FROM Tia Lessin
'Citizen Koch' Tia Lessin and Carl Deal, Oscar-nominated documentary filmmakers of Trouble The Water, were thrilled when they were promised money and a public broadcast audience from ITVS for their new film, Citizen Koch. The movie follows corporate spending in elections following the US Supreme Court’s decision in the Citizens United case. One of the stories they explore is the role of money from the billionaire Koch brothers in helping Republican governor Scott Walker fend off a recall effort in Wisconsin . But just as Lessin and Deal were wrapping up production, their deal with ITVS started to unravel. Unknown to them at the time, billionaire David Koch sat on the board of WNET, the largest public television station in the country. When Koch expressed concern about the unflattering way he was portrayed in a different PBS documentary called Park Avenue: Money, Power and the American Dream, Lessin and Deal say ITVS changed their mind and yanked the promised funds, forcing the filmmakers to go a different route last-minute.
Funding 'Citizen Koch'; Creative Indie Film Marketing Citizen Koch filmmakers Tia Lessin and Carl Deal on why their deal with public television fell apart; Jenny Radelet tells a tale of a film that found a marketing partnership through potatoes.
"Citizen Koch:" Big Money, Politics and a Movie that Nearly Didn't Get Made A film on money in American politics was produced for broadcast on public television. It's called "Citizen Koch" to reflect the influence of the Koch Brothers in funding political campaigns since the US Supreme Court's decision in the Citizens United case. After its premiere at Sundance this past January, the film lost $150,000 in funding from the Independent Television Service, the public agency that supports the production and distribution of independent documentaries. It turns out that the Koch Brothers are also influential in funding public TV. Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Tia Lessin, co-director of Citizen Koch , says that's had great impact on the film and its availability to American audiences.
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