New York-based filmmaker and former assistant to Michael Moore, Jason Pollock has a winner with his film The Youngest Candidate, a feature-length documentary about teenagers running for political office in America. Did you know that teens could legally take office? Most people don't. An 18 year old can be Mayor. Think about that. Because everyone else is starting to. Including the 18 year olds.
Topical but not tired, TYC does documentary differently. Touching, funny, engaging and enraging, The Youngest Candidate is an all-access, all-in-the-family look at four exceptional young people who were inspired to campaign and run in local elections. Interested in bettering their communities and the lives of their loved ones, the crew follows these candidates as they pit themselves against grown men and women who stoop to sabotage, slander and sign stealing in a race for popular approval.
Given the eagerness of the subjects, and the disarming charm of Pollock himself, what TYC lacks in Hollywood blockbuster appeal it makes up for in unprecedented intimacy. How many candidates running for public office in this country would let a documentary film crew into their bedroom to wake them up on election day?
Politically flushed with the onset of Obama fever, the film is also an accidental study in socioeconomic patterning, family dynamics and post-adolescent development. Pollock expertly straddles these dimensions allowing the audience to experience The Youngest Candidate also as an ideology or state of mind.
Premiering at the 2009 Los Angeles Film Festival, TYC made the scene as a screening standout and earned critical success on the festival circuit thus positioning the film for a proper theatrical release or a coveted cable rotation. Pollock would also be happy to see his work find its way in the classroom as a teaching tool.
A believer, Pollock pursued this project with epidemic enthusiasm, building his own buzz with the help of tens of thousands of sincerely dedicated followers. Knowing that it takes more than a great film to make a great film, he organically curated a home grown fan club of nearly 70,000 people, thanks to his mastery of social networks like Twitter, and his personal commitment to maintaining those relationships.
The supporters are poised and in place, the branding is already a proven winner, and there's reputation involved -- real successful people with real impressive resumes who put their real money into getting this film made.
Now all TYC needs is a distribution daddy and a hot date to the prom.