Press release from A&E, Sept. 10, 2018:
A&E IndieFilms announced today that Magnolia Pictures has acquired North American rights to DIVIDE AND CONQUER: THE STORY OF ROGER AILES from director Alexis Bloom (BRIGHT LIGHTS: STARRING CARRIE FISHER AND DEBBIE REYNOLDS). The no-holds-barred feature documentary on the former Chairman and CEO of Fox News will be released by Magnolia on December 7th following a fall festival run. A&E Network retains television rights to the film.
DIVIDE AND CONQUER: THE STORY OF ROGER AILES was also produced by Bloom with Will Cohen of Jigsaw Productions. A&E IndieFilms’ Molly Thompson, Elaine Frontain Bryant and Robert Sharenow executive produced the project alongside Alex Gibney and Stacey Offman of Jigsaw Productions. Dan Cogan, Jenny Raskin, Regina K. Scully and Geralyn White Dreyfous of Impact Partners and Maiken Baird also served as Executive Producers on the film.
DIVIDE AND CONQUER: THE STORY OF ROGER AILES is set to have its world premiere on September 9th at the Toronto International Film Festival. The documentary will have its U.S. premiere at the 56th Annual New York Film Festival on October 3rd.
“Alexis Bloom’s film is a provocative and disturbing deep dive into the story of one of the most consequential political operatives in modern history,” said Magnolia President Eamonn Bowles. “We are excited to be working with our friends at A+E Networks, Jigsaw and Impact Partners on this timely and important film.”
“We are thrilled to be on board with Magnolia, who have been tremendous partners to us in the past and share our passion for documentaries that ignite conversation,” commented Molly Thompson, Senior Vice President of Feature Films, A+E Networks. “The legacy of Roger Ailes remains politically and socially relevant to this day, and we couldn’t imagine a better distributor to help share Alexis’ powerful project with the world.”
“Jigsaw and A&E have been incredibly supportive of this film, and brave about tackling the controversies in it,” said Alexis Bloom. “Magnolia instantly appreciated the story we’re trying to tell, and we’re lucky to have them. The breadth of their films, and the high quality of them, is inspiring. The film couldn’t be in better hands.”
Alex Gibney said: “We are delighted to be working again with Magnolia, with whom Jigsaw has partnered successfully on so many films, going back to ENRON: THE SMARTEST GUYS IN THE ROOM.”
Commented Dan Cogan: “You can’t understand America today without understanding Roger Ailes – and there is no better team to bring us this understanding that Alexis, Alex and Molly. The dream continues with Magnolia. With films like RBG and I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO, they showed what they can do with an essential political story that speaks to the fundamental conflicts of our time.”
DIVIDE AND CONQUER: THE STORY OF ROGER AILES sheds light on the current moment in American political life by following the arc of Roger Ailes: long-time Republican svengali and controversial founder of Fox News.
By coaching an unrivaled stable of politicians over the course of fifty years, Ailes heavily influenced Republican politics, steering the conservative movement from Nixon, to the Tea Party, to Trump. Under his tutelage, anger and fear became the coin of the realm, both on the ballot and on national television. Diagnosed with hemophilia at an early age, it took someone intimate with fear to skillfully manipulate the fear of others.
With Rupert Murdoch behind him, Roger Ailes started Fox News and turned it into a money-making juggernaut, with profits exceeding those of all its rivals combined. He discarded notions of traditional journalism and turned prime time television into flame-throwing TV. Short skirts and low necklines mesmerized his audience and, as long as Fox made money, there was little oversight of his fiefdom. But the carnival house mirror Ailes put up to America reflected his own distorted personal life.
This is a story of serial cruelty, both on the public stage and in private life. Like a true Shakespearean figure, ambition and desire were Ailes’ undoing. He was finally toppled when victims of his sexual harassment stepped forward. The accounts of these women—raw and infuriating—are the axis around which Ailes’ story inexorably turns.
The deal for DIVIDE AND CONQUER: THE STORY OF ROGER AILES was negotiated by Magnolia SVP of Acquisitions John Von Thaden and EVP Dori Begley with Cinetic Media on behalf of the filmmakers.