NowThis will premiere its first feature-length documentary film, Virginia 12th, at 5 PM Eastern Tuesday on its Facebook and YouTube channels. The 64-minute documentary follows Chris Hurst, a millennial journalist rocked by gun violence, who left his career to launch a political challenge that unseated an NRA-backed incumbent State House representative in surprising upset victory in rural Virginia.
Hurst was working at as a television news anchor in Virginia when his girlfriend and fellow journalist, Alison Parker, was murdered live on-air in 2015 during a local news report. Following the traumatic personal loss that made national headlines, he quit journalism to seek public office.
In the first wave of elections following a polarizing U.S. presidential race, the 30-year-old Democratic candidate worked to rally support from a divided community and engage young first-time voters on the two college campuses within the district, Virginia Tech and Radford. The support from this new generation of voters helped propel Hurst to victory in Virginia’s 12th House District in November 2017.
“NowThis is synonymous with the news and information that matters most to young people, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to release our first feature length documentary film, Virginia 12th, whose central theme and message is the impact young people can have when they vote,” said NowThis Chief Content Officer Tina Exarhos in a statement.
The news organization NowThis is owned by Group Nine Media, and was one of the pioneers in the distributed news model– building its audience on social media platforms. It’s one of the digital publishers to receive funding from Facebook, which is working to combat misinformation on the platform. This fall, it launched NowThisMorning, which offers a mix of breaking news and original reporting.
Virginia 12th, directed by Tim Johnson and executive produced by David Check of Check Point Productions, follows Hurst on the entire road of his candidacy and the young people who rallied around him in the months leading up to Election Day 2017.
Here’s a clip: