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U.S. Grand Jury Prize: Documentary

Strap up your saddle and get ready for a wild ride. Boys State is a political coming-of-age story, examining the health of American democracy through an unusual experiment: a thousand 17-year-old boys from across the state of Texas gather together to build a representative government from the ground up. High-minded ideals collide with low-down dirty tricks as four boys of diverse backgrounds and political views navigate the challenges of organizing political parties, shaping consensus, and campaigning for the highest office at Texas Boys State—governor.

Documenting impeachment threats, dramatic debates, underdog victories, and even nefarious internet memes, filmmakers Jesse Moss and Amanda McBaine (The Overnighters, 2014 Sundance Film Festival) chart the dramatic twists and turns of these intersecting stories to reveal profound truths about our political choices and civic obligations and to remind us, ultimately, that democracy is not a spectator sport. With cunning insight that will have audiences buzzing, Boys State holds a mirror up to our divided country. This is a film for the ages in every sense of the term.

YEAR 2020

CATEGORY U.S. Documentary Competition


RUN TIME 109 min

COMPANY Mile End Films

WEBSITE http://www.jessemoss.com

EMAIL d.jesse.moss@gmail.com

PHONE (917) 208-1545


Director of Photography
Executive Producers
Co-Executive Producer

Artist Bio

Jesse Moss

Jesse Moss's films include The Overnighters, which won a Sundance Film Festival Special Jury Prize for Intuitive Filmmaking; The Bandit; Full Battle Rattle; and Speedo: A Demolition Derby Love Story. Recent work includes The Family, a five-part Netflix series, and Dirty Money. As a producer, his films include Gay Chorus Deep South and William Kunstler: Disturbing the Universe (2010 Sundance Film Festival).

Amanda McBaine

Amanda McBaine is an award-winning producer making her feature directing debut with Boys State. As a producer, her films include The Overnighters, The Bandit, Speedo, and Ghosts of Attica. Along with her husband and creative partner, Jesse Moss, she is a partner in Mile End Films, a San Francisco–based production company.