‘The Steal has broad appeal. The US election has worldwide relevance, so we expect this to do well globally’

Distributor Abacus Media Rights
Producer Amos Pictures
Length 1 x 100 minutes; 3 x 47 minutes
Broadcaster Channel 4 (UK)

The date of 6 January 2021 will live in infamy, to paraphrase former US president Franklin D Roosevelt. That was the day, of course, when thousands of Donald Trump supporters stormed the Capitol Building in Washington claiming that the presidential election was being stolen from their favourite candidate by Democratic Party winner Joe Biden.

They were buoyed by outgoing president Trump’s refusal to accept the outcome of the election and his attempts to subvert the US constitution.

However, standing in the way of the plot were a handful of Republican officials, many of whom had voted for Trump but chose to put the constitution first – and paid a heavy price for doing so.

While the riot at the Capitol and ‘The Steal’ lie by Trump that instigated it were both defeated, the former president is again claiming that if he doesn’t win the 2024 election, it will have been rigged.

Award-winning director Dan Reed casts his lens over the events of that day and what it means for the future of American democracy as the world prepares for another polarising Trump versus Biden presidential face-off.

Abacus Media Rights managing director Jonathan Ford bills the documentary as a follow-up to Reed’s 2021 film Four Hours At The Capitol, which delved into the events of that fateful day.

Ford notes that while the attack on the iconic pillar of US government has been the focus of many documentaries in the past three years, The Steal looks at the day’s impact on US politics, and what it means for the future of democracy in the country.

“This documentary is not just looking specifically at what happened, but deep diving into that and seeing what it has meant over the past four years, and what could happen this December and January,” he explains. “This is about how what happened before can influence what happens next: what are we going to face as a result of last time?

“The world must prepare for this renewed assault on American democracy from a well-drilled authoritarian network that has had four years of preparation. This programme raises concerns that we all need to be aware of: what could happen in the US – and its influence – if Trump does or doesn’t take power.”

Abacus boarded the project at the outset, building on its established relationship with Reed’s indie Amos Pictures. Abacus has distributed Reed’s previous films, including Four Hours At The Capitol, I Am Andrew Tate, Escape From Kabul and Leaving Neverland.

“We like to get involved with all the projects Dan does,” Ford says. “They sell well around the world.”

Abacus is in the process of closing several deals for The Steal, though Ford could not disclose the territories just yet. However, he expects the doc to be of interest to buyers in North America, Latin America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and the Middle East.

“The Steal has broad appeal,” he says. “The US election has worldwide relevance. Four Hours At The Capitol sold across the world, so we expect this to do so as well.”