Share this project


Share this project

A teenage coming-of-age story. A live event that reveals what people really think. A way to more meaningful political dialogue in 2012.
A teenage coming-of-age story. A live event that reveals what people really think. A way to more meaningful political dialogue in 2012.
275 backers pledged $27,082 to help bring this project to life.

D.C.-area Theatrical Release & US Television Re-Broadcasts This Weekend!

Dear incredible backers,

At this time last year, we were in the midst of premiering FOLLOW THE LEADER at the Republican and Democratic Conventions. Now, exactly one year from our premiere at the DNC Convention in Charlotte, FOLLOW THE LEADER begins a theatrical run at the Angelika Film Center Mosaic a few miles from Washington, D.C. (Yes, starting today, and through Sept. 12, at 11am & 8pm daily!)

I don't want to bombard you all with saying it as often as I think it, but none of the ride that we've been on with the ever-evolving distribution process on the film would have been possible without your belief and support in so many ways. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, and the hearts of everyone involved in the film's production & distribution!

I hope you all received the summer edition of the Changeworx E-news last week that contained a more extensive update about FOLLOW THE LEADER & our other work. (If you aren't already on our list & want to be, please sign up on the website, or just let me know and I'll add you personally). Since that came out we've been fortunate to receive some further press including: Filmmaker Magazine, Filmwax Radio/Rooftop Films podcast (featured along with Brian DePalma!), CQ Roll Call, and today's thoughtful review in The Washington Post. We'll be posting all upcoming press as it comes out on Facebook & Twitter as always if you're interested (thanks to many of you for participating there too)!

So...a few quick announcements:

• FOLLOW THE LEADER IS BEING RE-BROADCAST on PBS/World stations this Saturday, September 7th at 10pm & then again in the middle of the night at 3am on Sunday, September 8th. Most Americans can find their correct station by clicking here. We're sorry that those in the Washington, D.C., area and Los Angeles don't yet receive the great new series America ReFramed...but as you'll see below we have something special in store for residents in both of these markets. (Also to note: Follow the Leader was the Season One Finale on America ReFramed, and Season Two premieres at on Tuesday, September 10th, with David Osit's Building Babel.)

• FOLLOW THE LEADER OPENS THEATRICALLY TODAY at Angelika Film Center Mosaic in Fairfax, VA, just a few miles from Washington, D.C., and runs from Sept. 6-12. I'll be there with participants from the film all weekend doing Q&As after screenings. We're thrilled to have a week-long booking at Angelika Mosaic, the sister theater of the flagship Angelika Film Center in New York! We've only had a few weeks since it was booked, though – so we're relying on word-of-mouth & last-minute press (thank you, Washington Post!) to make it a success. If you know anyone who lives in the D.C.-area or near Northern Virginia, we would be very grateful if you could tell them about the release, and encourage them to join us – the main link to the theater for showtimes & tickets is here if you'd like to share it by personal email, Facebook and/or Twitter:  If it's useful, there's also a Facebook event here: The image below contains all information about the run, and can be saved & shared!

• To expand opportunities to participate in REALITY CHECK INTERACTIVE, we're now working to translate our live event format into an on-demand, online interactive experience. I'll be presenting briefly on our progress at the fantastic Storycode New York meeting on September 17th, and then making a presentation / demonstration at the Storycode D.C. launch event at the Media Rise Festival a week later on September 24th. Our aim is to launch REALITY CHECK in Los Angeles (where FOLLOW THE LEADER has yet to screen) early in 2014, and we're in talks with potential interactive television partners to make it available by Spring, that it can be used to spark more thoughtful discussions leading up to the 2014 midterm elections. Please be in touch if you'd like further details about either of the events this month...more details coming in another update this year!

Thank YOU again for inspiring me, and for being such a vital part of the wild journey of the past year and counting!


  • Image 321858 original

Northside Festival Festival Jury Prize, on iTunes TODAY & PBS stations Sunday night!

1 Comment

For backers only. If you're a backer of this project, please log in to read this post.

News that We Promised...and Come Tonight if You're In NYC!


For backers only. If you're a backer of this project, please log in to read this post.

Happy Spring, Backers! Hibernation is Over -- Let the Release Begin!


For backers only. If you're a backer of this project, please log in to read this post.

