“Stacey had the idea to find filmmakers to… thread the past to the present in telling” the story of voter suppression in America, co-director Lisa Cortés tells TheWrap’s Sharon Waxman
Stacey Abrams had been approached many times by filmmakers interested in making a movie about her unsuccessful 2018 run for governor of Georgia, but as “All In: The Fight for Democracy” co-director Lisa Cortés explains, Abrams wanted to do more than just share her story – she wanted to impact society.
The film had a limited theatrical release last September and premiered on Amazon Prime Video later in the month before the national elections and the Georgia Senate runoff elections in which Abrams’ work became even more prominent. Cortes co-directed with veteran documentarian Liz Garbus.
“The origin story of ‘All In’ begins with Stacey Abrams, not only in sharing her story but most importantly as a producer,” Cortés told TheWrap’s Sharon Waxman as part of TheWrap’s Screening Series. “Stacey had the idea to find filmmakers to unpack with history and thread the past to the present in telling it.”
“So she met with several filmmakers she decided upon our team, and then joined us in not only sharing great contacts, as you see the incredible range of people that we have in our film, but also her personal story which we were able to incorporate as that kind of contemporary heartbeat for people who had heard about Georgia in 2018, but didn’t really know what happened there then and obviously right now the impact of 2018 Georgia to the most recent national elections, and of course the Georgia Senate runoffs,” Cortés added.
In Garbus and Cortés’ sobering, wide-ranging documentary, Abrams is an articulate guide to how tactics have been used for decades to limit Black access to the polls and an example of suppression in action through footage of her unsuccessful 2018 run for governor.
Does Cortés see more work ahead as a documentarian in this area as Abrams continues her meteoric rise as a politician?
“She has not declared what her next step will be, I will always continue to support and amplify Stacey in any way that I can be of service to her,” Cortés said.
“Stacey was so generous with her time as I said earlier and contacts but also as a producer in understanding what that entails in creating a compelling narrative that had fulfilled lofty goals of how a film can really be in conversation with all Americans in sharing the history, but also in providing a North Star of what reach can aspire to and we can become a better nation,” Cortés added.
Watch Sharon Waxman’s full interview with co-director Lisa Cortés in the embed above.
“All In: The Fight for Democracy” is currently playing on Amazon Prime.
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