The ACORN project
Long-time Spike Lee editor (as well as director and producer in his own right) Sam Pollard, has been a busy filmmaker since his feature documentary for PBS, "Slavery By Another Name," made its debut at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. Since then he's directed 4 documentaries, including, most recently, "August Wilson: The Ground on Which I Stand" (2015) and "Two Trains Runnin'" (2016).
For 2017, he's set to premiere his next film, a documentary on the now-defunct Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or more commonly known as ACORN - a project he first told us about in 2012. The now-completed film is set to make its world premiere at the upcoming Tribeca Film Festival, which kicks off this week in New York City.
The ACORN project, which Pollard is co-directing with Reuben Atlas, and which was originally titled "Rise and Fall of ACORN," is premiering under its new title, "ACORN and the Firestorm." A project that received strong financial support by way of grants from several notable institutions like the IDA Documentary Fund and the Sundance Institute's Documentary Film Program and Fund (DFP), its official synopsis reads: By the people and for the people, community organizing group ACORN became a major player in the 2008 presidential election that resulted in Barack Obama’s victory. Conservatives took issue with the group, firing accusations of voter fraud and government waste at the left-leaning organization. The burgeoning right-wing opposition found unexpected allies in James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles. The pair of young conservatives and amateur journalists posed as a pimp and prostitute to try to expose ACORN’s business practices via a hidden camera. The ensuing political drama spawned the now-omnipresent Breitbart Media, drove an even deeper wedge between Democrats and Republicans, and served as a prescient foreshadowing for much of today’s political climate.
Described as a comprehensive non-fiction political thriller, the film will look at ACORN during the height of its power - an organization devoted to fighting poverty in the United States - through its eventual destruction, in a story "stranger than fiction."
The film will make its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 23. Ahead of that date, a preview of the film has been released and is embedded below: