Netflix Pays Through the Nose at Sundance for Film Celebrating Ocasio-Cortez

Beth Baumann at Townhall reports Netflix was thrilled to win a bidding war at the Sundance Film Festival over a film called Knock Down the House starring Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Netflix paid the most ever offered for a documentary at a festival -- a whopping $10 million -- over other major players, including Hulu and Amazon. It received the coveted Festival Favorite award at the Robert Redford-founded event.

“It is a transcendent moment when skilled filmmakers are able to train their lens on a major transformation,”Lisa Nishimura, VP of Original Documentaries for Netflix, said in a statement. “With intimacy and immediacy, Rachel Lears and Robin Blotnik, bring viewers to the front lines of a movement, as four women find their voice, their power and their purpose, allowing all of us to witness the promise of true democracy in action."

The film followed four Democratic women in the midterms, and apparently only Ocasio-Cortez represents a "major transformation," since the other three Democrats in the film all lost. Lears cheered this advance for "democracy," ahem, the progressives: 

“We are thrilled to be partnering with Netflix on the release of Knock Down the House,” said director Lears, who also co-wrote the film.  “This platform will allow us to reach huge audiences worldwide, including viewers who may not usually watch independent documentaries. We’re also very excited to be working with Netflix on a campaign to spark wider cultural conversations about our democracy and how it can continue to evolve.”

Netflix, you'll recall, struck a major production deal with Barack and Michelle Obama, as if they weren't rich enough from book deals. But this is the kind of programming that apparently gives Netflix thrills up their legs, "evolving our democracy."

Deadline Hollywood asserted the film "fit the template of a triumphant Sundance slate that celebrated diversity and featured a high number of films directed by women."

This is the promotional language: 

When tragedy struck her family in the midst of the financial crisis, Bronx-born Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez had to work double shifts in a restaurant to save her home from foreclosure.

After losing a loved one to a preventable medical condition, Amy Vilela didn't know what to do with the anger she felt about America's broken health care system.

Cori Bush was drawn into the streets when the police shooting of an unarmed black man brought protests and tanks into her neighborhood.

Paula Jean Swearengin was fed up with watching her friends and family suffer and die from the environmental effects of the coal industry.

At a moment of historic volatility in American politics, Knock Down the House follows these four women as they decide to fight back despite having no political experience, setting themselves on a grassroots journey that will change their lives and their country forever.

Ocasio-Cortez was set to attend a screening of Knock Down the House at Sundance, but couldn’t due to the government shutdown. She appeared instead via Skype.

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