2014 Sundance Docs in Focus: MITT

mittAnother Sundance alum brings his latest to Documentary Premieres: Greg Whiteley reveals the man who would have been President in MITT.



Sundance Program Description:

MITT offers a refreshingly candid view of the private moments of a major presidential contender. The film invites the audience into the room with Mitt Romney and his tight-knit family during his two recent attempts to gain the presidency.

A notably private person, Romney was conflicted about putting his wife and family through the rigors and exposure of mounting a campaign. After Senator John McCain defeated him in the 2008 primary, it seemed unlikely Romney would run again. The story picks up four years later as Romney secures the Republican nomination and faces President Obama in their first debate.

Director Greg Whiteley was granted unprecedented access to the presidential hopeful and his relatives. Rather than focusing on the candidate’s platform or tactics, the film concentrates on off-the-record discussions between Romney and his closest family members. Moving beyond politics, MITT elegantly reveals the human and often-hidden side of a public figure.

Some Background:
Whiteley made his directorial debut at Sundance with NEW YORK DOLL (2005). Joining him as producer is his wife Erin Whiteley, also an associate producer on his second doc, RESOLVED; and Adam Leibowitz from Whiteley’s One Potato Productions shingle; while executive producers include THE KING OF KONG’s Seth Lewis Gordon, who also produced, edited, and shot NEW YORK DOLL, and counts among his Sundance credits two shorts, FEARS OF A CLOWN (2004) and THE BIG ABANDONED REFRIGERATOR ADVENTURE (2003); and Lisa Nishimura and Adam Del Deo, both executive producers on Sundance alum THE SQUARE.

Why You Should Watch:
Whiteley’s remarkable access to two Romney campaigns results in a surprisingly open and genuine portrait of the would-be leader and his family, even if some members of the family may be somewhat more guarded than others. Wisely foregoing the construction of any false suspense in an election in which every development and ultimate result will have been already very familiar to most audiences, Whiteley instead keeps the focus on Romney and his family’s preparation for and response to key moments in the campaign. No matter where on the political spectrum the film’s audience might be, they’re bound to gain unexpected, human insight into the US presidential election process. For those who won’t be able to make it out to Park City for the premiere, Netflix will be making the film available on January 24.

More Info:
Check out the film’s trailer. For more information, visit its website. As they become available, I’ll link to Whiteley’s Meet the Artist Sundance video profile and to his Indiewire filmmaker interview. For screening dates and times at Sundance, click the link in the first paragraph.

To experience the festival through the eyes of this year’s filmmakers, follow my Sundance filmmaker class of 2014 Twitter list.

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1 Comment

Filed under Documentary, Film, Film Festivals, Recommendations, Sundance

One response to “2014 Sundance Docs in Focus: MITT

  1. Pingback: “It’s no secret that film festivals tend to skew more toward liberal or progressive subjects…” | pundit from another planet

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