Sundance Channel Dedicates Monday Nights to Election-Themed Documentaries for Five Weeks Leading up to Presidential Election


Slate Includes Sundance Channel Original Production Return of The War Room

and U.S. Television Premieres Of 14 Women And No End In Sight

Aug 22, 2008, 01:00 ET from Sundance Channel

    NEW YORK, Aug. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Sundance Channel heads into the final
 five weeks of the 2008 presidential campaign with a special DOCDAY slate
 dedicated to the electoral process. Beginning at 9:00pm et/pt every Monday
 night from October 6 through November 3, Sundance Channel will present
 feature documentaries and original series about the men and women -- and
 girls and boys -- who seek public office in the U.S., be it as leader of
 the free world or as leader of their middle-school student body. The lineup
 includes the U.S. television premieres of three feature-length
 documentaries: Chris Hegedus and D A Pennebaker's The Return of the War
 Room, a Sundance Channel original production; Mary Lambert's 14 Women; and
 Vanessa Roth's The Third Monday in October. Rounding out October's
 election-oriented documentary programming are James Rogan's Blog Wars, R.J.
 Cutler and David Van Taylor's 1996 feature A Perfect Candidate, Charles
 Ferguson's No End in Sight, Robert Drew's Primary, Sarah and Emily
 Kunstler's short Getting Through to the President, and the Sundance Channel
 original series "The Hill."
     Sundance Channel's ballot-driven DOCDAY programming kicks off on
 October 6 with the U.S. television premiere of Mary Lambert's 14 Women,
 which profiles the fourteen women who served in the U.S. Senate from
 2004-2006. Narrated by Academy Award(R) nominee Annette Bening, the film
 offers an uplifting look at a diverse group of women, who represent a
 spectrum of political ideologies but share a commitment to getting things
     The following week's presentation on October 13 features the premiere
 of Chris Hegedus and D A Pennebaker's The Return of the War Room, a
 Sundance Channel original production. The Return of the War Room revisits
 the people and themes of The War Room (1993), Hegedus and Pennebaker's
 behind-the-scenes look at the hard-charging campaign staff behind Bill
 Clinton's run for President in 1992. Virtually all the major players from
 original film are on hand to discuss the 1992 race and reflect on today's
 campaign strategies, including chief Clinton strategists James Carville and
 George Stephanopoulos; their colleagues Paul Begala, Bob Boorstin, Lisa
 Caputo, Rahm Emanuel, Stan Greenberg, Mandy Grunwald and Mickey Kantor;
 Republican campaign strategist Mary Matalin (now married to Carville); and
 journalist Mark Halperin.
     Sundance Channel's feature slate also looks to the future with the
 third U.S. television premiere, Vanessa Roth's delightful The Third Monday
 in October. Filmed in October 2004, the film follows eleven eighth-graders
 running for student government president at four U.S. middle schools:
 Francisco Middle School in San Francisco, CA; Hall Middle School in Marin
 County, CA; St. Stephen's Episcopal School in Austin, TX; and Inman Middle
 School in Atlanta, GA.
     A central issue of the 2008 national elections -- the Iraq War -- is
 the focus of a fourth DOCDAY premiere, Charles Ferguson's No End in Sight,
 which will debut on October 27. Nominated for the 2008 Academy Award(R) for
 Best Documentary Feature, No End in Sight draws on the insights of military
 and political insiders to tell the story behind the Bush Administration's
 military and occupation strategies in Iraq, revealing how those policies
 often directly contradicted the advice of the men and women on the ground
 in Iraq.
     Sundance Channel's DOCDAY election-themed programming will continue
 through Monday, November 3rd (the eve of the 2008 election) with
 presentations of Robert Drew's 1960 classic Primary, a Sundance Channel
 premiere; a rebroadcast of No End in Sight; and the fifth episode of "The
     Other series presentations include a marathon of "The Hill" on
 Saturday, October 26 beginning at 6:00pm. On Saturday, November 1, the
 Channel will present a marathon of "Tanner '88," Robert Altman and Garry
 Trudeau's satiric television miniseries that followed fictitious Democratic
 candidate Jack Tanner (Michael Murphy) through the very real terrain of the
 1988 presidential campaign; the "Tanner '88" marathon airs from 3:00pm --
 9:00pm et/pt. On Sunday, November 2, the Channel will present Altman and
 Trudeau's 2004 spin-off "Tanner on Tanner," which centers on the former
 candidate's daughter Alex Tanner (Cynthia Nixon), now a documentary
 filmmaker making a film about the presidential candidates.
