Netflix Closes Deal for Ocasio-Cortez Sundance Doc ‘Knock Down the House’

Sundance 2019: Documentary premiered to a standing ovation during the festival

Last Updated: February 7, 2019 @ 10:27 AM

Netflix announced on Thursday that it has finalized a deal to acquire worldwide distribution rights to the award-winning documentary, “Knock Down the House,” which features Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

The documentary received a standing ovation following its premiere during the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, and was given by the Sundance Institute the Festival Favorite Award selected by audience votes from the 121 features screened at the festival.

When tragedy struck her family in the midst of the financial crisis, Bronx-born Ocasio-Cortez had to work double shifts in a restaurant to save her home from foreclosure. After losing a loved one to a preventable medical condition, Amy Vilela didn’t know what to do with the anger she felt about America’s broken health care system. Cori Bush was drawn into the streets when the police shooting of an unarmed black man brought protests and tanks into her neighborhood. Paula Jean Swearengin was fed up with watching her friends and family suffer and die from the environmental effects of the coal industry.

At a moment of historic volatility in American politics, “Knock Down the House” follows these four women as they decide to fight back despite having no political experience, setting themselves on a grassroots journey that will change their lives and their country forever.

“It is a transcendent moment when skilled filmmakers are able to train their lens on a major transformation,” said Lisa Nishimura, Netflix’s vice president of original documentaries. “With intimacy and immediacy, Rachel Lears and Robin Blotnik, bring viewers to the front lines of a movement, as four women find their voice, their power and their purpose, allowing all of us to witness the promise of true democracy in action.”

The film is directed by Lears and produced by Lears, Blotnick, and Sarah Olson.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with Netflix on the release of Knock Down the House,” said director Lears, who also co-wrote the film.  “This platform will allow us to reach huge audiences worldwide, including viewers who may not usually watch independent documentaries. We’re also very excited to be working with Netflix on a campaign to spark wider cultural conversations about our democracy and how it can continue to evolve.”

“Knock Down The House” is a Jubilee Films production, in association with Atlas Films and Artemis Rising, executive produced by Regina K. Scully, and co-executive produced by Chicago Media Project and Wavelength Productions.

The deal was brokered by Cinetic Media on behalf of the filmmakers.