Welcome to Leith

About

YEAR 2015

SECTION U.S. Documentary Competition

COUNTRY U.S.A.

RUN TIME 85 min

SUBTITLES Yes with English subtitles

In September 2012, the tiny prairie town of Leith, North Dakota, saw its population of 24 grow by one. Trouble had come to town.

The newcomer was Craig Cobb, a notorious white supremacist. Quietly snapping up plots of land, he planned to take over the town government and establish Cobbsville, a haven for white separatists. In organizing a rally of supremacists and neo-Nazis and courting them to take up residence, Cobb does not endear himself to Leith. As his behavior becomes more threatening, tensions soar, and the residents desperately look for ways to expel their unwanted neighbor.

This chronicle of a rural community’s struggle for sovereignty amidst extremism quite cleverly maneuvers us into an uncomfortable confrontation with our own values. Like the residents, we feel our anger escalate, but as disturbing and hateful as his racist attitudes are, Cobb is afforded certain protections under the law. The unsettling underpinning of Welcome to Leith is how we wrestle with our democratic principles when they're pushed to the limit. —J.N.


EMAIL josh@submarine.com

Credits

Editor
Producer
Director
Cinematographer
Composer
Executive Producer

Artist Bio

Michael Beach Nichols is a Brooklyn-based documentary filmmaker. Welcome to Leith is his second feature film. His 2013 feature debut Flex is Kings, premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival. Previously, he directed the viral short documentary Delivery and was part of the Peabody award-winning producing team behind Sundance Channel’s 11-hour docuseries Brick City. Before directing Welcome to Leith and Delivery, Christopher K. Walker edited and produced Flex is Kings, edited the duPont-Columbia award-winning film Triangle: Remembering the Fire and edited the Emmy-nominated Hard Times: Lost on Long Island for HBO. He recently edited and co-produced Freeway: Crack in the System for acclaimed filmmaker Marc Levin, which will air on Al-Jazeera America in 2015.