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The Reagan Show


THE REAGAN SHOW follows the Reagan Administration's attempts to stage manage his presidency. Through an internal archive of taping sessions, public events, summit meetings - and the resulting press coverage - the film tracks the administration's use of political theater to manufacture the public's view of US-USSR relations at the close of the Cold War. 

The Filmmakers

Pacho Velez Director

Pacho Velez is a filmmaker and teacher. He works at the confluence of ethnography, contemporary art, and political documentary. His last film, MANAKAMANA (co-directed with Stephanie Spray) won a Golden Leopard at the Locarno Film Festival. It played around the world, including at the Whitney Biennial and the Toronto International Film Festival. His earlier film and theater work have been presented at venues such as the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the Boston Museum of Fine Art, and on Japanese National Television.

Sierra Pettengill Producer

Sierra Pettengill is a Brooklyn-based filmmaker. TOWN HALL, her directorial debut, broadcast nationally on PBS in 2014. She is the producer of the Oscar-nominated documentary CUTIE AND THE BOXER, which premiered at Sundance ‘13. She was also the archival producer of Matt Wolf’s TEENAGE (Tribeca ’13) and Katy Chevigny and Ross Kauffman’s E-TEAM (Sundance ’14). She was the associate producer of the Emmy-nominated WALT WHITMAN and the Peabody Award-winning TRIANGLE FIRE, both for PBS’ American Experience series. She was also the associate producer of HBO’s WARTORN: 1860-2010, produced by James Gandolfini, and Nick Bentgen’s Northern Light.


Festivals & Awards

Tribeca Film Festival


Official Selection



Winner - Best Documentary

Critics' Choice Documentary Awards


Nominee - Best Political Documentary

Cinema Eye Honors Awards


Nominee - Outstanding Achievement in Editing


A provocative and amusing look at President Ronald Reagan's use of television to sell economic plans, missile treaties and, mostly, himself.”

-John Anderson, The Wall Street Journal

It’s like a time capsule prologue to today’s world.”

-Robert Abele, Los Angeles Times

THE REAGAN SHOW is sometimes funny, sometimes frightening, and always fascinating.”

-Chloe Walker, Film Inquiry