Pacho Velez, Princeton Arts Fellow

Ronald Reagan, Mikhail Gorbachev, George Bush all wave to the press corps. Film still from “The Reagan Show.”

This coming weekend offers two chances to see the new documentary The Reagan Show by Pacho Velez, 2015-17 Princeton Arts Fellow and Sierra Pettengill at the Montclair Film Festival.

According to the festival site, Velez and Pettengil “mine the past for contemporary relevance and come up trumps in The Reagan Show, a film about a prolific actor’s defining role: Leader of the Free World. It uses the Reagan administration’s internal documentation to capture the spectacle of American might at its acme, exploring the relationship between the media and those in power as they participate in the collaborative act of image making. Told entirely through a largely unseen trove of archival footage, the film captures the pageantry, pathos, and charisma that followed the original performer/president from Hollywood to the nation’s capital.”

Thanks to the success of the project at the Tribeca Film Festival “Gravitas Ventures has acquired North American theatrical and streaming rights to The Reagan Show, with CNN Films landing North American broadcast rights… The pic will hit theaters June 30, with a July 4 VOD bow to follow. CNN will air the docu after those windows.”

Pacho Velez works at the intersection of ethnography, contemporary art, and political documentary. His last film, Manakamana (co-directed with Stephanie Spray) won a Golden Leopard at the Locarno Film Festival. It played around the world, including at the Whitney Biennial and the Toronto International Film Festival. His earlier film and theater work have been presented at venues such as the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the Museum of Ethnography in Stockholm, and on Japanese National Television.

Pacho Velez – Princeton Arts Fellow from Lewis Center for the Arts on Vimeo.