HBO’s inside look at U.S. President Barack Obama’s two-year campaign will hit U.S. theaters for a limited run prior to airing on the cable network in November. The Oscar-qualifying release will open in New York City and Los Angeles on August 7th. The film will debut on HBO this fall on November 3rd.
Directed by Amy Rice & Alicia Sams, “By The People: The Election of Barack Obama” was produced by Edward Norton’s Class 5 Films. The film will screen for one week at the Sunshine in Manhattan and the Sunset 5 in Los Angeles on August 7th.
The project was initially driven by Amy Rice, who lost her older brother in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. She was inspired Obama’s now famous ’04 convention speech and approached Sams and Norton and would eventually gain exclusive access to the candidate and his campaign.
“Initially, it wasnt even about a presidential campaign; the idea was simply to examine the political experience of a promising young politician of our generation,” said Norton, in a statement. He produced the film with Stuart Blumberg and William Migliore. The film was edited by Sam Pollard, Geeta Gandbhir and Arielle Amsalem.
Two and a half years in the making, the project boasts unprecedented access to Obama, his senior staff, family, friends, and campaign volunteers.. The filmmakers traveled with Obama to Africa in the summer of ’06 and were there when he announced his candidacy in early ’07.
HBO’s Richard Plepler called it “one of the most fascinating personal and political narratives in American history,” in a statement published in indieWIRE in an earlier story about HBO’s involvement with the film.
All international media rights and domestic home entertainment rights (minus U.K. television) for the film were acquired by Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisition Group (SPWAG) earlier this year.
“While Obama’s meteoric rise to the White House has been well documented in the press,” HBO said in announcing the film’s airdate, “few have witnessed the behind-the-scenes story of the passionate campaigners who helped a young African-American freshman senator attain the nation’s highest office.”