Polar opposites will collide against a background of national political turmoil when conservative Republican Ted Cruz defends his U.S. Senate seat against center-left liberal Democrat Beto O’Rourke in 2018. Handicapped as the ultimate ‘long shot’ battle, the Cruz/O’Rourke fight pits an aggressive unconventional grassroots campaign free of PAC money and political consultants against a formidably organized and well funded GOP effort. In a vast ‘red’ rural state punctuated with ‘blue’ urban areas, both camps will court a Texas electorate divided by ideology and geography.
Our film will be a documentary in two parts.
PART ONE will tell the origin stories of the candidates and explain the contemporary histories of their two state parties. Why does the Republican party own all branches of government? How did the Democratic party become marginalized? Our story will be framed by the early campaign efforts of both men and by the unfolding national drama streaming out of the Trump administration. Our goal in PART ONE is to clearly, accurately and objectively lay out the importance of the Beto O’Rourke-Ted Cruz contest, allowing the candidates, their supporters and critics to speak for themselves.
PART ONE will premiere before the November general election, screening in selected cities across Texas in early September 2018. Broadcasts and online streaming will follow through election day.
PART TWO will chronicle the heart of 2018 political campaign from Labor Day through the November 6th election, à la The War Room. Imbued with the drama that will unfold as these candidates make the long slog toward the finish line, PART TWO will also provide answers to the inevitable questions raised in PART ONE about the dynamic of political power both in Texas and nationally.
PART TWO will premiere in late 2019.
About the Director
STEVE MIMS director/editor/cinematographer
CLIO™ Award winning commercial director and independent filmmaker Steve Mims’ work has screened internationally in festivals, theatrically and on television. His 2016 New York Times “Critic’s Pick” STARVING THE BEAST detailed the systematic defunding and radical reform of public universities across America. The Los Angeles Times: called it “…a jolt of chilling clarity.” Variety: “polished and provocative” The Village Voice: “Alarming…a strong narrative with compelling cinematography.” (93% Fresh, Rotten Tomatoes) His documentary INCENDIARY: THE WILLINGHAM CASE (2011) [co-directed by Joe Bailey, Jr.] won the 2011 SXSW Louis Black Award, the 2012 Innocence Network Journalism Award and the 2013 Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty Media Award. Ann Hornaday of the Washington Post called INCENDIARY: “Nonfiction filmmaking at its most classic. Crime, punishment, morality and hardball politics make for an explosive mix all their own.”(83% Fresh, RT) Variety’s Justin Chang wrote of his feature length narrative comedy ARLO & JULIE (2015): “…this comic mystery is a low-key, low-budget charmer.” (100% Fresh, RT) The New York Times called Steve’s short film AUNT HALLIE, “A treasure…which belongs on everybody’s list of the top-10 funniest nine minute films ever made.” His 2016 viral political ad ELECT GERALD PLEASE was viewed 9 million times and won 10 local, national and international awards. He is a film lecturer at the University of Texas at Austin and a 2017 inductee into the University of Southern Mississippi’s School of Mass Communications Hall of Fame.