September 5, 2018, 7:00 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

Outside the Box [Office] and Sony Pictures Classics invite you and a guest to attend a special advance screening of

American Chaos

Written and Directed by James D. Stern
Produced by James D. Stern, Fernando Villena,
Christopher C. Chen, and Karen Bove

Followed by a Q&A with James D. Stern

7:00 P.M. on Wednesday, September 5th, 2018

The Ray Stark Family Theatre, SCA 108
900 W. 34th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90007



Opens in Los Angeles on Friday, September 14th, 2018

About American Chaos

Starting six months before the 2016 presidential election, director Jim Stern put his life on hold and — driven to understand what seemed incomprehensible at the time — traveled through red states to interview and spend time with Donald Trump supporters from different backgrounds. It was a search for insights and answers, for anything that could explain the billionaire’s surging appeal and why these voters remained untroubled by so many troubling things the candidate had said and done.

This journey became his Heart of Darkness into the American body politic at a profoundly critical point in our history. And the film he returned with, American Chaos, sheds unique light on difficult issues roiling the nation — chronicling a cultural divide, still dangerously misunderstood, that continues to tear at the fabric of our democracy.

Provided courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics. Rated R. Running time: 90 minutes.

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Director's Statement

In April of 2016, Donald Trump had, improbably, sewn up the Republican nomination. He had obliterated fifteen other GOP candidates playing by a new set of rules - his rules. The more he made incendiary statements - that in the past would have ended a candidacy - the more popular he grew. As Trump himself said, “I could stand in the middle of Times Square and shoot someone and they’d still vote for me”. Who were “they” and why, on this particular point, was Trump telling the truth?

I became more and more obsessed in 2016 with finding out who the “they” was. Who was fervently supporting Trump, who was such a radical departure from past elected presidents (Republicans as well as Democrats)? When I watched cable television, invariably two sides ended up arguing and listening only to their own voices. As a viewer, it became easier and easier to shut out the opposing view and the more I did, the deeper into a comfortable liberal bubble I went and the less I understood.

With this in mind, I felt I had to go on the road and meet his supporters for myself, listen to them and in doing so, perhaps gain an appreciation for the truth under the surface.

The result is “American Chaos", a road movie. A road movie of discovery from Trump's adopted home state of Florida to Cleveland and the Republican National Convention to the coal mines of West Virginia to an Arizona town bordering Mexico and finally, back to Florida for the election. I would sit with members of the religious right who had given Trump’s morals a free pass, thousands chanting “build a wall” and “lock her up” in Cleveland; coal miners in West Virginia so angry one wanted Hillary shot for treason; Arizona ranchers on the frontlines of illegal immigration and back to Trump’s home for the election. I met the people through Republican parties and as long as the people didn’t feel judged and convicted, they were open and, for the most part, eager to share their stories.

Through my liberal prism, I was forced to listen and in some cases, empathize with their plights even as I could not sympathize with their solutions. And with the time to reflect on where we find ourselves now and perhaps the most important midterm elections in the nation’s history fast approaching, I believe "American Chaos" has a vital relevance today as we try to understand how, in a country more divided than at any time since the Civil War, people turned to a man less prepared or presidential than any in our history.

-- James D. Stern

About the Guest

JAMES D. STERN (Writer, Director, Producer)

Director, writer, and producer of AMERICAN CHAOS James D. Stern is also the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Endgame Entertainment. He founded Endgame as a private entertainment financing and production fund in 2003.

Stern has financed and co-financed more than 30 films, several Broadway shows, and various other entertainment properties. His company, Endgame Entertainment, is now one of the fastest-climbing companies in Hollywood.

He is currently in post-production on David Lowery’s THE OLD MAN AND THE GUN, starring Casey Affleck, Robert Redford and Sissy Spacek. He’s also in post-production on Josh Marston’s COME SUNDAY, starring Chiwetel Ejiofor and Martin Sheen. Netflix recently released THE DISCOVERY, directed by Charlie McDowell and starring Robert Redford, Jason Segel, and Rooney Mara.

His past feature films have included Rian Johnson’s sleeper hit LOOPER; Lone Scherfig’s AN EDUCATION, which earned three Academy Award nominations including Best Picture and Best Actress (Carey Mulligan); Oliver Stone’s SNOWDEN; Steven Soderbergh’s acclaimed SIDE EFFECTS; and the popular documentary EVERY LITTLE STEP, exploring the creation and revival of Broadway’s beloved musical A Chorus Line, which he co-directed and produced. His other notable movies include Todd Haynes’ I’M NOT THERE, for which Cate Blanchett won a Golden Globe Award and was an Academy Award nominee; Rian Johnson’s THE BROTHERS BLOOM; Danny Leiner’s HAROLD & KUMAR GO TO WHITE CASTLE; and Terry George’s HOTEL RWANDA, nominated for three Academy Awards including Best Actor (Don Cheadle).

Additionally, Stern produced the Netflix series “Last Chance U” which won this year’s International Documentary Award for Best Episodic Series. He is also a two-time Tony Award-winning producer (The Producers, Hairspray) and has produced many Broadway shows including the international hit, Stomp.

About Outside the Box [Office]

Outside the Box [Office] is a weekly showcase for upcoming releases highlighting world cinema, documentary and independent film titles. Recognizing a need for greater diversity on campus, the series will draw from around the globe to present movies that may challenge, inspire or simply entertain.

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Check-In & Reservations

This screening is free of charge and open to the public. Please bring a valid USC ID or print out of your reservation confirmation, which will automatically be sent to your e-mail account upon successfully making an RSVP through this website. Doors will open at 6:30 P.M.

All SCA screenings are OVERBOOKED to ensure seating capacity in the theater, therefore seating is not guaranteed based on RSVPs. The RSVP list will be checked in on a first-come, first-served basis until the theater is full. Once the theater has reached capacity, we will no longer be able to admit guests, regardless of RSVP status.


The USC School of Cinematic Arts is located at 900 W. 34th St., Los Angeles, CA 90007. Parking passes may be purchased for $12.00 at the USC Royal Street Entrance, located at the intersection of W. Jefferson Blvd. & Royal Street. We recommend the USC Royal Street Structure, at the far end of 34th Street. Limited street parking is also available along Jefferson Blvd.

Contact Information

Name: Alessandro Ago