     The schedule for Sundance Channel's DOCDAY election-themed programming
 is as follows:
     October 6th
     14 Women (U.S. Television Premiere) -- Directed by Mary Lambert. With
 the first two election cycles of the 21st Century, the number of women
 serving in United States Senate vaulted from nine to fourteen, a tally that
 included the first female senators from Alaska and North Carolina. Director
 Lambert -- whose sister is Arkansas Senator Blanche Lincoln -- delivers an
 intimate documentary portrait of those fourteen senators, capturing them in
 their offices and at home with their families; on the campaign trail and on
 the floor of the Senate. In direct interviews, the senators discuss a range
 of topics, from their inspiration for entering politics to the joys of
 campaigning to the importance of family support. Annette Bening narrates.
     "The Hill: Fighting the Good Fight" Episode one of the six-part
 documentary series set in the office of Congressman Robert Wexler D-Fla.
     October 13th
     The Return of the War Room (Original Production/U.S. Television
 Premiere) -- Directed by Chris Hegedus and D A Pennebaker. Hegedus and
 Pennebaker deliver a thought-provoking, highly entertaining look at
 presidential races then and now as they reconnect with the main characters
 from The War Room, their behind-the-scenes look at Bill Clinton's 1992
 campaign. Sixteen years after James Carville, George Stephanopoulos, Paul
 Begala, Dee Dee Myers and their confreres reshaped American campaigning
 with their use of the "war room" -- an all-hands-in command center -- their
 strategies have become staples of elections worldwide. As these and other
 political veterans recall the rollercoaster days of 1992, The Return of the
 War Room explores how the political process and media culture have changed
 since Clinton took office. Among the newer faces appearing in the film are
 Mark McKinnon, the former Chief Media Advisor to the 2008 McCain campaign;
 and Republican political pollster Frank Luntz.
     The War Room -- Directed by Chris Hegedus and D A Pennebaker. During
 Bill Clinton's 1992 presidential campaign, the insiders to watch were
 strategists James Carville and George Stephanopoulos. Chris Hegedus and
 D.A. Pennebaker's Oscar(R)-nominated documentary cemented the public image
 of the brainy duo -- attack dog/bad cop Carville teamed with cool good cop
 Stephanopoulos -- as it chronicled one of the most dramatic campaigns of
 modern times. From snowy New Hampshire and the Gennifer Flowers scandal to
 election night in November, 1992, The War Room is in the trenches with men
 and women who helped power Bill Clinton to the White House.
     "The Hill: Less Feeling Please...More Doing" Episode two of the
 six-part documentary series set in the office of Congressman Robert Wexler
     October 20th
     Blog Wars (Original Production) -- Directed by James Rogan. This sharp
 and funny documentary looks at the explosion of political blogs, which have
 become the loudspeakers for a new generation of activists speaking out and
 picking fights across the political spectrum. As the 2006 mid-term
 elections approach, it is a pivotal moment for the top bloggers seen in the
 film, including Markos Moulitsas of Daily Kos, Ariana Huffington of The
 Huffington Post, and David Lat and Alex Pareene of Wonkette. With exquisite
 timing, Rogan captures the bloggers as they throw themselves into one of
 the country's most hotly contested battles: the Connecticut Democratic
 Senatorial primary showdown between upstart challenger Ned Lamont and
 incumbent Joe Lieberman.
