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When the Muscogee Nation suddenly begins censoring their free press, a rogue reporter fights to expose her government’s corruption in a historic battle that will have ramifications for all of Indian Country.

Imagine you lived in a world where your only reliable news source became government propaganda overnight. That’s exactly what happened to the citizens of the Muscogee Nation, the fourth largest Native American tribe, in 2018. Out of 574 federally-recognized tribes, the Muscogee Nation was one of only five to establish a free and independent press – until the tribe’s legislative branch abruptly repealed the landmark Free Press Act in advance of an election. The tribe’s hard-hitting news outlet, Mvskoke Media, would now be subject to direct editorial oversight by the tribal government.

One defiant journalist refuses to accept this flagrant act of oppression. As brave as she is blunt, veracious muckraker Angel Ellis charges headfirst into battle against the corrupt faction of the Muscogee National Council. Angel and her allies rally for press freedoms by inciting a voter-supported constitutional amendment, just in time for the start of a new election cycle.

An enthralling, edge-of-your-seat nail biter that unfurls with the energy and suspense of a political thriller, BAD PRESS is a timely and unprecedented story about the battle for freedom of the press and against state-censored media.

Upcoming Screenings

Festival Screenings

Fire Starters Film Festival
Macon, GA
September 14-17
The Atlantic Festival
Washington, DC
September 29
Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival
Hot Springs, AR
October 6-14
BendFilm Festival
Bend, OR
October 12-15
Festival des Libertés
Brussels, Belgium
October 15
Philadelphia Film Festival
Philadelphia, PA
October 19-29
Indie Memphis Film Festival
Memphis, TN
October 24-29
Friday Harbor Film Festival
Friday Harbor, WA
October 26-29
New Orleans Film Festival
New Orleans, LA
November 2-7


Impact & Event Screenings

National Association of Science Writers Conference
Boulder, CO
October 6
UpState Films
Rhinebeck, NY
October 9


Theatrical Screenings

Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema
Toronto, ON
September 22 – October 5
Nightlight Cinema
Akron, OH
October 8-9
Circle Cinema
Tulsa, OK
October 6-12
14 Pews
Houston, TX
October 9
Dairy Arts Center
Boulder, CO
October 9
a/perture Cinema
Winston-Salem, NC
October 9-10
Indiana University Cinema
Bloomington, IN
October 10
Olympia Film Society
Olympia, WA
October 11-20
Violet Crown Charlottesville
Charlottesville, VA
October 11
Violet Crown Austin
Austin, TX
October 11
Avalon Theatre
Washington, DC
October 11
Mary D. Fischer Theatre
Sedona, AZ
October 11
Laemmle Glendale
Los Angeles, CA
October 27 – November 2
Northwest Film Forum
Seattle, WA
November 15-19
Salina Art Center Cinema
Salina, KS
November 21
Grand Cinema
Tacoma, WA
November 21
Portland, OR
November 26
Gene Siskel Film Center
Chicago, IL
November 29 – December 3
DCTV Firehouse Cinema
New York, NY
December 1-7
Angel Ellis, star reporter at Mvskoke Media, fights for freedom of the press in BAD PRESS.

About the Directors

Rebecca Landsberry-Baker


Rebecca Landsberry-Baker is an enrolled citizen of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation and the executive director of the Native American Journalists Association. She is a recipient of the 2018 NCAIED “Native American 40 Under 40” award and was selected to the Harvard Shorenstein News Leaders Fall 2022 cohort. Landsberry-Baker made her directorial debut with the documentary feature film, BAD PRESS, which was supported by the Sundance Institute, Ford Foundation JustFilms, NBC, and the Gotham. BAD PRESS premiered at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival and received the U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Freedom of Expression.

Joe Peeler


Joe Peeler is a Sundance award-winning director and editor whose work has appeared on NETFLIX, HBO, FX, ESPN, Hulu and CBS. Joe began his career apprenticing under legendary director Peter Bogdanovich, and from there edited Lucy Walker’s Academy Awards Shortlist documentary short The Lion’s Mouth Opens; multiple episodes of the Netflix original series Flint Town; and Margaret Brown’s SXSW premiere documentary short The Black Belt. Most recently, Joe co-directed Bad Press, which premiered at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival and won the U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Freedom of Expression.


"... a movie can grab hold of you simply through the power of its subject. That’s true of Bad Press, an absorbing, eye-opening look at the fight for a free and open press in the Muscogee (Creek) Nation directed by Rebecca Landsberry-Baker and Joe Peeler.”

Manohla Dargis, The New York Times

"...has the slightly giddy 'are you seeing what I’m seeing?' tenor of a classic muckraking narrative like All the President's Men."

Dennis Harvey, Variety

“Landberry-Baker and Peeler’s documentary is thus the perfect illustration of what happens when you dismantle the Fourth and Fifth Estates and wind up putting democracy in peril, and it’s something everyone in America should be worried about right now.”

Jordan Mintzer, The Hollywood Reporter

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