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Friday, June 14
6:00 PM - 7:45 PM

Landmark E-Street Cinema

555 11th Street NW, Washington, DC 20004

Majority Rules

Director

AJ Schnack

Executive Producers

Blair Hull, Steve Kantor, William von Mueffling, David Baszucki, Jan Ellison Baszucki, Marc Merrill, Kent Thiry

Producers

AJ Schnack, Nick Troiano, Alana Schwartz

Editor

Leslie Simmer

Cinematographers

Adam Benn, Chris Ho

Majority Rules finds Alaska gearing up to do something no other state has ever done: adopt a pair of election reforms that will eliminate traditional party primaries and allow voters to rank their candidates by preference. Just as election workers, citizens, and politicians are beginning to adapt to this new system, the state’s longest-serving Congressman unexpectedly dies, creating an open seat and prompting a special election that will test this system months earlier than expected. As dozens of candidates – including former Governor Sarah Palin – jump into the race for the highly coveted seat, everyone must learn how these new voting reforms will change the rules of campaigning and winning. The surprising outcome of this special election sparked a groundswell of support for election reform in other states and fierce pushback from political parties and partisans, just as the Alaska general election got underway.

Veteran political documentary filmmaker AJ Schnack (Caucus, Convention) returns to the campaign trail asking whether these new Alaska reforms, an all-candidate open primary, and an instant runoff general election might be a prescription for what ails the American democratic experiment. Traveling across the country, Schnack and his crew interview reform supporters and opponents, looking at where these reforms are already in place and where they may soon be adopted. Majority Rules tackles two of our nation’s most pressing questions: How did the American electoral system become so dysfunctional, and is it possible that changing the way we vote might transform our entire system for the better?

Director, Majority Rules

AJ Schnack is an award-winning nonfiction filmmaker and visual artist based in Los Angeles. His feature films include the ESPN 30 for 30: Long Gone Summer, Kurt Cobain: About a Son, and Gigantic (A Tale of Two Johns). While his films cover a wide range of topics (including music, baseball, and journalism), he is especially known for his nonpartisan documentaries that delve into American electoral politics, including Convention, Caucus, and the short form series for Vanity Fair, NomiNation. Schnack’s work in political vérité has been hailed by the NY Times as “a testament to the power of observational documentary,” by the Washington Post as “not just delightful watching, but required viewing,” and by the Daily Beast as providing “a riveting glimpse into the American political process.”