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Controversial 'Citizen Koch' Lands Theatrical Distribution Deal with Variance Films

Photo of Paula Bernstein By Paula Bernstein | Indiewire January 10, 2014 at 1:4PM

"Citizen Koch," the controversial documentary by Academy Award-nominated filmmakers Carl Deal and Tia Lessin ("Trouble the Water") has been acquired by Variance Films, which plans a theatrical release in the U.S. and Canada in Spring 2014.
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"Citizen Koch."

"Citizen Koch," the controversial documentary by Academy Award-nominated filmmakers Carl Deal and Tia Lessin ("Trouble the Water") has been acquired by Variance Films, which plans a theatrical release in the U.S. and Canada in Spring 2014.

The film covers the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling and billionaire industrialists David and Charles Koch’s behind-the-scenes support of the Tea Party. After the film premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, public television producers ITVS pulled $150,00 in finishing funds it had committed to the film and cancelled plans for its broadcast premiere -- presumably because they feared the reaction from David Koch, a major donor to PBS. After The New Yorker profiled the story of the film and its lost ITVS grant, the filmmakers received an outpouring of support and were able to raise necessary funds via Kickstarter.

"We wanted a distributor who would be passionate, and also be a true partner," said producer/director Carl Deal, "and we found it in Variance."

"Variance understands the power of this film to not just engage and incite audiences throughout the country, but also to entertain," added producer/director Tia Lessin. "We were also very comforted to learn that Variance receives no funding from Charles and David Koch."

Dylan Marchetti, founder and president of Variance Films said that the film is "the textbook example of why Variance Films exists. It's a fantastic film from acclaimed filmmakers that calls for an aggressive, innovative, and people-powered campaign. That's us, and we can't wait to show you all what we’ve been working on with Carl and Tia to ensure the word gets out far and wide.  Whether you're a hard-core liberal, a recovering moderate, or a true-blue conservative, you have to admit that something is wrong -- and we think CITIZEN KOCH shines a bright light directly on it."

This article is related to: Variance Films, Citizen Koch, Kickstarter , News, Tia Lessin, Carl Deal