Held in Washington, D.C. this Sunday and Monday, the sold-out documentary film festival, which MTP is presenting with AFI, will screen short political documentaries from HBO, Netflix, The New York Times and other filmmakers, selected by Todd and his staff, that speak to topics on voters’ minds with the midterm election just weeks away. To that point, this year’s fest was moved up from last year’s mid-November date.
NBC News correspondents and anchors joining Todd to moderate Q&A’s that follow: Andrea Mitchell, Craig Melvin, Jacob Soboroff, Hallie Jackson, Kasie Hunt, Kristen Welker and Harry Smith.
As with last year, the documentaries are short form, ranging from 20-40 minutes, a concept Todd says he “stumbled into” when deciding to mount the documentary film festival last year.
“Most issue based documentaries are no longer than 20-40 minutes,” Todd explained, calling it a “nice sweet spot” for MTP‘s new-ish brand-building franchise. This year, the fest expanded to 23 documentaries from last year’s showcase of 16 films, three of which were nominated for Academy Awards.
The timing is particularly opportune, happening as it does as President Donald Trump seemed to have closed the midterm election’s “intensity gap” with his decision to stand behind Kavanaugh, launching a dog whistle attack on his Supreme Court pick’s assault accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, during a campaign rally, which really whipped up his base and cowed his party. Sen. Susan Collins on Friday announced she would hand Kavanaugh the magic 50th vote he needed to seal the deal, though the official confirmation vote is expected over the weekend.
Collins made her choice despite a groundswell of objections to his lifetime appointment to the country’s top court over a high school sexual assault allegation; his untrue statements under oath during testimony; and his on-camera partisan rant, accusing Senate Judiciary Committee Democrats of staging a “hit” on him to exact revenge for the Clintons, and warning them ominously that, “what goes around comes around.”
Todd – “Lazy Eyes Chuck Todd” as Trump tends to call him when the Meet the Press host has gotten under his skin – speculates that, minus two Supreme Court vacancies to fill, Trump might not have been elected, calling the death of Justice Antonin Scalia the single most important factor in Trump’s win.
On the other hand, Todd said he subscribes to the notion that midterm voters tend not to rush to polls to say, “Thank you.”
“They rush to the polls to say ‘f*** you’,” he noted.