Amazon Studios has taken all global rights to Story Syndicate’s Untitled Voting Rights documentary about voter suppression featuring politician, lawyer and author Stacey Abrams. The doc comes from Oscar-nominated and Emmy-winning filmmaker Liz Garbus and Oscar-nominated filmmaker Lisa Cortés, and the plan is for Amazon to release the doc in theaters prior to this year’s U.S. Presidential election. Following its theatrical release, the documentary will be released on Amazon Prime Video.
The documentary takes a look at the history, and current activism against voter suppression; barriers to voting that most people don’t even know is a threat to their basic rights as citizens of the United States.
Abrams is a New York Times bestselling author and nonprofit CEO who served for 11 years in the Georgia House of Representatives, seven as Democratic Leader. In 2018, Abrams became the Democratic nominee for Governor of Georgia, winning more votes than any other Democrat in the state’s history. Abrams was the first black woman to become the gubernatorial nominee for a major party in the United States, and she was the first black woman and first Georgian to deliver a Response to the State of the Union.
After seeing first hand the gross mismanagement of the 2018 election by the Secretary of State’s office, Abrams launched Fair Fight to ensure every American has a voice in our election system through programs such as Fair Fight 2020, an initiative to fund and train voter protection teams in 20 battleground states. During the course of her career, Abrams has founded multiple organizations devoted to voting rights, training and hiring young people of color, and tackling social issues at both the state and national levels.
“We are honored to be working with brilliant filmmakers Liz Garbus and Lisa Cortés and the remarkable Stacey Abrams on this timely and important documentary,” said Jennifer Salke, Head of Amazon Studios in a statement. “In this critical election year, Stacey’s expertise and fearless stance against voter suppression will resonate strongly with audiences everywhere and can inspire positive change in supporting all Americans’ right to cast their vote.”
“Working with Stacey Abrams is the honor of a lifetime,” Garbus and Cortés said. “The story of voting rights is not just one of the Civil Rights Movement and the 1960’s. It’s a story for right now. It’s a monster movie where you think you’ve mortally wounded the beast, but it keeps rearing its ugly head, as last week’s primary in Georgia so painfully demonstrated. And nothing less than democracy is at stake.”
“Raising the alarm about voter suppression is critical to the integrity of our democracy,” Abrams said. “The failure of state leaders in Georgia and other states across the country to protect the rights of voters, as seen in the 2018 election and 2020 primaries, must be exposed and it must be stopped. Justice in our criminal justice system and the sacred right to vote are not equal for all Americans and we must find a way to change these systematic inequalities. As the 2020 election approaches, this documentary will help voters realize the power of their voices, and it will inspire them to overcome the obstacles of voter suppression.”
The doc is produced by Garbus, Cortés, and Oscar-winning producer Dan Cogan and Abrams. UTA handled the deal with a collaborative effort between the company’s Independent Film Group, Alternative Television, and Culture & Leadership divisions. UTA Independent Film Group negotiated the deal on behalf of all parties. Additionally, Abrams is repped by UTA.