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A version of this story first appeared in the Feb. 26 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.
With the 2016 presidential race heating up, HBO Documentary Films is backing a feature that will tackle one of the most most important issues for voters: campaign finance reform.
Alexandra Pelosi, a four-time Emmy nominee, is directing, producing and doing the cinematography for the untitled film, which HBO will debut in the fall. There’s no exact air date yet, but the network is eyeing a September slot for the film, which would coincide with the final stretch of the presidential election in November.
HBO Documentary Films president Sheila Nevins is executive producing, while Lisa Heller will serve as the film’s senior producer.
Nevins told The Hollywood Reporter that she doesn’t think the film will influence the outcome of the election, despite its prime timing.
“By then everybody’s made up their minds,” she says. “I think it will simply be a revelation to what it costs to be president. And it really is astounding.”
Pelosi hails from political royalty as the daughter of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, one of the most powerful Democrats on the national political scene. But the documentarian, who began shooting footage for the film in November 2014, is no stranger to crossing party lines. She previously chronicled the 2000 presidential race for the documentary Journeys With George, which chronicled George W. Bush’s bid for the White House. Pelosi teamed with HBO on that film, which was released in 2002, as well.
Campaign finance reform is considered a bipartisan issue, with presidential candidates from both parties, notably Democrat Bernie Sanders and Republican Donald Trump accusing their opponents of raising money from Wall Street. More money is pouring into campaigns than at any time in American history.As a result, there has been an increasing call for the elimination of corporate influence in politics and super-PACs.
The role of money in politics is an increasingly paramount issue to Americans. According to a January Pew Research Center poll, 42 percent of adults rate it as a top priority for the president and Congress, up from 28 percent in 2012.
Nevins says the film is bipartisan as well. “It doesn’t take shots at either party. It’s an exploration of the issue,” she added. “I think it’s more a reality check on the American politics. It’s so interesting because you look back in history, Teddy Roosevelt had to be in the back of a chug-a-lug to solicit votes. Now you have these $10,000 a plate dinners.”
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