Filmmakers Behind Anti-Obama Movie Never Asked White House to Respond
Made for $2.5 million over nine months, ‚ÄĚ2016: Obama‚Äôs America,‚ÄĚ was co-written and directed by John Sullivan and conservative author Dinesh D‚ÄôSouza, who used his books ‚ÄúObama‚Äôs America‚ÄĚ and ‚ÄúThe Roots of Obama‚Äôs Rage‚ÄĚ to create a roadmap for the film.
Sullivan says that asking the Obama Administration for comment did cross their minds. ‚ÄúWe thought about reaching out early on, had a conversation about it but then we got into production and we were going so fast,‚ÄĚ Sullivan said.
When asked by the Journal, the Obama campaign declined to comment on the film.
The movie purports to show the effect Obama‚Äôs policies would have on America if the president wins a second term.
Although the film does show select parts of some of Obama‚Äôs speeches, including his Nov. 5, 2008 acceptance speech, the filmmakers had no direct interaction with the President or his cabinet during the making of the documentary.
‚ÄúThis film is not a news story type of film,‚ÄĚ said D‚ÄôSouza.
The pair said they did fact-check some of the figures they used in the film on the White House website.
D‚ÄôSouza said he was looking to create an Obama version of ‚ÄúOut of Africa,‚ÄĚ the 1985 film starring Robert Redford and Meryl Streep. ‚ÄĚFrom the beginning I wanted to take the viewer on a journey that follows Obama‚Äôs life,‚ÄĚ he added.
D‚ÄôSouza said he expected the Obama camp to ‚Äúignore the film‚ÄĚ and ‚Äúhope it will just go away.‚ÄĚ
Besting several new studio titles, the documentary earned $6.3 million over the weekend, expanding to 1,091 locations. After seven weekend in theaters, the film has grossed $9.2 million.
The film‚Äôs producers plan to screen the movie up to four times a day at a theater in Tampa, Fla., close to the main convention hall where the Republican National Convention is taking place. Both Sullivan and D‚ÄôSouza are already in Tampa, and at the time of publication were participating in a panel discussion.