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Netflix acquires Rachel Lears’ Sundance winner “Knock Down the House”

Digital streaming powerhouse Netflix has acquired the worldwide distribution rights to Rachel Lears’ Sundance-winning feature-length documentary Knock Down the House. Produced by Jubilee Films, in association with Atlas Films and Artemis ...
February 8, 2019

Digital streaming powerhouse Netflix has acquired the worldwide distribution rights to Rachel Lears’ Sundance-winning feature-length documentary Knock Down the House.

Produced by Jubilee Films, in association with Atlas Films and Artemis Rising, the 86-minute film follows four female progressive candidates, including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (pictured), a congresswoman for New York’s 14th District, as they campaign against prominent incumbents in the 2018 midterm elections.

Lears follows these four women who decided to enter into politics despite having no experience. Bronx-born Ocasio-Cortez had to work double shifts in a restaurant to save her home from foreclosure after tragedy struck her family during the financial crisis. Meanwhile, Amy Vilela faced the reality of America’s broken health care system after losing a loved one to a preventable disease. Cori Bush was drawn to the streets when a police shooting of an unarmed black man brought protests and tanks to her neighborhood, and Paula Jean Swearengin was fed up with seeing loved ones die from the environmental effects of the coal industry.

Knock Down the House premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival and took home the audience award in the U.S. Documentary category. The Sundance Institute announced Thursday (Feb. 8) that Lears’ documentary had won the Festival Favorite Award.

The film is produced by Lears, Robin Blotnick and Sarah Olson; executive produced by Regina K. Scully, and co-executive produced by Chicago Media Project and Wavelength Productions.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with Netflix on the release of Knock Down the House,” said Lears, in a statement. “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.”

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