WASHINGTON -- Once a year, Washington parties like it's Hollywood. Now this annual shindig, the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner, is the subject of a new documentary. "Nerd Prom: Inside Washington's Wildest Week" will be released April 10, a few weeks ahead of the correspondents dinner. The film was written and directed by Patrick Gavin, who quit his reporting job at Politico last year to make the documentary.
The initial goal of the project, Gavin said, was "to pull back the curtain" on the weeklong, booze-soaked merry-go-round of events that culminates with the president's comedy routine on Saturday night in front of a black-tie dinner crowd of thousands. "But as the movie progressed, I began to think more about the huge prominence that this week holds for Washington, and whether or not that's a good thing," he told The Huffington Post on Thursday.
In addition to the dinner itself, scores of K Street lobbying firms, national media outlets and society types host competing parties during the week of the event. These lavish affairs at embassies and museums are replete with celebrity chefs, fireworks shows and swag bags worthy of Oscar week. For Washington power players, journalists and lobbyists, said Gavin, "this is the week when they establish their brands, parade their successes, and drum up new business."
All of which doesn't really match up with Washington's image outside the Beltway. "I think most Americans would imagine that the most important week of the year in the nation's capital would be something connected to democracy, like a vote or maybe the State of the Union address. But it's not," he said.
"This is a town built on lofty ideals. But if this is the single biggest moment of the year, what does that say about us?" "Nerd Prom: Inside Washington's Wildest Week" can be pre-ordered now and will begin a limited theatrical release in April. It will also be distributed through online pay-per-view and subscription-based services.