West Coast Premiere of Oaksterdam Documentary

American Pot Story: Oaksterdam celebrates its West Coast premiere at the prestigious DANCES WITH FILMS Festival on June 29 at the historic TCL Chinese Theatre in the heart of Hollywood, Calif. 

The film revolves around Oaksterdam University (OU), the world’s first cannabis college, and tells the unknown origin story of the people who took monumental risks to make cannabis legalization possible. It celebrates the courageous heritage of the legacy industry and the movement that started at OU and would go on to impact the world. 

DWF Producing Partner and Documentary Programming Chair Jackie Tepper states, “American Pot Story: Oaksterdam encapsulates the unflinching spirt at the very core of the independent film scene, not only in the content of the movie, but in the movement that was created from it. We champion that fighting spirit at DWF, and are proud to have programmed this important documentary about the current worldwide revolution in cannabis policy. ” 

American Pot Story: Oaksterdam Director Ravit Markus at DWF Festival.

The award-winning documentary, by critically-acclaimed filmmakers Dan Katzir and Ravit Markus, sheds light on the cannabis legalization movement through the lens of Oaksterdam University leaders. Katzir and Markus spent 10 years shadowing OU Founder Richard Lee and Executive Chancellor Dale Sky Jones as they fought to get the Prop 19 legalization measure on the ballot in California, then as they weathered a federal raid that threatened to shut them down. They captured their struggles and triumphs as they fought to bring this topic to the mainstream.

OU is located in the Bay Area of California, not far from the famous Emerald Triangle. It first opened its doors in 2007. The school has over 80,000 alumni worldwide and is the most recognized and trusted name in cannabis education.  “Our vision has always been revolutionary,” Jones says. “The industry has come so far, yet we have a long way to go federally. We look forward to continuing to be at the forefront of education, legal and public policy advocacy, social impact, and leadership.” 


Schedule: Thursday, June 29, 2023

Location: The historic  TCL Chinese Theatres

6:30 p.m. – Media Call

7 p.m. – Screening of American Pot Story: Oaksterdam

8:35 p.m. – Panel Discussion with Filmmakers & Dignitaries

9 p.m. – After-Party at the The Hollywood Roosevelt 

The Oaksterdam Nonprofit for Education (The ONE), a 501(c)(3), will produce the after-party sponsored by Incognito. All after-party ticket sales, donations, and sponsorships are tax-deductible. Proceeds fund scholarships for disadvantaged individuals and for those affected by marijuana Prohibition who are trying to gain meaningful employment in the legal cannabis industry.


DANCES WITH FILMS, heading into its 26th year, champions the unflinching spirit at the very core of the independent film scene. While the vast majority of film fests rely heavily on celebrity, DWF has relied on the innovation, talent, creativity, and sweat equity that revolutionized the entertainment industry. That reliance continues to prove successful, with alumni moving on to write, direct and produce celebrity-studded vehicles, star in blockbuster movies and television series, produce multi-million dollar films and create hit TV shows. 

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