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The Case Against 8

USA | 2014 | 112 minutes | Ben Cotner, Ryan White

An eloquent, thorough, rousingly entertaining documentary following the case of Hollingsworth v. Perry, better known as the battle to overturn California’s Proposition 8.

May 16, 2014
xHarvard Exit  
6:30 PM Date has passed

Directors Ryan White and Ben Cotner scheduled to attend

May 17, 2014
SIFF Cinema Uptown Festival  
11:30 AM Date has passed

Director Ryan White scheduled to attend

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In 2008 California passed Proposition 8, outlawing same-sex marriage in the state; in 2013 appeals were concluded, and the amendment was confirmed unconstitutional. That ultimately triumphant six-year journey was, among other things, the story of a legal battle, one documented in stirring fashion by The Case Against 8. When co-directors Ben Cotner and Ryan White approached the team preparing to mount their opposition, they had no idea what outcome would emerge. But they knew they had a marvelous set of heroes to follow. The plaintiffs were two couples—Kristin Perry and Sandra Stier, and Paul Katami and Jeffrey Zarrillo—motivated by love of family as much as fairness. And the legal team fighting for them was an odd couple if ever there was one: Republican Theodore Olson and Democrat David Boies had been opposing counsel in the equally famous, and fractious, case of Bush v. Gore. With footage shot over five years of unparalleled behind-the-scenes access, Cotner and White successfully navigate the audience through complicated courtroom proceedings, while crafting sensitive portraits that give life to the people behind the names laid out dryly in court documents and news reports. This stunning balance has led to well-deserved awards at the Sundance and SXSW Film Festivals.

Director Biography

Ben Cotner has been an executive, most recently in acquisitions and development, at Paramount Pictures and Open Road Films; The Case Against 8 is his directorial debut. Ryan White has worked at CNN and PBS; his most recent documentary was Good Ol' Freda (2013), about the Beatles’ beloved secretary.

Sponsored by HBO, Greater Seattle Business Association

May 17 screening will feature a panel discussion with the attending filmmakers joined by these expected panelists:

Monisha Harrell, Board President, Equal Rights Washington

Roger Leischman, Davis Wright Tremaine, ACLU-WA

David Ward, Legal Voice

Director: Ben Cotner, Ryan White
Country: USA
Year: 2014
Running Time: 112 minutes
Producer: Ben Cotner, Ryan White
Editors: Kate Amend
Music: Blake Neely
Website: Official Film Website
Awards: Sundance Film Festival 2014 (Directing Award for US Doc), SXSW 2014 (Audience Award)
Filmography: WHITE : Good Ol’Freda (2013); Pelada (2010); COTNER : Feature Film Debut
Language: English
Format: DCP
US Distributor: HBO Documentary
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