Palin documentary opens Friday in select cities but not in Alaska

Erika Bolstad

WASHINGTON -- A new movie about Sarah Palin's rise in Alaska politics opens Friday in a handful of U.S. cities --- but "The Undefeated" won't be shown in the former Alaska governor's home state.

It also won't be opening in New York or Los Angeles, the cities that usually see big film debuts before the rest of the country. Tickets are only available at AMC theaters in Dallas, Denver, Oklahoma City, Orlando, Atlanta, Orange County, Calif., Phoenix, Houston, Indianapolis and Kansas City, according to the film's publicity team.

Eventually, though, it will be screened in Alaska, said Dana Mirman, a spokeswoman for the film's production company, Victory Film Group. They haven't determined which city, yet, or when, though. AMC, which is screening the film in other U.S. cities in the Lower 48, has a limited presence in Alaska.

"There's no cities in Alaska for Friday the 15th," Mirman said. "But there are plans to bring the movie to Alaska thereafter. Details are pending as to the date and the city in which the film will arrive."

Mirman she didn't know why they chose not to show the film in Alaska the first week it opens; that decision was made by the film's distributor, Cinedigm Entertainment Group, she said. Jonathan Dern, president of Cinedigm Entertainment Group, said in a statement last month that digital film allows them to distribute the movie to match Palin's niche appeal.

The lack of Alaska plans may reflect a lack of interest in the state in the movie, which zeroes in on Palin's partial term as governor and how she got there. A poll by Hays Research of Anchorage last month said President Barack Obama would beat Sarah Palin among Alaskans if they were both running. That poll found 42 percent of Alaska voters would pick or lean toward Obama in a head to head race with Palin. It said 36 percent of Alaska voters would choose or lean toward Palin.

A poll taken in mid-June and released by Ivan Moore Research of Anchorage gave Palin a 39 percent positive rating and 49 percent negative rating among Alaska voters. Twelve percent said they were neutral.

The documentary, by conservative filmmaker Stephen Bannon, is considered unapologetically pro-Palin. It focuses on her record in Alaska and paints a glowing portrait of her history of challenging the Republican Party establishment.

The film premiered June 28 in front of 300 people in Pella, Iowa, at the town's historic Pella Opera House. Its debut in a state overrun by potential GOP candidates for president only served to fuel speculation that Palin, John McCain's 2008 vice-presidential running mate, might run for office. That speculation only intensified this week, with Palin telling Newsweek, "I believe that I can win a national election."

Palin, who attended the premiere with her husband, Todd, described the film as a "vindication of my record" and a way to fight the "false narratives out there" about herself and her family, according to the Los Angeles Times. "I'm glad people want to be here to share this documentary on the record of a great team that worked very hard for energy security and ethics reform in the state of Alaska," Palin said at the premiee, according to the paper.

The film has seen heavy promotion on social media, with the pro-Palin website Team Sarah urging supporters to buy tickets and seek screenings in their home towns. Palin's own political action committee, SarahPAC, is offering an advance DVD copy of the film for donations of $100 or more.

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