HBO announces Prop 8 documentary

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On July 9, HBO announced a new documentary film project that will cover the court battle to overturn California’s long-standing ban on same-sex marriage.

According to HBO, the two directors involved with the project, Ben Cotner and Ryan White, have had exclusive behind the scenes coverage to the legal team that argued the recent Supreme Court case over Proposition 8, California’s infamous ballot initiative that banned marriage equality in the state for nearly five years.

Two weeks ago, the Supreme Court declined to rule on the case, choosing instead to let previous state court decisions stand, effectively ending the ban on same-sex marriage.

The documentary, which is still untitled, will be completed by the end of the year and premiere sometime next year.

HBO’s programming president, Michael Lombardo, released a statement declaring the new project to be “the story of a modern-day American revolution.” He also called it “the film of record on this landmark case.”

Cotner marks his directing debut in this documentary as White gained access to the legal team challenging Prop 8. Liberal David Boies and conservative Theodore B. Olson led the team through the American Foundation for Equal Rights, the nonprofit group who brought the challenge.

Cotner told the New York Times in a telephone interview, “Their willingness to give us such amazing access speaks to how confident they were about where history would end up.”

The documentary will not only feature legal teams, it will also highlight the couples behind the case that were affected by the ban. Olson said in a statement, “I’ve always said that the best evidence in this case is to hear our clients tell their stories.”

Opponents of same-sex marriage succeeded in blocking video coverage of the case as it made its way through lower courts. “But they cannot block this documentary,” Boies said in a statement.

429Magazine

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