February 23, 2012, 6:30 P.M.

The Ray Stark Family Theatre, SCA 108, George Lucas Building, USC School of Cinematic Arts Complex, 900 W. 34th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90007

Cinematheque108, Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics, USC Political Student Assembly, USC Political Science Undergraduate Association and ARC Entertainment invite you and a guest to a lively panel discussion and screening of

The Undefeated

Written & Directed by Stephen K. Bannon
Produced by Stephen K. Bannon,
Glenn Bracken Evans and Dan Fleuette

6:30 P.M. on Thursday, February 23rd, 2011

The Ray Stark Family Theatre

George Lucas Building, SCA 108
900 W. 34th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90007
The event will begin with an exciting, no-holds-barred 30-minute panel discussion about celebrity politicians, political documentary filmmaking and advocacy, media culture and of course, Sarah Palin!
Moderated by Dan Schnur, Director of the USC Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics and Elyse Perlmutter-Gumbiner, Executive Produver of ATVN, alongside Dr. Michael Renov, Will Roper and Adam Scott Weissman.

About The Undefeated

Alaska in mid-decade was a land of vast natural resources fought over by the largest companies in the world and governed by a corrupt and compromised political class. Rampant crony-capitalism stood in the way of the people of Alaska reaping the benefits of their natural birthright.

Enter a galvanizing reformer, a small town mayor who took on her own political party and brought on "sudden and relentless reform." An epic two-hour feature documentary film, The Undefeated chronicles the rise from obscurity of one of America’s new generation of leaders: Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska.

Starting during the Exxon Valdez disaster of 1989 when Palin worked a commercial fishing boat she owned with her blue-collar husband, the film shows the struggles, the victories and the setbacks during a controversial career.

Provided courtesy of ARC Entertainment. Rated PG-13. Running time: 118 minutes.

To learn more about the film and to view the trailer, click here.


About the Production

Shortly after Republicans swept last November to a historic victory in which Sarah Palin was credited with playing a central role, the former Alaska governor pulled aside her close aide, Rebecca Mansour, to discuss a hush-hush assignment: Reach out to conservative filmmaker Stephen K. Bannon with a request. Ask him if he would make a series of videos extolling Palin's governorship and laying to rest lingering questions about her controversial decision to resign from office with a year-and-a-half left in her first term. It was this abdication, Palin knew, that had made her damaged goods in the eyes of some Republicans who once were eager to get behind her potential 2012 presidential campaign.

The response was more positive than Palin could have hoped for. He'd make a feature-length movie, Bannon told Mansour, and he insisted upon taking complete control and financing it himself -- to the tune of $1 million.

Bannon, a former naval officer and ex-Goldman Sachs banker, sees his documentary as the first step in Palin's effort to rebuild her image in the eyes of voters who may have soured on her, yet might reconsider if old caricatures begin to fade. "This film is a call to action for a campaign like 1976: Reagan vs. the establishment," Bannon told RealClearPolitics. "Let's have a good old-fashioned brouhaha."

Palin initially learned about Bannon's work after she saw one of his previous films about the origins of the tea party movement, "Generation Zero," which premiered last year in Nashville and was later aired in prime time on the Fox News Channel. Impressed, Palin promoted "Generation Zero" via Twitter before later reaching out to Bannon about creating something to highlight her record in Alaska, where her performance in office was overshadowed by her resignation eight months after the 2008 presidential election.

Though she did not have any editorial role in the project, Palin facilitated access for Bannon and his film crew to key Alaskan defenders who were involved with the major achievements of her administration, and the filmmaker spent several weeks in the 49th state gathering archival film and conducting research and interviews for the project.

About the Panelists

DAN SCHNUR (Co-moderator, Director of the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics)

Dan Schnur is the Director of the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics at the University of Southern California, where he works to motivate students to become active in the world of politics and encourage public officials to participate in the daily life of USC.
For years, Dan was one of California’s leading political and media strategists, whose record includes work on four presidential and three gubernatorial campaigns. Schnur served as the national Director of Communications for the 2000 presidential campaign of U.S. Senator John McCain and spent five years as chief media spokesman for California Governor Pete Wilson. In 2010, Schnur was appointed as Chairman of the California Fair Political Practices Commission, a position he held through that year's elections and until spring of 2011.

In addition to his position at USC, Schnur is an Adjunct Instructor at the University of California at Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies. Schnur has also held the post of Visiting Fellow at the John F. Kennedy School of Government’s Institute of Politics at Harvard University and taught an advanced course in political campaign communications at George Washington University’s Graduate School of Political Management. He writes regular political commentary for the Washington Post, the New York Times, and The Politico websites, and has also been an analyst and political commentator for CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, and National Public Radio.

