From “Darfur Now” writer/director Ted Braun comes docu-thriller “Betting on Zero” following hedge fund titan Bill Ackman as he puts $1 billion on the line in his crusade to expose Herbalife as the largest pyramid scheme in history.
Herbalife claims Ackman is simply a market manipulator out to make a fortune from short-selling their stock, but Ackman insists Herbalife deliberately targets low-income and immigrant communities and robs them of their life savings.
Distributed by Gunpowder and Sky, the film will hit theaters in major and regional markets on March 17 following National Consumer Protection Week.
“What are we going to learn? We’re going to learn why Herbalife is going to collapse,” the voiceover for the opening of the trailer informs viewers. “Bill Ackman is on a holy war.”
Although”Betting on Zero” is a financial and political thriller, at the core of it are the victims that have been hit hard and have found themselves grappling with the messy aftermath. Their financial losses affect many aspects of their lives including their family, their lifestyle, and their future.
Among those telling their stories are people who have lost up to $22,000. “The kind of people who can do that are crooks,” one investor says.
Meanwhile, Ackman goes head-to-head with fellow Wall Street billionaire/Herbalife supporter Carl Icahn in his bid to take the company down.
“The withering crossfire between Ackman and Herbalife plays out across the media, in board rooms, and on the streets in Braun’s stirring picture of the American Dream gone wrong,” according to the film’s synopsis.
“Betting on Zero” has been making the festival rounds since its April 2016 premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival. The film earned a special jury mention for investigative filmmaking.
Last fall, HBO “Last Week Tonight” host John Oliver presented a nearly 30-minute takedown of Herbalife and other multilevel marketers on his show.
Oliver critiqued the FTC’s complaint against Herbalife, which was released last July, calling it “mind-blowing” and questioned — as many others before him have — why the government stopped short of calling the company a pyramid scheme.
“Betting on Zero” is written and directed by Braun and produced by Academy Award winner Glen Zipper (“Undefeated”) and Devin Adair.