LOS ANGELES (March 11, 2020) — Participant, the leading media company dedicated to entertainment that inspires audiences to engage in positive social change, today announced the Slay the Dragon campaign to coincide with the film SLAY THE DRAGON, which Magnolia Pictures will release in select theaters as well as on VOD and digital platforms on April 3. The documentary, from directors Barak Goodman and Chris Durrance, shines a light on gerrymandering — the practice of redrawing electoral maps to serve a single party — and threat it poses to our democracy and the ordinary citizens who are fighting back. Gerrymandering has been around for over a century, but in today’s hyper-partisan political environment it has been taken to unprecedented extremes, fueled by the elimination of corporate campaign contribution limits and the availability of vast amounts of personal information.
SLAY THE DRAGON follows a handful of citizens’ groups in Michigan and Wisconsin, outraged by what they see as an attack on the core democratic principle that every person’s vote should count equally, as they battle party operatives and an entrenched political establishment to fix a broken system.
Timed to the film’s release, Participant is launching the SLAY THE DRAGON campaign to increase awareness of gerrymandering and catalyze all citizens to participate in a more fair and equitable electoral system. Specifically, Participant will partner with All On The Line, Princeton Gerrymandering Project, RepresentUs, and Voters Not Politicians to support the creation of non-partisan redistricting commissions. With them, Participant will work to conduct targeted screening events in three states (Colorado, Michigan, and Wisconsin) to inspire support around redistricting reform and expand outreach to grassroots activists across the country to accelerate efforts to create a democracy that works for all Americans. Because, in a democracy, all citizens should have an equal voice at the ballot box.
Filmmakers Barak Goodman and Chris Durrance said jointly: “I think most Americans – Republicans and Democrats – however much we might disagree with one another on certain issues, are united in the belief that every person’s vote should count equally and that everyone should have the opportunity to vote.”
“SLAY THE DRAGON highlights an issue that truly does affect us all,” said David Linde, CEO of Participant. “We’re proud to be involved in a project that has an opportunity to raise awareness about our electoral system and its jarring challenges. With this campaign, we believe we build support for anti-gerrymandering efforts that can lead to real action and ultimately make certain all votes are counted fairly.”
“SLAY THE DRAGON is an excellent film that tells the story of how politicians used gerrymandering to cheat the American people out of equal representation for the past decade and how committed, organized citizens can fight back to restore fairness to our elections,” said Attorney General Eric Holder. “With the next redistricting process set to take place in 2021, the message of SLAY THE DRAGON could not be more timely or more profound– we must end the era of politicians choosing their voters and give power back to the people, where it belongs. Our democracy is at stake.”
“Thousands of Michiganders came together from across the state to end partisan gerrymandering in Michigan,” said Nancy Wang, executive director of Voters Not Politicians. “We’re proud to have the work of our volunteers featured alongside other citizen-led groups that are working to make sure that voters can choose their politicians – not the other way around.”
"Gerrymandering is the one political maneuver, more than any other, that insulates legislators from the influence of voters,” said Dr. Sam Wang, neuroscientist and director of the Princeton Gerrymandering Project. “SLAY THE DRAGON tells a story of how citizens can fight back - and help create a government that responds to the people."
“Every vote should count regardless of who or what party someone is voting for and in our current voting system, that is not the reality,” said Katie Fahey, film subject and founder of grassroots organization The People. “We have a rare opportunity right now in our country to correct this corruption and reverse unfair district maps, so that every American can say their vote matters regardless of who they choose to support.”
Directed and produced by Barak Goodman and Chris Durrance, SLAY THE DRAGON is a Magnolia Pictures and Participant presentation, in association with React Films, a film by Barak Goodman, an Ark Media Production. The film is executive produced by Jeff Skoll, Diane Weyermann, Coralie Charriol Paul, and William von Mueffling. Grace McNally is co-producer. Co-executive producers are Daniel Simon and James Simon.
SLAY THE DRAGON will release in select theaters as well as on VOD and digital platforms on April 3.
To learn more about the “SLAY THE DRAGON” Campaign, visit participant.com/slaythedragon.