Session Type(s): Special Event
Starts: Friday, Jul. 14 11:45 AM (Central)
Ends: Friday, Jul. 14 1:45 PM (Central)
For Kentucky, 2020 was an especially difficult year. The Covid-19 crisis compounded with the aftermath of Breonna Taylor’s murder highlighted systemic issues in a state that has suffered from stark inequality for decades. As one of the poorest states in the nation, Kentucky has some of the worst access in the U.S. to education, healthcare, and clean drinking water. It’s ironic that a state with some of the most disenfranchised people is represented by one of the most powerful politicians in the country: Mitch McConnell. Running in the Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate seat held by Mitch McConnell, Charles Booker attempted one of the biggest upsets in political history by challenging establishment-backed candidate Amy McGrath. From the Hood to the Holler follows Booker’s campaign across Kentucky, from the most urban to the most rural settings, with Booker and his team rewriting the campaign playbook. Instead of exploiting divisions, they lean into the idea that average Kentuckians have common bonds, united by their shared day-to-day fight to survive. Booker works to represent Kentuckians, both Black and White, who feel entirely left out of the political process. His message is simple: Whether you are from the city “hood” — like Booker — or the Appalachian “holler,” you are not invisible.
Charles is a lifelong Kentuckian, born and raised in the West End of Louisville where he and his wife Tanesha have raised their 3 daughters. After earning his B.S. and JD from the University of Louisville, Charles went on to dedicate his life to public service. He has fought for equity and justice in every level of government, including being elected to the Kentucky House of Representatives in 2018 as the youngest Black Kentucky state legislator in nearly 90 years . Charles rose to national prominence in 2020, following an improbable, people-powered run in the Kentucky U.S. Senate Democratic Primary . In 2022, Charles led his historic grassroots movement in another run for U.S. Senate, becoming the first Black Kentuckian to receive a major party nomination for the office. Charles is a published author of the noted memoir “From the Hood to the Holler”, founder of Hood to the Holler, and now leads organizing efforts as Director of Governor Beshear’s Office of Faith Based & Community Initiatives.
Pat McGee is a documentary director in both film and television who works to unearth character-driven stories that push to find common ground. His work has been called “gripping”, “humanistic”, and “illuminating” by the LA Times and Variety.
Pat’s debut feature documentary American Relapse, won feature documentary honors at film festivals across the country. American Relapse enjoyed a theatrical release in Los Angeles and New York. Critically received, American Relapse qualified as an Oscar contender and has a 100% Rotten Tomatoes rating. He most recently executive produced and directed, The Prisoner of the Prophet. Told through the lens of the 65th wife of FLDS leader Warren Jeffs, the three-part series was released by Warner Bros. Discovery in January, 2023.
In 2018, Vice TV launched the original Pat McGee-produced and directed series Dopesick Nation, a 10-part documentary series about the opioid epidemic in Florida. In 2017, Pat created and produced 24 to Life for A&E Networks. In 2020/21, Pat had the privilege of executive producing and showrunning Discovery Network’s CAL FIRE. Pat and his team underwent special red flag training that allowed them to embed with one of the largest and most active firefighting agencies in the country. The limited six-part series documented California’s worst fire season on record.
In early 2020, Pat directed and produced the feature documentary Bernie Blackout for Vice TV. The documentary chronicled the behind-the-scenes marriage of politics and media during the Bernie Sanders 2020 presidential campaign. Pat followed up Bernie Blackout with a feature on Charles Booker of Kentucky, a rising star of the progressive movement. Released theatrically in the fall of 2022, Deadline’s Peter White writes, “it has echoes of the Bill Clinton doc The War Room and the AOC film Knock Down the House.” The film has since won 8 best feature documentary awards. Other documentary feature credits include The Deported featuring Rosario Dawson, for which Pat received the 2019 Flickers’ International Humanitarian Award. In 2020, he was named “Best Director” at the Catalina Film Festival. The Deported trailer alone has garnered over 38 million views, adding to a politically charged debate.
Pat McGee is a member of the Directors Guild of America and has operated under his production company Pat McGee Pictures since 2015.