Meet the Press Film Festival to showcase more than 20 documentary films

The third-annual Meet the Press Film Festival in collaboration with the American Film Institute kicks off on Oct. 7.

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By NBC News

WASHINGTON —The third-annual Meet the Press Film Festival in collaboration with the American Film Institute kicks off on Oct. 7 and will include more than 20 documentary short films from five countries.

The films touch on some of the most pressing issues facing the country and the festival will include a series of panels with filmmakers and experts moderated by NBC News journalists.

The festival will feature films that focus on a wide range of topics, from criminal justice reform to climate change and immigration.

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For example, features like "The Water's Edge," directed by David Hall, looks at how plans to combat rising sea levels and coastal erosion in Louisiana is threatening local communities and regional industry. "Ghosts of Sugar Land," directed by Bassam Tariq, follows a group of young Muslim American men as they ponder the disappearance of their friend Mark who is suspected of joining ISIS. And "St. Louis Superman," directed by Smriti Mundhra and Sami Khan, profiles Bruce Franks Jr., a 38-year old battle rapper, Missouri state Rep. and Ferguson activist.

Go to NBCNews.com/MTPFilm for more information on all of the films.

The series of panel discussions will include one on criminal justice reform hosted by NBC News chief White House correspondent Hallie Jackson as part of an NBC News network-wide initiative, Justice For All. The films discussed in the panel will highlight the stories that captivated the nation and put a spotlight on the advocates, organizations and lawmakers finding life-changing solutions in the fight against the drug epidemic, mass incarceration and more.

In other discussions:

  • NBC News chief White House correspondent Hallie Jackson will moderate a discussion on criminal justice reform.
  • MSNBC host Katy Tur will moderate a panel on climate change.
  • NBC News and MSNBC correspondent Jacob Soboroff will moderate a discussion on immigration.
  • NBC News and MSNBC correspondent Morgan Radford will moderate the panel on fighting for equality and belonging.
  • NBC News White House Correspondent Kristen Welker will moderate a panel on those fleeing oppression.
  • NBC News Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent Andrea Mitchell will moderate a panel discussing films that center on triumphs by young women.
  • Meet the Press moderator and NBC News political director Chuck Todd will moderate a panel on those rebuilding after tragedies.

The festival takes place at the Landmark Atlantic Plumbing Cinema in Washington D.C. on Oct. 7 and tickets are now available at NBCNews.com/MTPFilm.

Select films will also be available for streaming at that website after the festival, as well as on NBC News Digital Apps through Nov. 3.

The 2019 festival marks the third from the collaboration between "Meet the Press" and the American Film Institute. Past festival entries have received critical acclaim, including Academy Award nominations.