Elyse Perlmutter-Gumbiner, (Co-moderator, Executive Produver of ATVN: Annenberg TV News)

Elyse is a senior majoring in broadcast and digital journalism and minoring in international relations and political science. Now in her sixth semester at ATVN, she has worked as an assignment desk editor, video journalist, web supervisor and producer. This semester she will work as the Monday Executive Producer and a Thursday reporter.

This past summer, Elyse interned for Nightly News with Brian Williams.  She was able to edit pieces for the website, field produce, research stories and log a lot of tape.  She also had the opportunity to work as a runner for the NBC News/Politico GOP debate. Prior to that, Elyse interned at NBC in Los Angeles, working in Special Projects and for the 6 and 11 o’clock news. 

Elyse has been a Trojan since birth.  Her parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins all attended USC. She started attending USC football games as a young child and has been an avid fan ever since! In the future, Elyse would like to be a show or segment producer.  She hopes to combine her interest in foreign affairs and journalism and produce for an international bureau.

Check out her twitter: @elysepg

DR. MICHAEL RENOV (SCA Vice Dean of Academic Affairs)

Michael Renov, professor of Critical Studies, has since 2003 served as the School of Cinematic Arts associate dean for academic affairs. Renov is the author of Hollywood's Wartime Woman: Representation and Ideology and The Subject of Documentary, editor of Theorizing Documentary, and co-editor of Resolutions: Contemporary Video Practices, Collecting Visible Evidence, and The SAGE Handbook of Film Studies.

In 1993, Renov co-founded Visible Evidence, a series of international and highly interdisciplinary documentary studies conferences that have, to date, been held on four continents. He is one of three general editors for the Visible Evidence book series at the University of Minnesota Press, which has published more than 20 volumes on various aspects of nonfiction media since 1997. In 2005, he co-programmed the 51st annual Robert Flaherty Seminar, a week-long gathering of documentary filmmakers, curators, and educators, creating 20 screening programs and filmmaker dialogues on the theme "Cinema and History."

In addition to curating documentary programs around the world, he has served as a jury member at documentary festivals including Sundance, Silverdocs, the Buenos Aires International Independent Film Festival and Brazil's It's All True. He has twice taught graduate seminars at Stockholm University and has led documentary workshops in Jordan for the Royal Film Commission and the Red Sea Institute of Cinematic Arts. Renov's teaching and research interests include documentary theory, autobiography in film and video, video art and activism, and representations of the Holocaust.

WILL ROPER (Executive Director, Political Student Assembly)

Will Roper is a junior majoring in Economics and the Executive Director of the Political Student Assembly.

ADAM SCOTT WEISSMAN (Screenwriter, SCA Alumnus)

Adam Scott Weissman graduated in 2010 with a B.F.A. in Writing for Screen and Television from USC’s School of Cinematic Arts. While a student at USC, he focused not only on screenwriting, but also on politics. In addition to working with Dan Schnur as a student worker at the Unruh Institute of Politics, he interned for Los Angeles City Council Member and current mayoral candidate Eric Garcetti and oversaw the 2008 Obama Campaign at all Los Angeles & Orange County Colleges. Since graduating, Adam has been working in television. In 2011, he wrote the independent feature film Lockdown starring Katee Sackhoff and directed by John Stimpson, and also co-wrote episode 814 of CSI:NY entitled "Kill Screen", which is set to air on CBS on April 6.

About the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics

The mission of the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics is to motivate students to become active in the world of politics and encourage public officials to participate in the daily life of USC.  

The Institute operates a number of activities in four broad program areas: Unruh Adjunct Lecturers; Student Internships, Scholarships and Awards; Lectures, Conferences and Political Practitioners; Unruh Undergraduate Scholars.

To learn more, visit:


About the USC Political Science Undergraduate Association

The USC Political Science Undergraduate Association is a non-partisan, student-run organization that enhances the educational experience of all political science majors and minors by serving as their formal liaison to department officials. By coordinating politically-inspired discussions and activities, the PSUA carries the department’s curriculum beyond the classroom. Working in conjunction with political science professors and alumni, the PSUA provides its members with unparalleled access to a breadth of resources that ensure preparedness for life beyond USC.

About Cinematheque108

Cinematheque108 is an alternative screening series sponsored by the Critical Studies Department at the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts. The series offers a rare selection of events that highlight noteworthy experimental, documentary, and/or foreign films, many of which can not be seen anywhere else. Cinematheque108 is an educational forum that aims to expand understanding of alternative film and media. All screenings are free of charge.

About Parking

The USC School of Cinematic Arts is located at 900 W. 34th St., Los Angeles, CA 90007. Parking passes may be purchased for $8.00 at USC Entrance Gate #5, located at the intersection of W. Jefferson Blvd. & McClintock Avenue. We recommend parking in outdoor Lot M or V, or Parking Structure D, at the far end of 34th Street. Please note that Parking Structure D cannot accommodate tall vehicles such as SUVs. Metered parking is also available along Jefferson Blvd.

Contact Information

Name: Alessandro Ago