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Television Event

Synopsis

THE KID STAYS IN THE PICTURE meets THE ATOMIC CAFE in this archive-based feature documentary that views the dramatic climax of the Cold War through the lens of a commercial television network, as it produces America’s most watched, most controversial made-for-TV-movie, THE DAY AFTER (1983). 


This film addresses a universal challenge - grasping how vast global issues such as climate change, the refugee crisis and in this case nuclear proliferation affect us personally. We have much to learn from how this television network took a subject so terrifying, so unpalatable and turned it into a prime-time sensation. With irreverent humor and sobering apocalyptic vision, this film reveals how a commercial broadcaster seized a moment of unprecedented television viewership, made an emotional connection with an audience of over 100 million and forced an urgent conversation with the US President on how to collectively confront and resolve the most pressing issue of the time - nuclear proliferation. 


Strong plot points are illustrated through immersive archive and contemporary interviews with the larger than life subjects who were there – a TV-executive with unprecedented vision aspiring to produce a politically controversial movie, a headstrong Hollywood director aiming to unseat a president, a family- friendly commercial network struggling to think out of its conservative box, an actor-turned-president who is both moved and threatened by this TV-movie, and a White House debating the merits and messaging of a public response.

The Filmmakers

Jeff Daniels Director

Born and raised in New York, Jeff is a multi-award winning independent filmmaker specializing in feature-length documentaries. Now based permanently in Melbourne, Australia Jeff is best known for his first film the controversial 10 CONDITIONS OF LOVE (2009) which made international headlines after being banned bythe Chinese government for highlighting the plight of its Muslim minority, the Uyghur. He has since made MOTHER WITH A GUN (2016) about Jewish terrorist group the Jewish Defense League and FAIR GAME (2017) which sparked a national debate in Australia after exposing systemic racism within the Australian Football League.

Amanda Spain Producer

Amanda Spain is a producer with over 15 years experience in both feature and series documentaries. She recently joined Blumhouse Television as the Director of Alternative and Non-scripted Programming, where she develops and manages non-scripted content. Before producing Television Event, Amanda produced the audience favorite and award winning documentary Bathtubs Over Broadway which premiered at Tribeca and was nabbed by Focus Features. She has also produced series for numerous outlets including ESPN, A&E, PBS, MTV, HLN, Netflix and the Sundance Channel. She was a 2016-2017 Sundance Producing Fellow and is a current member of the Producers Guild of America (PGA) and the Documentary Producers Alliance (DPA).