Nonfictionfilm.com exclusive: 'Street Fight' director Marshall Curry negotiating with Cory Booker team on potential presidential campaign documentary
Curry tells NFF: "The campaign and I are feeling each other out"
Filmmaker Marshall Curry documented Cory Booker's political rise in 2005's Street Fight, about the young Democrat's campaign for mayor of Newark, New Jersey. The director may embark on a sequel of sorts as Booker aims for a much higher office.
Curry was recording last week as the junior senator from New Jersey launched his run for the Democratic presidential nomination, becoming the 10th candidate to join the race. Curry tells Nonfictionfilm.com he is in talks for what could turn into a film about the senator's White House bid.
"I've been considering a film on the presidential run, and the campaign and I are are feeling each other out," the director tells Nonfictionfilm.com exclusively. "I don't want to do it unless I have extraordinary access and we're still negotiating that a bit."
Curry earned an Oscar nomination for Street Fight, which followed Booker on his bruising battle to unseat longterm incumbent Newark mayor Sharpe James. Booker lost to Sharpe in 2002, but ran again in 2006 in what had all the makings of another bitter contest with James (the incumbent eventually opted against running and Booker swept into office).
Curry tells us he's already gathered some good material for his potential presidential campaign doc.
"They [Booker's team] gave me great access over the past few days as I filmed him at home, preparing for the announcement and the kickoff itself," he says. "The new campaign is so much bigger and more professional than the Street Fight days. But it was really surprising to see how similar Cory -- the person -- is to sixteen years ago when I first started filming him."
The director earned the third Oscar nomination of his career this year with the short documentary A Night at the Garden. The seven minute-long film is built around archival footage of an American Nazi rally held in Madison Square Garden in New York in 1939, the eve of World War II.
"My new short doc...I think is as political as Street Fight, if not more so," Curry tells Nonfictionfilm.com. "It's about something that happened 80 years ago, but I think the Academy is responding to it because of how it speaks to our current political situation: a leader takes the stage at Madison Square Garden and attacks the press; he tells that audience that they need to take America back from the minorities who are destroying it; and a protester is beaten up while the audience laughs and cheers. I wish it felt like a historical event, but it unfortunately it feels really relevant."
The film can be seen in its entirety here.
Matthew Carey is a documentary filmmaker and journalist. His work has appeared on Deadline.com, CNN, CNN.com, TheWrap.com, NBCNews.com and in Documentary magazine.