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Rock the Vote Press Releases

Contacts:

Chrissy Faessen: Rock the Vote, 202.368.1706, chrissy (at) rockthevote.com

Participant media, millennial and government advocacy organizations host free preview screenings of "Casino Jack and the United States of Money" in major metropolitian cities

Will use film as catalyst for discussion and social action around government transparency and campaign financing in American politics

Washington, DC - April 16, 2010

In an effort to ensure that every American has a voice in the political process, and as an integral part of its social action campaign around government transparency and money in politics, Participant Media and Magnolia Pictures has partnered with Mobilize.org, Rock the Vote, Common Cause, Generation 18 and the George Washington University School of Political Management to host free preview screenings of Casino Jack and the United States of Money. The three screenings will be held in New York City, Washington, DC and San Francisco, CA.

A panel titled “Why voting is not enough and what we can do to change Washington”, moderated by Wayne Barrett from Village Voice and featuring the film’s director, Alex Gibney, Larry Lessig, founder of Change Congress and Creative Commons, and Heather Smith, President of Rock the Vote, will follow the screening in New York.  Panelists will be announced in Washington, DC and San Francisco and there will be a live stream of each panel at www.mobilize.org.

The social action campaign, inspired by the film, will utilize public dialogue and provide a Digital Citizens Tool Kit to educate audiences about money’s role in politics, encourage them to “follow the money,” and insert their own voice into the ongoing debate around government transparency and campaign financing in American politics. 

Casino Jack and the United States of Money will be screened free of charge, at the following dates and locations:

• New York City, NY - April 21, 2010 at 6:30 PM
School of Visual Arts (333 W. 23rd Street, New York, NY 10010)

• Washington, DC - May 4, 2010 | Time: TBA
George Washington University - Lisner Auditorium (730 21st St NW, Washington, DC 20052)
 
• San Francisco, CA – May 12, 2010 | Time: TBA
San Francisco State (1600 Holloway Ave, San Francisco, CA 94132)

Individuals can reserve their seat for the screening of their choice by visiting http://bit.ly/CasinoJackFilm. Seating is limited.

“We are thrilled to be joining forces with Mobilize.org for our Social Action Campaign for Casino Jack and the United States of Money,” said John Schreiber, EVP Social Action & Advocacy at Participant Media. “The film offers Americans a unique opportunity to amplify the public debate around the urgent issues of political campaign finance reform and transparency in government.”

“There’s been a significant and positive shift in the role Millennials play in elections even though we don’t have thousands of dollars to donate to campaigns,” said Maya Enista, CEO of Mobilize.org. “But it is important for Millennials to understand the dominant role money can play in politics and to learn what we can do to change it.”

In Casino Jack and the United States of Money Alex Gibney, director of the Academy Award®-winning Taxi to the Dark Side and the Academy Award® nominated Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, focuses his attention on the story of lobbyist Jack Abramoff and the corrupting role that money plays in our political process. The film is a twisting tale of a small group of charming con men use the power of the purse, the zealotry of religion and bare-knuckled political brawling to loot the American government for fun, ideals and profit.

Casino Jack and the United States of Money also tells the story of ambitious young men who wanted to change the world, the politicians who needed their money, the corporations and gambling-rich tribes who desired their influence -- and how millions were extorted and the foundations of our democracy imperiled in the toxic mix of power and cash. 

Casino Jack and the United States of Money will be released in select cities on May 7, 2010.  For more information and please visit www.TakePart.com/CasinoJack.


About Participant Media
Participant Media is a Los Angeles-based entertainment company that focuses on socially relevant, commercially viable feature films, documentaries and television, as well as publishing and digital media.  Participant Media is headed by CEO Jim Berk and was founded in 2004 by philanthropist Jeff Skoll, who serves as Chairman. Ricky Strauss is President.
Participant exists to tell compelling, entertaining stories that bring to the forefront real issues that shape our lives.  For each of its projects, Participant creates extensive social action and advocacy programs which provide ideas and tools to transform the impact of the media experience into individual and community action.

About Magnolia Pictures
Magnolia Pictures (www.magpictures.com) is the theatrical and home entertainment distribution arm of the Wagner/Cuban Companies, a vertically integrated group of media properties co-owned by Todd Wagner and Mark Cuban that also include the Landmark Theatres chain, the production company 2929 Productions, and high definition cable networks HDNet and HDNet Movies. Magnolia's 2008 slate included such critically acclaimed films as James Marsh's Man On Wire and Tomas Alfredson's Let The Right One In.

About Mobilize.org
Mobilize.org is an all-partisan organization, built and led by Millennials. Founded eight years ago by 10 students on the campus of UC Berkeley, Mobilize.org has grown into a national Millennial movement, engaging the Millennial generation in building the next level of the democracy we will inherit - Democracy 2.0. Utilizing technology and social networking to connect Millennials to each other online, its national Democracy 2.0 Award Summits gather Millennials from around the country to discuss issues impacting our generation and to develop sustainable solutions to address them. The Mobilize.org mission is to improve the way democracy works by investing in Millennial-driven solutions. For more information, visit www.Mobilize.org.

About Rock the Vote
Rock the Vote’s mission is to engage and build the political power of young people in order to achieve progressive change in our country.  Rock the Vote uses music, popular culture and new technologies to engage and incite young people to register and vote in every election. And we give young people the tools to identify, learn about, and take action on the issues that affect their lives, and leverage their power in the political process.  Rock the Vote is creative, effective, and controlled by nobody’s agenda but our own – we tell it like it is and pride ourselves on being a trusted source for information on politics.  We empower the 45 million young people in America who want to step up, claim their voice in the political process, and change the way politics is done. www.RockTheVote.com

About Common Cause
Common Cause is a nonpartisan, nonprofit advocacy organization founded in 1970 by John Gardner as a vehicle for citizens to make their voices heard in the political process and to hold their elected leaders accountable to the public interest.  Today, Common Cause is one of the most active, effective, and respected nonprofit organizations working for political change in America.  Common Cause strives to strengthen our democracy by empowering our members, supporters and the general public to take action on critical policy issues.

About Generation 18
Generation18 (formerly known as 18 in ’08) is the largest national nonpartisan youth engagement organization run by youth. Generation18 was created to register, engage, and mobilize young voters specifically for the 2008 election and now works to engage young people in policy and politics year round specifically through film and new media. The organization released the acclaimed documentary film “18 in ’08” directed and produced by David Burstein along with Crossborders as the centerpiece of its outreach efforts. . Generation18 has been featured on the ABC Evening News, CSPAN, CNN, NPR, Geraldo, Fox & Friends, and in The Boston Globe, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Village Voice, The Huffington Post, and The Politico among other media outlets.

About The George Washington University School of Political Management
The Graduate School of Political Management (GSPM) at The George Washington University seeks to improve politics by educating students and professionals in the tools, principles and values of participatory democracy, preparing them for careers as ethical and effective advocates and leaders at the international, national and local levels - in a non-partisan environment.