     The Third Monday in October (U.S. Television Premiere) -- Directed by
 Vanessa Roth. While George Bush and John Kerry were battling each other for
 the U.S. presidency in October 2004, some 200,000 thirteen-year-olds were
 mounting their own presidential bids at middle schools around the United
 States. This fast-paced, charming documentary takes us to four different
 middle schools in California, Texas and Georgia, introducing us to eleven
 boys and girls who think they have the right stuff to lead their student
 governments. Among them: San Francisco student Mick, the shy, idealistic
 son of Philippine immigrants; William, an unabashed Bush supporter in
 liberal Marin County, CA; Kayla, a politically engaged Atlanta cheerleader
 who is running against two of her squad-mates; and Austin private school
 student Sam, a shaggy, hyper-articulate dynamo with a passion for politics.
     "The Hill: Putting in My Two Cents" Episode three of the six-part
 documentary series set in the office of Congressman Robert Wexler D-Fla.
     October 27th
     No End in Sight (U.S. Television Premiere) -- Directed by Charles
 Ferguson. This award-winning documentary offers an insider's look at how
 the Bush Administration formulated policies and strategies in
 American-occupied Iraq, exploring the critical decisions that set the stage
 for a bloody insurgency and a war now in its fifth year. Based on over 200
 hours of footage, the film traces events following the fall of Baghdad in
 2003, drawing on interviews with high-ranking officials including Deputy
 Secretary of State Richard Armitage; Ambassador Barbara Bodine, a longtime
 Middle East diplomat; Lawrence Wilkerson, former Chief of Staff to Colin
 Powell; and General Jay Garner, who supervised the occupation of Iraq
 through May 2003. Also weighing in are several American soldiers and Iraqi
 civilians, who experienced the consequences of the Bush Administration's
 decisions on the ground. Nominated for the 2008 Academy Award(R) for Best
 Documentary Feature; awards including Special Jury Prize, 2007 Sundance
 Film Festival; Best Non-Fiction Film from National Society of Film Critics,
 New York Film Critics Circle and Los Angeles Film Critics Association.
     A Perfect Candidate -- Directed by R.J. Cutler and David Van Taylor.
 Seven years after he admitted lying to Congress about his role in the
 Iran-Contra affair, Oliver North ran as Virginia's Republican candidate for
 the U.S. Senate. This highly acclaimed documentary follows North's campaign
 to unseat Democratic incumbent Chuck Robb, the son-in-law of President
 Lyndon Johnson. Offering trenchant commentary are two behind-the-scenes
 players: North's campaign mastermind Mark Goodin, a disgraced protege of
 the late Republican strategist Lee Atwater; and Don Baker, a veteran
 Washington Post reporter who tries mightily to get the candidates to answer
 substantive questions.
     Getting Through to the President (short) -- Directed by Sarah and Emily
 Kunstler. For three days in 2004, hundreds of Americans in Greenwich
 Village were invited to talk to the White House's comment line. This short
 film records what happened when New Yorkers fed quarters into a payphone
 and braved busy signals and excessive hold times to get their voices heard.
     "The Hill: What Should the Democrats Be Saying?" Episode four of the
 six-part documentary series set in the office of Congressman Robert Wexler
     November 3rd
     Primary (Sundance Channel Premiere) -- Directed by Robert Drew. One of
 the earliest examples of America's direct cinema movement, this historic
 documentary follows the two Democratic presidential candidates -- Minnesota
 Senator Hubert H. Humphrey and Massachusetts Senator John F. Kennedy --
 during the last week of the 1960 Wisconsin primary campaign. It is vivid
 close-up of American politics and America itself, filled with memorable
 scenes: Humphrey delivering a populist appeal to a small audience of rural
 farmers; Kennedy hitting notes of optimism in a speech to a packed
 Milwaukee auditorium; Jacqueline Kennedy addressing that same audience,
 largely Polish Catholics, in Polish. The film's team of photographers
 included D A Pennebaker (credited as D.A. Pennebaker), Richard Leacock (A
 Happy Mother's Day) and Albert Maysles (Grey Gardens).
     No End in Sight -- Directed by Charles Ferguson. See above, October
 27th at 7:00pm.
     "The Hill: Nothing is Fun in a Hurricane" -- Episode five of the
 six-part documentary series set in the office of Congressman Robert Wexler
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