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Citizen Koch

Producers Carl Deal, Tia Lessin


In the wake of the Supreme Court’s 2010 ruling in Citizens United v. FEC that corporations have the same constitutional rights as citizens and are entitled to make unlimited political contributions, political cash is flowing faster and with less transparency than ever before. Citizen Koch tells the story of this landmark decision and follows extraordinary citizen leaders who, in the face of economic hard times and extreme political polarization, are mobilizing to defend their democratic values. From Wisconsin to Wall Street, from the left and the right. Citizen Koch helps connect the dots in this high stakes political drama as it examines the impact of Citizens United on American democracy: who wins, who loses, and how?

About The Team

Carl Deal and Tia Lesson (Directors and Producers) are Academy Award and Emmy Award nominated filmmakers who produced and directed Trouble The Water, winner of the Gotham Independent Film Award, as well as Grand Jury prizes at both the Sundance Film Festival and the Full Frame Documentary Festival, in addition to being named a finalist for the Britdocs/PUMA Creative Impact Award. They were producers of Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11, Bowling for Columbine, and most recently Capitalism: A Love Story. Tia and Carl were nominated for an NAACP Image Award and a Producers Guild Award for their work on Trouble the Water. In addition to a 300 city theatrical run, and broadcasts on HBO, National Geographic, Turner Movie Channel and Channel Four, the film continues to be used by dozens of partner organizations and hundreds of educational institutions and NGOs to create dialogue and inspire action for racial and economic justice. In television, Tia was line producer of Martin Scorsese’s No Direction Home: Bob Dylan and a consulting producer of Living in the Material World: George Harrison. She received two Emmy nominations for her work as producer of the series The Awful Truth and is the recipient of the Sidney Hillman Prize for Broadcast Journalism for Behind the Labels. Tia is a Sundance Institute Fellow and Creative Producing Lab Advisor, a Creative Capital grantee and was awarded the L’Oréal Paris/Women in Film Women of Worth Vision Award. She is a graduate of Cornell University and a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Carl previously worked as an international news producer and a writer, reporting from natural disasters and conflict zones throughout the U.S., Latin America, and in Iraq. He has an MS in journalism from Columbia University, which awarded him its Social Justice Prize, and is a member of the Writers Guild of America and the Academy of Motion Picture arts and Sciences.

Citizen Koch is a Cinereach grantee.