Report: Netflix spends $10 mil. to acquire 'Knock Down the House,' Sundance doc featuring Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Rachel Lears film follows AOC and three other Democratic women "insurgent" candidates
Netflix has come out the winner in a bidding war for Rachel Lears' documentary Knock Down the House, spending $10 million to acquire the film, according to a new report.
Deadline.com says the streaming giant outbid rivals including Neon, Focus Features, and fellow streamers Hulu and Amazon. Negotiations kicked into high gear after the Sundance premiere of the film, which features Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and three other Democratic women candidates who took on entrenched Democratic incumbents in the 2018 primaries.
Knock Down the House was one of the hottest tickets at the festival, in part because of anticipation AOC would make an appearance to support the film. But a day before the premiere she cancelled plans to attend Sundance, citing the need to stay in Washington as the government resumed functioning after the more than month-long partial shutdown. She ended up participating in a Q&A following the premiere via Skype; her co-stars Cori Bush of Missouri, Paula Jean Swearengin of West Virginia and Amy Vilela did appear in person in Park City, Utah.
Knock Down the House went on to claim both the Audience Award for US Documentary at Sundance and the Festival Favorite honor, which goes to the most popular film in the entire feature lineup as voted on by moviegoers.
Knock Down the House was one of a slew of documentaries to sell at Sundance, a list that includes Sea of Shadows, which went to National Geographic; Where's My Roy Cohn?, and David Crosby: Remember My Name, both bought by Sony Pictures Classics; The Untitled Amazing Johnathan Documentary (Hulu); American Factory (Netflix); Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love (Roadside Attractions), and Wu Tang Clan: Of Mics and Men (Showtime).
Per Deadline, Sea of Shadows fetched $3 million, American Factory went for nearly that much, and Amazing Jonathan sold for $2 million.
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.