With the Iowa Caucuses less than a year away, writer-director Brent Roske has released the first official trailer for “Courting Des Moines,” a political drama about a woman running for president — which debuts exclusively on TheWrap.
“Courting Des Moines,” is a sequel to Roske’s 2012 web series “Chasing the Hill,” which chronicled a fictional California Congressional campaign. The sequel features many of the same characters — now seeking higher office — including Samantha Clemons, played by “The West Wing” actress Melissa Fitzgerald.
“Pretty Little Liars” star Brandon Jones co-stars in “Courting Des Moines” alongside Steve Lewis, Carolyn Hennesy, Gina Belafonte and Catherine Urbanek.
The sequel picks up with California Congresswoman Samantha Clemons moving to Des Moines, Iowa to avoid further scrutiny after leaving her seat in the House of Representatives amid allegations of tax fraud. With a renewed sense of purpose, she takes a cue from one-term congressman Abraham Lincoln and decides to run for president, hiring an equally passionate local woman to run her Iowa campaign. Together, the two women run as the dark horses in a challenging, highly competitive race.
While “Courting Des Moines” is driven by a fictional narrative, what’s especially interesting is that Samantha’s story is interspersed with poignant interviews and appearances from Donald Trump and real politicians such as Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, Jeb Bush, Lindsey Graham, Tom Harkin, Paul Strauss and Governor Martin O’Malley, among others.
Having relocated from Los Angeles to Des Moines last year, Roske made sure to include real locations such as Machinist’s Hall, home of the state fair, where real candidates court Iowa voters each year.
“Courting Des Moines” will play in a Los Angeles theater for one week to be eligible for Oscar and Golden Globe nominations. There will also be several screening/premiere locations, including Iowa, Park City, Utah and Washington D.C., Iowa. The film will then be available on VOD in January, when the real Iowa Caucuses are taking place.
Roske is a notable TV movie producer who is drawn to stories about politics. With Iowa voters being courted before each election, he wanted to explore the political circus and introduce a different kind of presidential candidate who has a new vision for the country.