances by Kate Bush and David Gilmour, Peter Gabriel, Lou Reed, Mark Knopfler and Chet Atkins, Joan Armatrading, Bob Geldof, Nik Kershaw, Youssou N'Dour, and Duran Duran. (1987, Amnesty International, 60 min., Dir. Ken O’Neill)

In LA: Sunday, June 28, 2009, at 2:30 pm & Wednesday, July 8, 2009, at 2:30 pm
In NY: Thursday, July 16, 2009, at 1:00 pm

Triumph of the Ball

A new compilation specially created for this film festival by series cocreator and coproducer Martin Lewis. It presents highlights from thirty years of the Secret Policeman's Ball series and from Amnesty's legendary music tours and concerts.

Includes performances by "Mockers" John Cleese, Graham Chapman, Michael Palin, Terry Jones, Terry Gilliam, Peter Cook, Dudley Moore, Eddie Izzard, Hugh Laurie, Rowan Atkinson, Stephen Fry, Russell Brand, Graham Norton, Eleanor Bron, Chevy Chase, Jimmy Fallon, and Sarah Silverman.

And "Rockers" The Police, U2, Bruce Springsteen, Peter Gabriel, Sting, Pete Townshend, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, David Gilmour, Bono, Robert Plant, Phil Collins, Kate Bush, Jackson Browne, Joni Mitchell, Carlos Santana, Radiohead, Lou Reed, Sinead O'Connor, Bryan Adams, Bob Geldof, Steven Van Zandt, and Duran Duran. (2009, 30 min., Amnesty International, Dir. Martin Lewis)

In LA: Saturday, June 27, 2009, at 1:00 pm & Sunday, July 19, 2009, at 4:30 pm
In NY: Thursday, July 9, 2009, at 3:30 pm