Two Jewish female filmmakers, Hannah Rosenzweig and Wendy Sachs are the team behind “SURGE,” the feature documentary about the record number of first-time female candidates who ran, won and upended politics in what became the historic, barrier-breaking 2018 midterm elections. SHOWTIME acquired the rights to air “SURGE” on its SHOxBET plex channel. The film will premiere on September 8 at 9 pm ET with additional airings to follow and then be available on VOD platforms beginning October 21.
“SURGE” follows three congressional candidates in Texas, Indiana and Illinois, who were each looking to flip their deep red districts to blue, including Lauren Underwood, the youngest Black woman ever to be elected to Congress. A registered nurse and public health expert, Underwood is now on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic and a leading voice on racial injustice. “SURGE” also followed Liz Watson, a labor rights attorney and Jewish candidate from Bloomington, Indiana, on her high-profile race.
Actress, activist and producer Alyssa Milano is an executive producer. This is her first political documentary. Milano is well known for helping launch the #MeToo movement, protesting child separation at the border and for denouncing Women’s March leaders for supporting Louis Farrakhan. Katie Couric is an advisor to the film and has supported SURGE financially.
The film exposes the double standards, biases and brutal realities women face running for Congress — some, incredibly enough, without the support of their own party. “SURGE” is not only about women running for office but about women getting behind women running for office. It powerfully taps into the collective urgency of this time with a hopeful message that grassroots activism works and unlikely candidates can win.
The film explores whether this is another moment in women’s political history or the beginning of a true movement.
“With the historic nomination of a Black female Vice Presidential candidate and with more women running for office in 2020 than ever before in America’s history, it’s clear that the surge has continued,” said the filmmakers. “‘SURGE’ is more timely than ever because it’s not just about women running for office, but about women getting behind women running for office and how critical it is to turn out the female vote.”
“It’s also exciting that along with our first Black and South Asian female vice president we could have a Jewish First Gentleman,” Sachs said.
“’SURGE’ is truly a culture-shifting film that powerfully taps into what’s at stake politically and the urgency of this moment,” Alyssa Milano said. “Watching Donald Trump and out-of-touch, elected officials handle the crisis of our lives shows more than ever that we need to elect more women to office.”