Bellwether is a story about ordinary people living in an extraordinary time. As we follow five Iowans, we’ll explore how politics intersects with the culture of Iowa and affects the lives of our subjects.

Our film will follow salt-of-the-earth Midwesterners who take their civic duties seriously. Lifelong Democrats, dedicated Republicans, and no-party voters who refuse to decide their vote until they’ve heard every candidate speak.

We will follow our characters from the Iowa State fair all the way to their caucus precinct as they cast their vote, and everything in between - from daily routine, to family celebrations, and holidays.

Why now? America is at a crossroads. Many Americans are questioning what it means to be a democracy and whether or not the American democratic experiment can survive in this new age of election hacking, deepfakes, and big data. Our democracy has never been more vulnerable.

But there is a place in America where the roots of democracy hold strong, where people still literally stand for their beliefs - that place is the Iowa caucus.


THE FILMMAKERS:

Sam Frickleton (Director/Producer): Sam was born and raised in Kansas City and earned his BA degree in Film, with a minor in Political Science from the University of Denver. As a producer, Sam is committed to utilizing education, the arts, music, and culture to reveal compelling personal stories, in order to challenge our understanding of the past, the world, and ourselves.

Ilana Rozin (Director/Producer): An Israeli native raised in Tel Aviv and Denver, Colorado, Ilana's diverse career as a theater director has taken her to Cedar Rapids, Chicago, Raleigh and Los Angeles. Since moving into film, Ilana has worked as a director, writer, and editor. Ilana holds an MFA in film and television production from USC's School of Cinematic Arts.

Megan Carroll (Producer): Megan was born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska where she majored in English and Graphic Design at Creighton University. She received her MFA in Film & Television Production from USC in May 2019. As a storyteller, she’s interested in stories that question the status quo and challenge viewers to rethink their perceptions of reality.