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Frank Capra: Mr America

Frank Capra is arguably cinemas foremost populist, and today we see a wave of populism sweeping the world. We are also in an age of unprecedented hardship, and Capra's most extraordinary skill was to speak reassuringly to audiences at moments when it mattered most. If Frank Capra was making films today, he would probably be the filmmaker of the moment.

Frank Capra has been called an idealist and a cynic, a patriot and a subversive, a communist and a fascist, a liberal and a conservative, a political filmmaker and an a-political filmmaker, a pioneer and a traditionalist, an insider and an outsider. Many of his most vocal admirers also admit to harbouring dissenting views, while his fiercest critics seem unable to deny the warmth, charm and quality of his work. Frank Capra's life and work play host to a striking number of contradictions - this is what makes him so interesting.

This new feature documentary explores Frank Capra’s life and work in all its wonderful complexity. We will tell his story, look at his major films and probe the contradictions contained in both. We will hear from people who are inspired by his legacy, people who knew him in life, and people who have immersed themselves in the papers, letters and films he left behind.

  • Matthew Wells
    Stanley Kubrick Considers The Bomb, Never Just A Dream (Short)
  • Nick Varley
    Stanley Kubrick Considers The Bomb (short), Treasures From The Wreck of the Unbelievable (Exec Producer)
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 32 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    February 28, 2023
  • Production Budget:
    400,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
    Black & White and Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Venice International Film Festival
    September 1, 2023
    World Premiere
Distribution Information
  • Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions
    Country: Worldwide
    Rights: All Rights
Director Biography - Matthew Wells

Matt is a director and producer of documentaries based in the UK. His last short, Never Just a Dream: Stanley Kubrick and Eyes Wide Shut, premiered out of competition at Venice in 2019, before accompanying the global 20th anniversary re-release of Eyes Wide Shut. He has made films about classic cinema for Warner Bros., Sony Pictures, BFI, Park Circus and others, including three short films about Stanley Kubrick in partnership with the Kubrick Estate. In 2016 he was executive producer of Damian Hirst: Treasures From The Wreck of the Unbelievable (Netflix). His most recent film as a producer, Misha and the Wolves, premiered at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival and sold to Netflix.

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