Official Trailer Release | Dismantling Democracy

Lisbet Byler

October 25, 2019


Dismantling Democracy examines new and old democratic structures of government in the United States and around the world. Featuring intimate interviews with key players offering powerful perspectives, the documentary depicts the gradual deterioration of the effectiveness of government for, of, and by the people. Economic imbalances, racial tension, xenophobia, and a global rise in populism exist at odds with the fundamental democratic principles of fairness, equality, and justice. Through a critical look at the history and current state of democracies, it becomes evident that preserving democracy is a feat no less significant than its establishment. So, are We the People up to this pressing task of preserving democracy? The film issues a call to act before the deterioration of democracy continues.


Director | Allen Clements, Senior Producer & Animator for MAKE films

Executive Producer | Glenn Crossman, Director of Programs for the University of Virginia Center for Politics

Executive Producer | Larry Sabato, Founder and Director of the University of Virginia Center for Politics

Director of Photography | Steve Buckwalter, Director of Photography, Director of Development, & Editor for MAKE films

Producer | Derek Dienner, CEO & Creative Director for MAKE films

Editor | Jordan Graff, Editor for MAKE films


In January of 2019, MAKE films forged a partnership with the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics and VPM PBS with the goal of producing a documentary series about how democracy is faring in our current world but also how and if we might strengthen democracy through our education, our words, and our actions.

The film defines freedom from various perspectives. It reflects on the recent foreign interference in American elections, it includes an in depth discussion of populism and authoritarianism providing a list of signals to look out for in candidates.

What we hope to accomplish with this documentary series is to provide solutions in a time where hyperpartisanship, apathy, and worse are threatening the foundation that free countries are standing on.

The film series is currently slated for a 2020 release. Part 1 will be screened at the Virginia Film Festival on Saturday, October 26th. Get your ticket!

OUR PARTNER | The UVA Center for Politics

For the past twenty years, The UVA Center for Politics has produced documentary films on various political topics and historical figures. Their films have been widely exhibitions and broadcast and have won several awards. In an effort to bolster their mission, they devised this film concept and hired MAKE films to co-produce the series.

According to their website, “Government works better when politics works better, and politics works better when citizens are informed and involved participants.” Their action items include encouraging active participation in government and to enrich civic education opportunities.

The President of The Center for Politics, Larry Sabato (pictured above under the section ‘FEATURING’), is an American political scientist and political analyst. Sabato is featured on political news programs several times each week.

Working with The Center for Politics has been an amazing experience. Their connections with the political world are extremely vast and we appreciate them as a client who likes to dig deep, have fun, and make the best film possible.


VPM is the largest locally owned and operated public media company in Central Virginia. As Virginia’s home for public media, VPM provides the best of PBS and NPR programming coupled with a strong set of community-based programs and services designed to make an important impact in the areas of arts, news, history, science and education. Each week, VPM’s stations are accessible to nearly 2 million people across Central Virginia and the Shenandoah Valley. More information may be found at


Official selection in the Virginia Film Festival

For press inquiries please contact Lisbet Byler at