Los Angeles-based indie Propagate Content has partnered with The Wall Street Journal Studios and Baby God filmmaker Hannah Olson for a new feature-length documentary that will spotlight the recent GameStop stock market chaos and the short squeeze movement.
This Is Not Financial Advice is to examine the origins and inner workings of the digital and social investment communities that turned new investors into millionaires and brought a billion-dollar hedge fund to its knees.
The narrative film, which is currently being filmed, will explore the emergence of a new subculture “with roots of distrust in traditional financial institutions and their regulators,” according to a release.
This Is Not Financial Advice will feature analysis from Wall Street Journal reporters who led coverage of the story before it was headline news. It will additionally offer exclusive access to key figures within online investment communities, namely Reddit’s WallStreetBets and financial services app Robinhood, as well as power players on Wall Street and policy makers in Washington.
This Is Not Financial Advice is executive produced by Ben Silverman, Howard T. Owens and Jonathan Schaerf for Propagate. Anthony Galloway and Daniel Rosen are executive producers for The Wall Street Journal Studios, with Charles Forelle serving as a consulting producer.
Propagate will handle distribution on the film.
“GameStop sprung from the hurly-burly of an internet message board to become the biggest story in the world,” said Forelle, financial editor of The Wall Street Journal. “It has everything: the cheer-em-on drama of David v. Goliath, the clash of Goliath v. Goliath, high stakes, real money, and the wonderment of our basic financial understanding being turned on its head. The story isn’t over, and there are surely more puzzling turns to come.”
“Access to the markets and investing, in the past, has largely been reserved for the privileged few — you have to have money, time, resources, social capital and know-how to invest,” said Olson (pictured). “I am interested in the possibility — or impossibility — of its democratization. Who has access to the market? Whom does it serve? We’re still only beginning to glimpse what this moment means for the future of Wall Street.”
Elsewhere, Console Wars director Jonah Tulis is to helm yet another GameStop feature documentary, with hybrid sales, production and distribution company Submarine Entertainment attached to produce.
The untitled film will feature many of the crucial individuals who believed in the value of GameStop and came together across Internet forums to kickstart what eventually became a financial coup. Featured throughout will be six of the most influential renegade investors, including a mid-western father of two whose contrarian research helped propel the bet against Wall Street, as well as an amateur investor whose previous career was upended by the pandemic,
The project is already in production and has funding in place.
“Like everyone, we were following the story as it unfolded with bated breath, fear, and amusement, and understood the significance of the event and all of its ripple effects,” said a Submarine representative in a statement. “We knew we would have to bring this story to life.”
This Is Not Financial Advice and the untitled Jonah Tulis project mark the latest documentary projects following the announcement of Bryn Mooser’s premium non-fiction studio XTR and documentary producer Optimist having begun production on a feature-length film about GameStop and Reddit’s WallStreetBets.