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Surge is about the record number of first-time female candidates who ran, won and upended politics in the historic, barrier breaking 2018 midterm elections. The film follows three candidates in Texas, Indiana and Illinois who were running in uphill battles to flip their deep red districts to blue, including Lauren Underwood, the youngest Black woman to ever be elected to Congress. Surge reflects on what drove women to disrupt the idea of what elected leaders look like and shows the importance of creating a pipeline of diverse, female candidates. Viewers see the challenges and triumphs of building grassroots campaigns and through it all Surge asks, is this a moment or a movement?

Running Time: 93 min.
Subject(s): Activism, American History, Current Affairs, Gender, History, Politics, Women
Language(s): English
Subtitles: English
Director(s):
Producer(s): Hannah Rosenzweig, Wendy Sachs
Cinematographer: Margaret Byrne, Leticia Gallegos, Contessa Gayles
Editor(s): Laura Tomaselli
Production Company: Intention Media Inc.

Press

  • Vanity Fair
    “You Cannot Tell a Political Story in this Moment Without Foregrounding Race and Gender: A New Wave of Politics Documentaries is Revolutionizing the Genre...Surge is part of a compendium of new political documentaries landing on streaming services and scoring virtual and drive-in theatrical releases in light of the pandemic. In a sign of the cataclysmic nature of the 2016 presidential-election results, all of these vérité-style films feature women candidates. Many feature women of color, and those mentioned here come from women directors."
    Beandrea July
  • The Baltimore Sun
    “Showtime’s ‘Surge’ - How good documentaries explain the world to us in this revolutionary moment” : “I was so devastated by the election results and so worried about our country,” Sanchez says after the dazzling opening package of images and words. “I didn’t sleep on November 8th, but I sure as hell woke up November 9th. I felt I could do something. I felt I had to do something. I just had to run. I had to do it.”
    That is about as perfect a quote as you can find to show viewers the connection between the election of a man who boasted of sexually assaulting women in an infamous “Access Hollywood” interview and women running for office for the first time."
    David Zurawik
  • In the Seats
    Time for a Change: Our Review of ‘SURGE’ on Showtime: “This is a damn good movie that needs to be seen by as many audiences as possible because it really gets down the emotional core of trying to make change in your country.”
    David Voight
  • Washington Monthly
    “Want Proof the Resistance Will Last? Meet the 33-Year-Old Former Nurse Turned House Democrat”: “Unlike “Knock Down the House,” the Netflix doc that followed women taking on the Democratic establishment in 2018, Wendy Sachs and Hannah Rosenzweig (who both directed the film) set out to feature Democratic women out to flip GOP-held seats.”
    Nancy LeTourneau
  • New York Daily News
    ‘Surge’ executive producer Alyssa Milano hopes ‘young women will be inspired’ by political documentary.
    Tim Balk
  • Daily Kos
    Make sure you watch 'Surge,' a documentary detailing Rep. Lauren Underwood's historic 2018 victory:
    “Change can genuinely happen…when you’re just fed up... Surge is a unique look at how mass disappointment can lead to genuine change. Surge is a feature documentary about the record number of first-time female candidates who ran, won and upended politics in what became the historic, barrier-breaking 2018 midterm elections. The film explores whether this is another moment in women’s political history or the beginning of a true movement.”
    Denise Oliver Velez
  • Washington Monthly
    Extending the Female Pipeline Through Film: “Besides taking the audience closely through three different campaigns, Surge demands something pressing of its viewers—to sustain the momentum of 2018. The filmmakers recognize that there’s no greater starting point than to demonstrate how women can become active in politics, and even run themselves.”
    Julie Zebrak
  • New York Daily News
    "The filmmakers understood they were creating a time stamp on this moment in history... This is a movie that young women will watch and be inspired. If they’re not inspired to run, at the very least they’re going to be make a difference, or to stand up and use their voice for what they believe in. And there’s not a lot of movies like that.”
    Executive producer Alyssa Milano
  • The Washington Post
    “it’s inspiring stuff”
    Michael O’Sullivan
  • Screen Comment
    “With very uncertain days ahead “Surge” strikes a note of common sense and optimism”

Festival Participation

  • Dallas International Film Festival - 2020
  • Montclair Film Festival - 2020
  • Woodstock Film Festival - 2020
  • Women Texas Film Festival - 2020
  • Athena Film Festival - 2019 & 2020
  • Women’s Film Festival - 2020

Distribution Company

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