The steady rise of Donald Trump in this year’s presidential election has once again opened up questions about the negative effects of media celebrity and the weight and purpose of political journalism. Jonathan Sheldon’s new film “Swing State” takes that idea and spins a political satire that takes on America’s media obsession. The film follows liberal Seattle DJ Ethan Smith (Alex Beh) who creates a conservative radio personality named Charles Fern and becomes a national sensation. The film co-stars Taryn Manning (“Orange Is the New Black”), Angela Kinsey (“The Office”), Sean Astin (“The Lord of the Rings”), Billy Zane (“Titanic”), Elaine Hendrix (“The Parent Trap”), Nick Loeb (“Precious Cargo”) and Shane Black (“Iron Man 3”). Watch a trailer for the film below.
“I set out to write and direct a political comedy that would be entertaining as a comedic film,” said Sheldon, “but also explore some of the behavior of crowds, the strains of American nationalism that are on the rise, and the absurdity that exists in the general political discourse on both sides. In reality, we have a candidate for president created by media, consumed by low information consumers, with an almost impenetrable shield of fame and fortune. Who is the news, makes the news. That’s the takeaway from this election and that’s what our lead character discovers when he switches from indie rock & roll DJ to conservative commentator.”
Sheldon is best known for producing many of the Polish brothers films, such as “Northfolk,” “The Astronaut Farmer” and “The Sweet Smell of Success.” This is his feature-length directorial debut.
“Swing State” will be available on iTunes on November 1 from The Orchard.