Moroni for President

Virtual Cinema Release

Aug 6, 2020

We're excited to announce the commercial release of Moroni for President!

This acclaimed documentary offers an eye-opening and humorous look at a political race that runs surprisingly parallel to the current political landscape of the U.S. Moroni for President will be released in Virtual Cinemas beginning Friday, August 21 at San Francisco’s Roxie Theater, and then expanding to other arthouse theaters nationwide through the end of September 2020.

The film can be accessed by viewers anywhere in North America. Get your tickets now.

The Navajo Nation is the largest Native American reservation in the United States. Every four years, the Navajo tribe elects its president, whom many consider the most powerful Native American in the country. In the midst of a frenzied election to determine the next president of the tribe, Moroni for President takes the audience to every corner of the iconic American Southwest. The film centers on Moroni Benally, an underdog candidate with radical ideas, whose homespun campaign originated out of his frustration with the lack of progress in the reservation where he grew up. The witty academic embarks on a grueling, lonely campaign, discovering soon enough that theory does not necessarily prepare you for the daily dirt of politics.

As the election unfolds, the film delves into Moroni's layered identity as a Mormon and gay Navajo man and, along the way, introduces and explores the lives of other LGBTQ+ characters working on other campaigns. These include Zachariah George, an eccentric assistant to the incumbent president with a love for beauty pageants, traditional singing, culture, and the Navajo language; and Alray Nelson, an LGBTQ+ rights advocate and campaign manager of one of the frontrunners. Moroni for President offers both a behind-the-scenes look into a political campaign within a Native American community and an exploration of the diverse identities within it.

Says Lindsey Hodgson, Director of Distribution and Educational Programming at Frameline: “In light of the ongoing nationwide movements to confront systemic racism and the social injustice suffered by BIPOC, Moroni for President captures the zeitgeist, giving us an opportunity to consider the experiences and identity of Indigenous people from their point of view, and how we can begin to decolonize ourselves, our actions, and our attitudes.”

Adds Moroni Benally: "The documentary tells a complex story of being. It reflects on the many ways colonization has interrupted, re-interpreted, and replaced Indigenous ways of being and knowing. It is an important story told through the lens of three gay Two-Spirit men."

Moroni for President will also be presented in Vision Maker Media’s online Indigenous FilmFestival, taking place August 31 through October 5, 2020. The five-week virtual festival will celebrate American Indian, Alaska Native, and worldwide Indigenous films. Moroni for President will be available to screen beginning Monday, September 14 at 9 a.m. PT as part of the LGBTQA+ program and will remain online for seven days. A post-screening Q&A with Moroni Benally will take place Wednesday, September 23. Admission is free, but registration is required. For more information, visit: www.visionmakermedia.org.

Throughout the 2020–2021 school year, Frameline Distribution will screen Moroni for President for students from over 1,400 schools across the nation as part of Youth in Motion, Frameline Distribution’s educational program that provides free LGBTQ+ films and curriculum guides to educators and Genders & Sexualities Alliances (formerly known as Gay-Straight Alliances) in middle and high schools in all 50 states. The curriculum and discussion guide for the film explores themes of Intersectionality, Indigenization and Decolonization.

Moroni for President was co-directed and co-produced by Saila Huusko and Jasper Rischen and is a co-production of Outburst Pictures, LLC and Independent Television Service (ITVS), in association with Vision Maker Media (VMM), with funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB).