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Two weeks before the 2020 election, HBO will air a documentary about the Florida recount in the 2000 presidential contest that tipped the outcome to George W. Bush.
The film, 537 Votes, comes from director Billy Corben (The U, Cocaine Cowboys) and his producing partner, Alfred Spellman, and is executive produced by Adam McKay, who has an overall deal with HBO. The documentary, which premieres Oct. 21, offers a Miami-centric take on the controversy, which HBO has previously dramatized in its Emmy-winning 2008 movie Recount.
“Usually, important movies that people need to see can feel like medicine, but Billy and Alfred are simply incapable of being anything but entertaining and funny,” said McKay. “When we heard they were making a film with a uniquely Miami perspective on the 2000 recount, we really wanted to support it in any way possible.”
537 Votes details how the international custody battle over 6-year-old Elián González triggered a political earthquake in Miami-Dade County in 2000, swaying the outcome of the presidential election. After election day, with the margin of victory hinged on Florida, George W. Bush won the presidency by a mere 537 votes. It includes interviews with insiders and political operatives, including Roger Stone, Miami-Dade County Democratic Party chair Joe Geller and Florida Republican Party chair Al Cárdenas.
“The Miami of today is the America of tomorrow,” said Corben. “That’s why this is such a timely and relevant story and there are no better partners to tell it with than Adam McKay and HBO.”
The documentary is one of a host of election-related programming, ranging from special episodes of Black-ish on ABC and Amazon’s documentary All In to PSA campaigns at Freeform, BET and others, on TV in the weeks leading up to Nov. 3. HBO will also air a two-part documentary from Alex Gibney, Agents of Chaos, about Russian interference in the 2016 election on Sept. 23 and 24.
McKay and Todd Schulman are executive producing 537 Votes via their Hyperobject Industries; Corben and Spellman are producers.