One of the strongest contenders for Best Documentary Short is Joshua Seftel’s Stranger at the Gate, a film that chronicles one man’s journey from pure hatred to the path of redemption.
Richard “Mac” McKinney is a veteran who felt like the world was slipping away from him. After serving more than two decades in the US Marine Corp and serving several tours through the Middle East, he viewed anyone of the Muslim faith as evil. McKinney planned an unspeakable act of violence at a mosque in Muncie, Indiana, but, during his research, he eventually changed his mind. Seftel’s film confronts hatred head-on, and Strangers at the Gate features interviews with members of the mosque and McKinney himself. It’s a riveting, vital film.