In February, billionaire sports and media mogul Mark Cuban was seen hugging Barack Obama at a $30,000-a-plate fundraiser for the president’s re-election bid. On Monday, Cuban announced that one of his companies, Magnet Releasing, will distribute a film that heavily questions Obama, Democrats and the Occupy Wall Street movement the president has praised.
The film, dubbed Occupy Unmasked, is one of a few documentaries that Andrew Breitbart was involved with prior to his death five months ago. The film, from Citizens United Productions, producer David Bossie and director Stephen Bannon, seeks to document potential criminal activity at Occupy encampments and outline the movement’s allegedly radical-left underpinnings. Breitbart is featured prominently onscreen.
Despite the film’s political implications, Cuban told The Hollywood Reporter he remains largely nonpartisan.
Magnet is releasing the movie, Cuban said, “for the same reason we release all of our films: We believe there is a market for it. There has never been a film that I have been involved with that was influenced by any political beliefs I have because I don’t have any political beliefs.”
Nevertheless, conservative writers — primarily at Breitbart.com — quickly noted Cuban’s track record of financial support for Obama and the distribution of left-leaning films such as Jesus Camp and Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room through his Magnolia Pictures, and they praised Cuban for rallying around the idea of “more voices, not less” with his embrace of Occupy Unmasked.
Magnet is planning a late-September limited theatrical release day-and-date with VOD.
“This film is controversial, and that’s exactly the reason we want to ensure it can find its audience prior to the November elections,” Cuban said in a statement announcing the deal. “I look forward to our partnership with Citizens United Productions and to getting this film out to the masses.”
Bossie told THR he expects a theatrical and VOD release on Sept. 21 and a DVD rollout — titled Andrew Breitbart Presents: Occupy Unmasked — within two weeks of that.
“We want to educate the American people about the insidious nature of the Occupy movement — what bad guys they are and what their true intentions are and what they want to do to America and to capitalism,” Bossie said.
“This is the first truly conservative film being distributed by a mainstream, independent, liberal-leaning company. Look at what Mark Cuban and Magnolia has released in the past,” said Bannon, whose previous movie was the pro-Sarah Palin documentary The Undefeated. “We’re really excited that Magnet sees the commercial value of the film, because they’re not into proselytizing, they want to make money.”