Yesterday, Deadline revealed and the newly minted Congresswoman confirmed online that she wouldn’t be showing up in Park City in person as previously planned for the premiere of a documentary about her remarkable winning campaign due to “complications from the gov shutdown.”However, the conclusion of the first of five SFF screenings for Knock Down the House gave attendees a shock on Sunday when AOC herself actually did showed up live on the big screen via Skype.
“This is my first time seeing it in its final form,” the tech friendly Representative for New York’s 14th district enthusiastically told the full MARC Theatre as she was connected from the nation’s capital – as you can see from this video below by Showtime’s communications chief:
— Johanna Fuentes (@jfuentes) January 28, 2019
“We are still in a mode where it’s all hands-on deck for our democracy,” AOC added as her fellow KDTH subjects Paula Jean Swearengin, Amy Vilela and Cori Bush sat at the front of the venue with director Rachel Lears. “We can do it again, better, in 2020,” the Congresswoman said to cheers. “What I want to do in the next two years is hold the door open so a lot more people can walk through.”
The decision Sunday to patch in AOC, as the self described socialist and social media savvy Congresswoman has become knows in recent months, to the screening was made at the near last minute, I hear. The same purposefulness was in part why up until just before Deadline broke our story on Saturday afternoon and the subsequent tweet went out, it seemed that Ocasio-Cortez might still make it in person to Sundance.
“It was great to be able to watch this at the same time as everyone in there and join you all from afar,” AOC tweeted later on about the screening. “Our goal is to open up the political process to all people, to show what it takes, and communicate that no matter the outcome, you can run as a service to our nation,” she also said online tonight.
Competing in the U.S. Documentary category, Knock Down the House followed former bartender Ocasio-Cortez in her David and Goliath battle against entrenched Joe Crowley in last summer’s Democratic primary for the Queens and Bronx encompassing district. Las Vegas businesswoman and grieving mother Vilela, West Virginia coal miner’s daughter Swearengin, and St. Louis registered nurse Bush were not successful in their respective efforts to make it to Washington D.C. in a wave that saw the Democrats back in power in huge numbers in the House of Representatives.
However, both Swearengin and Bush made it clear on Sunday that they will be running again in 2020, be it for Congress or another post. Vilela told the applauding audience “we’re not done.”
The 35-day government shutdown is done now but Sundance runs until February 3. This year’s SFF awards ceremony could see Knock Down the House a winner just like AOC herself and that will happen live on February 2.