Set For June Theatrical Release, CNN Films Acquires North American Broadcast Rights to Timely Film Exploring the 40th U.S. President’s Media Savvy

Gravitas Ventures has acquired the North American theatrical and streaming rights, and CNN Films has acquired the North American broadcast rights, to The Reagan Show, set to premiere in the Documentary Competition at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival on Saturday, April 22.  Additional Tribeca Film Festival screenings are scheduled for April 23, 25, and 26.  The film will arrive in theaters on June 30, including at New York’s Metrograph Theater, with a VOD and Home Video release on July 4.  The Reagan Show will premiere for television as a CNN Films broadcast after its North American theatrical and video distributions.

Revealing Ronald Reagan’s Hollywood-powered, public image savvy entirely through archival video and film footage, The Reagan Show portrays just how the 40th president completely redefined the look and feel of what it meant to be the President of the United States in the late 20th Century.  The Reagan Show demonstrates how President Reagan governed with film crews constantly trailing him and camera bulbs frequently flashing, all while dangerous global threats loomed during what would be the turbulent, final years of the Cold War.

Opposing pundits accused Reagan of “majoring in public relations” more so than serious presidential affairs.  The Reagan Show illustrates how the former movie star, known for playing cowboys and gun-toting heroes, filmed a previously unprecedented array of official and non-official duties throughout his time in office, setting a new presidential standard for near-constant self-documentation.  At the same time, The Reagan Show resonates with today’s reality television-age headlines from the moment the film begins, capturing the filming of a television news crew for Reagan’s official last interview as president.

Co-Director/Producer Sierra Pettengill shared, “These tapes allow us to track Reagan through the end of the Cold War—with all its confusion, fear, humor and, above all, irony. The goal of our immersive, self-reflective approach is to invite viewers to look closely at—and question—the use of narrative in contemporary politics. We’re excited to have the opportunity to bring this very timely film to wider audiences through the great people at Gravitas and CNN.”

“In The Reagan Show, these talented filmmakers present a fascinating look at what set Reagan apart and made his time in office iconic, no matter which side of the fence you fall on,” stated Gravitas CEO and Founder Nolan Gallagher. “He knew better than most what the true power of the press is.”

The Reagan Show was co-directed by Pacho Velez (Manakamana) and Sierra Pettengill (Producer, Cutie and the Boxer). Pettengill also produced from a script by Velez, Josh Alexander and Francisco Bello. Dan Cogan, Amy Entelis of CNN Films, and Houston King are the Executive Producers. The acquisition agreement was negotiated by Nolan Gallagher for Gravitas Ventures and by Ben Braun and Josh Braun of Submarine on behalf of the filmmakers.