Participant Media will finance the project, which will be produced by James and Zak Piper. Participant’s Jeff Skoll and Diane Weyermann will executive produce with Alex Kotlowitz and Gordon Quinn. James, Piper, and Kotlowitz previously collaborated on “The Interrupters.”
The doc will be a portrait of Chicago today, captured at this crucial juncture in the city’s history – the upcoming mayoral election in February 2019. Principal photography is already underway.
“This is a film I’ve wanted to do for years, and right now seems the perfect time to make it. Chicago finds itself at a significant crossroads in so many ways as its citizens grapple with its future and who will lead them,” says James. “I’m thrilled to be partnering with Participant again after our wonderful collaboration on America to Me.”
“America to Me,” which James directed and executive produced, marked the first in a growing slate of acclaimed television content from Participant Media. Acquired and released by Starz, the unscripted series follows students, teachers, and administrators in Chicagoland’s Oak Park and River Forest High School, one of the country’s most exemplary and diverse public schools, over the course of a year as they grapple with decades-long racial and educational inequities.