CNN Films Acquires ‘Jimmy Carter Rock & Roll President’ Documentary

Film was originally set to be the opening night film at the 2020 Tribeca Film Festival

Jimmy Carter
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CNN Films has acquired the North American broadcast rights to the documentary “Jimmy Carter Rock & Roll President,” which was supposed to be the opening night film at the Tribeca Film Festival in April.

The documentary will now close out the AFI Docs Festival on June 21.

“Jimmy Carter Rock & Roll President” showcases the role music played in propelling Jimmy Carter from Georgia to the White House, and how his love for music gave him an unexpected edge in the presidential race. Willie Nelson, Bono, Bob Dylan, Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, Jimmy Buffett, Roseanne Cash, Chuck Leavell, Paul Simon, Andrew Young, and Madeleine Albright are just a few of the contributors giving interviews in the documentary. Rare, archival footage from live performances by Buffett, Nelson, etc. are also included in the documentary.

“When Chris and Mary came to Plains to show the film to me and my family, it was entertaining and emotional for all of us,” Carter said. “The film exceeded my expectations in every way. I’m thrilled that ‘Rock & Roll President’ will reach a broad audience on CNN. Despite the difficult times we are in, the film highlights my personal belief that we should remain hopeful and that music is a powerful source of hope in trying times.”

Farrell and Wharton added: “When we started this journey two-and-one-half years ago, our goal was to tell an interesting and surprising story about President Carter and his relationship with music, in the hopes that it would make people see him in a new light. Being able to share the film with millions of Americans through this deal with CNN Films is a significant step towards achieving that goal. The fact that we were able to screen the film for the President and receive his endorsement has been one of the most gratifying aspects of the project. We hope that CNN viewers will come away with a new appreciation for not only his moral courage and leadership, but also the fact that he is pretty cool.”

The deal was negotiated by Stacey Wolf, senior vice president for business affairs for CNN Worldwide on behalf of CNN Films, and by Dan Braun and Josh Braun of Submarine on behalf of the filmmakers.

“Jimmy Carter Rock & Roll President” is a Not Just Peanuts production. It was financed by Thunder Moccasin Pictures. Dave Kirkpatrick served as a producer. Executive producers are Braun, Peter Conlon, David Crawford, and Wharton.