Fairview, Directed by Sam Clark (Colorado) - Sam Clark is running for City Council in a purple district in Fairview, Colorado. And he’s running in a new, bold, and very American way—with no platform of his own. His platform is a platform of pure democracy: it’s all direct quotes, from real, everyday Fairviewians. 6 years ago, I ran for President of Harvard’s Student Council as a joke, on a platform mostly based on dorm toilet paper thickness and my favorite dining hall soup. I won by a lot, and then resigned. Somehow, national American politics have become far stupider than my student council campaign in every year since. I directed this film to capture some of the idiocy of political campaigns in the best way I knew how. Nothing seemed like a better distillation of opportunistic politics than a campaign with no platform: just pure, unadulterated pandering. And in a political age that seems to be all about scoring the swing voter, about dragging undecideds from purple to blue or purple to red, I wanted to film it with real voters talking about real issues. So that’s FAIRVIEW. A real film about a fake campaign that panders to real people to craft a slogan that can win their votes. FAIRVIEW’s candidate is Sam Clark, a worse version of me, running a City Council campaign with no platform. His platform is, as he touts it, pure democracy—it’s all direct quotes from the mouths of his constituents. Through focus groups and canvassing with real voters, his campaign team—and my film crew—try to craft the perfect slogan that can please the most liberal and conservative of his district’s residents. Will Sam learn about the follies of principle-less pandering and find a moral backbone? Or will he double down and keep parroting opinions until he’s elected? It’s a local, small-town VEEP merged with a political NATHAN FOR YOU. And much like a real local campaign, our production was cobbled together with little cash and a lot of elbow grease. A small crew of Coloradan filmmakers and actors built this fake campaign, wooed focus groups of real voters, and knocked on doors to survey our neighbors. It was just as messy as a real election, and I can’t wait for you to watch it. I hope I can count on your vote.

Oregon Short Film Festival - Winter 2021 Official Selection

 

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