Netflix will continue its dive into original documentaries with the premiere of Mitt, a behind-the-scenes look at Mitt Romney from 2006 through his presidential candidacy. Though the film will debut at Sundance on January 17th, Netflix will begin showing it exclusively just one week later — on Friday, January 24th — in all areas where its service is available. According to Variety, Netflix has acquired both theatrical and television rights for airing the documentary. It'll only be streaming for now, but Netflix has previously said that it's considering the idea of theatrically releasing films as well.
"I was filming inside rooms and situations I had no business being in."
Netflix says that Mitt's filmmakers were given "unprecedented" access to the Romney family, with director Greg Whiteley getting to travel alongside his presidential campaign, watch Mitt prepare for debates, and film moments with his family. "I first met and filmed the Romney family in Park City in 2006 as they gathered to discuss whether Mitt should run for President," Mitt director Greg Whiteley says in a statement. "Over the next seven years I couldn't believe I was filming inside rooms and situations I had no business being in." Whiteley has previously directed two other documentaries, Resolved and New York Doll. According to IMDB, he also worked on The King of Kong, which was directed by Mitt's executive producer, Seth Gordon.
With the acquisition of rights for Mitt, Netflix has started to assembled quite the slate of documentaries to release over the next several months. It'll release its first title, The Short Game, on Thursday, and early next year will begin streaming The Square, which is on the shortlist for potential Oscar nominees. Netflix said in July that it would begin moving into original documentaries, and while rights acquisitions didn't begin occurring until recently, it appears to be off to an aggressive start — and if both The Square and Mitt receive plenty of buzz this winter, Netflix's bet might quickly pay off.