FREE NYC TICKETS 4 YOU; RNC/DNC Recap; Newly Released Clips!

Dear incredible FTL BACKERS,

It's been an exciting month-and-a-half since the whirlwind of our twin-World Premieres at the RNC & DNC Conventions, where FOLLOW THE LEADER was the only documentary to premiere. After the Conventions, we went directly to Miramar, Florida and Bethesda, Maryland, for invited screenings...and then returned to the major task of figuring out the rest of our distribution!

We've been thankful to receive some wonderful press coverage during and since the Conventions, notably on CNN (which we keep hearing was awesome, but haven't seen yet ourselves because it's not online!), KCRW, and in Documentary Magazine – the last of which even featured our efforts here together on Kickstarter.

And we've been honored that the first public showing of our participatory event FOLLOW THE LEADER: REALITY CHECK INTERACTIVE will be a centerpiece event NEXT TUESDAY, OCTOBER 16th at 6:30pm at The Paley Center for Media's DocFest. Among other treats, Nick & D.J. from the film have just confirmed that they'll be with us in-person (we'll miss you, Ben!)! We're hard at work finishing up the content for our our interactive screening's first public performance, after which there will be a reception with wine & food, followed by an Interactive Watch Party during the Second Presidential Debate that we're leading with our Lead Reality Check Facilitator Chris our New York Interactive Premiere promises to be very exciting! We know some of you have already heard about the event via social media, and regret not making an announcement here sooner!

To make it up to you: We're offering 15 Kickstarter Backers A FREE PAIR OF TICKETS ($40 value) to the all-night event, courtesy of Changeworx & The Paley Center for Media, where they have a truly amazing team dedicated to making it an amazing night. If you'd like to claim your tickets, write to me personally at, with the subject line “KICKSTARTER/FREE TICKETS” or similar by this weekend with individual names for the guest list; assuming we still have tickets remaining, I will write back by Sunday to confirm they are yours. Please be sure that if you claim tickets you will be able to use them, as we'll be taking them off sale. If you've already bought tickets or live out-of-town, it's also cool if you want to claim them for friends! We are eager to make sure we have a strong audience, which is why we and the Paley Center are offering about 50 of the 200+ tickets in this way...mostly to you, and in small blocks to a few supporter organizations.

Thanks in advance for helping make this event next week a success, as you've done since you joined us this summer! We'd be very grateful if you could share the event via social media – you can offer as many friends you like our discount code “changeworx”...which should make all tickets half-price (only $10 for the entire night):
Please spread the word among your friends and networks! We are also releasing 3 preview clips exclusively on our Facebook page starting today that you might want to “tag” or link to here:

On further distribution, there's still a small chance of a wider release this November – though we are leaning toward a wider release in January (perhaps timed to the inauguration) that gives us more time for promotion and live events leading up to it. Coordinating and pulling off every event with our micro-team feels like a minor miracle!

We welcome your advice, and if you or anyone you know is interested in working with us regularly on marketing, publicity, graphic design or other areas, please put them in touch to discuss it! We're also doing a rehearsal for Reality Check Interactive from 2:30-6:30 on Monday, October 15th in Williamsburg, would be welcome to join us & contribute your feedback if you're willing to commit to the entire 4 hour final planning meeting.

Hope that you enjoy seeing some pictures below from the RNC & DNC Conventions, and we'll update you again prior to the Elections with more news!!!


Photos below:
-- Jonathan & Nick at the Q&A following the RNC World Premiere
-- Jonathan with Fox News Anchor Bret Baier; Nick with youngest (still?) U.S. Congressman Aaron Schock
-- Nick being interviewed by Asif Mandvi of
The Daily Show
-- Jonathan with newly-elected College Democrats of America President Tori Taylor – who gave us amazing advice and support for our DNC World Premiere
-- Teen Singing Group "Limitless 5ive" from Orlando, Florida, performing at our DNC Premiere
-- Jonathan in the “tank” right in front of the stage on the floor on the final night of the RNC Convention
-- Upper level section of audience in the dark (and a bit blurry) at the DNC Convention in Charlotte!

  • Image 168979 original
  • Image 168980 original
  • Image 168981 original
  • Image 168982 original
  • Image 168986 original
  • Image 168989 original
  • Image 168991 original