It’s not often a documentary is the talk of the Sundance Film Festival, but that was the case with Boys State. Directed by Jesse Moss and Amanda McBaine, the doc, which follows a thousand teenage boys from Texas who attempt to build a mock government from the ground up, sold to Apple and A24 for $12 million, “which marks the largest sale for a documentary ever at a festival,” according to the Hollywood Reporter.
“I think he’s a fantastic politician,” one teenager says about another in the trailer above. “But I don’t think a fantastic politician is a compliment, either.” This is gonna be good.
Here’s the official plot synopsis:
The sensational winner of the Grand Jury Prize for documentary at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, Boys State is a wildly entertaining and continually revealing immersion into a week-long annual program in which a thousand Texas high school seniors gather for an elaborate mock exercise: building their own state government. Filmmakers Jesse Moss and Amanda McBaine closely track the escalating tensions that arise within a particularly riveting gubernatorial race, training their cameras on unforgettable teenagers like Ben, a Reagan-loving arch-conservative who brims with confidence despite personal setbacks, and Steven, a progressive-minded child of Mexican immigrants who stands by his convictions amidst the sea of red. In the process, they have created a complex portrait of contemporary American masculinity, as well as a microcosm of our often dispiriting national political divisions that nevertheless manages to plant seeds of hope.
Boys State comes to Apple TV+ on August 14 (and select theaters on July 31).