Unconventional. Unexpected. Shocking. The 2016 Presidential election season has been the most surprising campaign in recent history and FUSION brings you on the campaign trail with the candidates of both parties with the new, six-part series “Primaries.” FUSION picked up the series, directed by AJ Schnack (“Caucus”), from First Look Media.“Primaries” will premiere with back-to-back episodes Sunday, September 25 @ 9 PM on FUSION; two more episodes will air just before the first Presidential Debate on Monday, September 26 and the series will conclude Tuesday, September 27 @ 9:00 and 9:30 PM.
The series provides a revealing look at an extraordinary campaign that led to the historic nomination of Hillary Rodham Clinton and the rise of one of the most unconventional presidential candidates in history, Donald J. Trump. Featuring expert political observers such as Boston Globe’s James Pindell, Los Angeles Times’ Seema Mehta, NPR’s Don Gonyea, Jeb Bush campaign staffer David Kochel and Ted Cruz Communications Director Alice Stewart, “Primaries” is an insider’s look at the most unpredictable political contest in a generation.
“We’re thrilled to be joining forces with FUSION for this unique series," said Adam Pincus, EVP Programming and Content for First Look Media. “We think their audience will be fascinated by its portrayal of the gritty reality of the American political process, and the diverse range of voters, operatives, journalists and pundits who people the campaign trail. It’s the human side of the election we rarely see and we think viewers will be hooked.”
Spanning the first contests in Iowa and New Hampshire through the nominating conventions for Trump and Clinton in late July, the series tracks the stunning divisions roiling the Republican Party as well as the improbable rise of Senator Bernie Sanders as a legitimate spoiler to the Clinton political dynasty. “Primaries” offers a fresh perspective on the candidates and the political system as well as a unique take on the media, and what we have come to expect in modern election coverage.
“It’s been a remarkable opportunity to witness American politics at close range over the past 16 months,” said director AJ Schnack. “We’re thrilled to work with FUSION to share this incredible and sometimes insane experience with audiences."
“AJ provides a very unique look into the human side of U.S. politics that we often do not see. Along with Caucus (2013) and Convention (2009), AJ has documented a history of our political system in the age of social media,” said Oscar-winning filmmaker Laura Poitras, the co-creator with Schnack and Charlotte Cook of the award-winning Field of Vision.
“Our goal is to shine a light on the aspects of a story that might get lost in everyday media coverage — with access to voices that offer unconventional context for viewers,” said Keith Summa, SVP Content and Programming for FUSION. “Many people are looking at the 2016 campaign scratching their heads wondering how we all wound up here and this series offers an insightful look at that journey. AJ cleverly unwraps each pivotal moment in what has become the most fascinating and unpredictable election most of us have ever seen.”
AJ Schnack is a nonfiction filmmaker and writer whose work includes Speaking Is Difficult (2016), Midterms (2014), Caucus (2013), Convention (2009), Kurt Cobain About a Son (2006), and Gigantic (A Tale of Two Johns) (2003). He is a co-creator and executive producer of Field of Vision, First Look Media’s award-winning online platform for short-form cinematic journalism, and is the founding director of the Cinema Eye Honors, an annual international award for nonfiction filmmaking. Schnack won the Jury Award for Directing at the 2013 SXSW Film Festival and is an Independent Spirit Award nominee.