Rebecca Landsberry-Baker & Joe Peeler
When the Muscogee Nation suddenly begins censoring its free press, a rogue reporter fights to expose her government's corruption in a historic battle that will have ramifications for all of Indian country.
ABOUT THE FILM
Imagine you lived in a world where your only reliable news source became government propaganda overnight. That’s exactly what happened to the citizens of the Muscogee Nation, the fourth largest Native American tribe, in 2018. Out of 574 federally-recognized tribes, the Muscogee Nation was one of only five to establish a free and independent press – until the tribe’s legislative branch abruptly repealed the landmark Free Press Act in advance of an election. The tribe’s hard-hitting news outlet, Mvskoke Media, would now be subject to direct editorial oversight by the tribal government.
One defiant journalist refuses to accept this flagrant act of oppression. As brave as she is blunt, veracious muckraker Angel Ellis charges headfirst into battle against the corrupt faction of the Muscogee National Council. Angel and her allies rally for press freedoms by inciting a voter-supported constitutional amendment, just in time for the start of a new election cycle.
An enthralling, edge-of-your-seat nail biter that unfurls with the energy and suspense of a political thriller, Bad Press is a timely and unprecedented story about the battle for freedom of the press and against state-censored media.
The. documentary premiered at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival and received the U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Freedom of Expression.
ABOUT THE DIRECTORS
Rebecca Landsberry-Baker, Co-Director
Rebecca Landsberry-Baker is an enrolled citizen of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation and the executive director of the Native American Journalists Association. She is a recipient of the 2018 NCAIED “Native American 40 Under 40” award and was selected to the Harvard Shorenstein News Leaders Fall 2022 cohort. Landsberry-Baker made her directorial debut with the documentary feature film, Bad Press, which was supported by the Sundance Institute, Ford Foundation JustFilms, NBC, and the Gotham.
Joe Peeler, Co-Director
Joe Peeler is a Sundance award-winning director and editor whose work has appeared on NETFLIX, HBO, FX, ESPN, Hulu and CBS. Joe began his career apprenticing under legendary director Peter Bogdanovich, and from there edited Lucy Walker’s Academy Awards Shortlist documentary short The Lion’s Mouth Opens; multiple episodes of the Netflix original series Flint Town; and Margaret Brown’s SXSW premiere documentary short The Black Belt. Most recently, Joe co-directed Bad Press, which premiered at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival and won the U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Freedom of Expression.
Garrett F. Baker, Producer
Conrad Beilharz, Producer
Tyler Graim, Producer
Jean Rheem, Associate Producer
Brenda Robinson, Executive Producer
Gloria Shade, Associate Producer
Joe Peeler, Co-Editor
Jean Rheem, Editor (edited by)
Travis Gorman, VFX Artist
Camera and Electrical Department
Shane Brown, Camera Operator
Charles E. Elmore, Camera Operator
Sarah Ginsburg, Camera Operator
Joe Peeler, Camera Operator
Jean Rheem, Camera Operator
Mia Riddle, Camera Operator
Wojciech Betlej, Art Director
Tracy K. Hindman, Motion Graphics Project Manager
Breece Kelsey, Motion Designer
Michael Neave, Motion Designer
Doug Rouster, Motion Designer
Matt Schultz, Motion Graphics Creative Director
Shawna Schultz, Motion Graphics Executive Producer
Ryan ScobeyMotion Graphics Producer
Carly Snowdon, Motion Designer
Dan Edwards, Colorist
Sara Newens, Additional Editor
Randy Redroad, Story Editor
Gloria Shade, Assistant Editor
Hayden Spriggs, Assistant Editor
Edward Wardrip, Assistant Editor
Nathan Drube, Score Mixed By
Peter Golub, Music Consultant
Jacki St. Thomas, Festival Publicist