Citizen Kotch Distribution

Documentary debuted at Sundance last year

Variance Films will distribute “Citizen Koch,” the documentary critical of the billionaire Koch brothers and big money in politics, in the U.S. and Canada starting in the spring.

The doc, directed by Carl Deal and Tia Lessin (“Trouble the Water”), debuted last year at Sundance. It had been set for broadcast on public television before the Independent Television Service, the public agency that funds and curates independent documentaries, pulled the $150,000 it originally committed to the documentary with reports emerging that ITVS was fearful of offending the brothers — who had donated $23 million to public broadcasting.

The Koch brothers own energy-chemical conglomerate Koch Industries and have provided massive support to  conservative political causes.

Deal and Lessin raised $169,522 through 3,384 backers to finish the film in a Kickstarter campaign in July and August — more than double its $75,000 goal.

“Citizen Koch” investigates the impact of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling in 2010 by focusing on three Wisconsin state employees, all life-long Republicans, and the Tea Party playbook of Gov. Scott Walker.

Dylan Marchetti, founder and president of Variance, said “Citizen Koch” is a good example of why his company exists.

“It’s a fantastic film from acclaimed filmmakers that calls for an aggressive, innovative, and people-powered campaign,” he said. “That’s us, and we can’t wait to show you all what we’ve been working on with Carl and Tia to ensure the word gets out far and wide. Whether you’re a hard-core liberal, a recovering moderate, or a true-blue conservative, you have to admit that something is wrong — and we think ‘Citizen Koch’ shines a bright light directly on it.”

SEE ALSO: Variety’s review at Sundance

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