The Making of a Movie

By Dinesh D’Souza
Dinesh D’Souza
Dinesh D’Souza
Dinesh D’Souza is an author, filmmaker, and daily host of the Dinesh D’Souza podcast.
February 7, 2022Updated: February 13, 2022


Making movies is a tricky business, especially in the COVID-19 era. There’s a reason why most people don’t make movies. You need money—a lot of money—legal work, good cinematographers, editors, someone to do the musical score, and finally, a marketing plan to get the movie widely distributed. People who have money typically don’t have the creativity, and creative people typically don’t have the money.

Many people have ideas for movies and virtually none of those get made.

I got into movie-making quite accidentally. In 2010, I wrote a book about President Barack Obama that exposed the anti-colonial ideology he imbibed from his Kenyan father. The book was a success, as books go, which means that it hit The New York Times bestseller list and sold about 100,000 copies. But then a friend of mine, Joe Ricketts, the founder of Ameritrade, asked me if there was a way to get the message of my book to several million people.

I said no. Millions of people don’t buy hardcover books on a political subject. Then, I casually mentioned that the way to reach that kind of audience was through film. I recalled that Michael Moore made “Fahrenheit 911” and dropped it in the middle of the 2004 election campaign. It became the most successful political documentary of all time, reaching an audience of many millions.

Ricketts asked if I thought I could make a movie like that.

“If Michael Moore can do it, I can do it,” I said.

Ricketts then asked me to estimate what it would cost. I did a little research and came back to him with a number of $2.5 million. He wrote me a check for $100,000.

“Now go and find 24 other people to do the same,” he said.

And that’s how I got started in the movie business.

My film, “2016: Obama’s America,” was released in 2012. It became the second-most-successful political documentary of all time, netting $33 million in the box office and helping to shape a new public understanding of Obama (it also provoked retaliation from the Obama Justice Department, and I was politically targeted for making excessive donations to a college friend who was running for office, but that’s another story). I subsequently made four other documentaries and a feature film, “Infidel.”

Now, I’m in the process of making what I believe will be my biggest film, scheduled for release in late April. It’s called “2000 Mules” and the topic is, well, the topic that’s on everyone’s mind, even if it can’t be freely discussed in the public square. Voter fraud! What really happened in the 2020 election? Who won? Was it really the most secure election in history? Was there systematic fraud? If there was a heist, it would be the greatest heist in history. In that case, can it be prevented from occurring again?

I’ve found that, since November 2020, people can’t stop obsessing over these questions. They simply won’t go away. No amount of media trumpeting about election fairness—these assurances, by the way, coming from many of the same people who raised identical questions about the 2016 election—and no amount of Republican assurances that “what’s done is done” and that we simply have to “move on” have dissolved the anxiety, the inquisitiveness, and the desire for real answers.

Other issues in our politics, from the breaching of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, to digital censorship, arise directly out of the question mark surrounding the 2020 election. The reason so many people went to Washington and some of them even pushed their way into the Capitol wasn’t to mount an insurrection or a terrorist attack, but rather to demand an adjudication of the election results that the judicial system seemed unwilling to provide. On the other side, the clampdown on public discourse on mainstream digital platforms is clearly intended to suppress public debate on precisely this issue.

My wife, Debbie, has been friends for many years with Catherine Engelbrecht, the founder of a group called “True the Vote.” This is one of the premier voter integrity groups in the country. Debbie was trained by them as a bilingual poll watcher. Interestingly, while the fur was flying in the aftermath of the 2020 election—accusations of rigged machines and foreign hacking and so on—True the Vote was largely silent. Debbie and I discovered that they were pursuing an entirely different mode of investigation that offered perhaps the only sure way to know what happened.

Fast-forward to the present. My film team is working with Engelbrecht, her partner Gregg Phillips, and True the Vote to expose an allegedly coordinated ring of illegal vote trafficking in all of the swing states where the election was decided. We’re using two types of evidence: cell phone geotracking, which follows the movement of the “mules,” or paid vote traffickers, and surveillance video—this is official surveillance video for the ballot drop boxes, obtained by True the Vote through open records and requests made through the Freedom of Information Act.

I released a short trailer for the upcoming movie, which you can watch at, and it’s getting good traction, even though I didn’t post it on Facebook or YouTube, because of their censorship policies. Former President Donald Trump jumped all over it, issuing three separate statements on the issue and calling for an official inquiry. To date, not a single fact-checking site has challenged the trailer or its video clips, which in any case would be hard to do, since, as I’ve said, this is the government’s own surveillance footage.

There’s more coming—a lot more. True the Vote has a giant swath of geotracking evidence from Georgia, Arizona, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania, and it tells an eye-opening story. The group also has 4 million minutes of surveillance video. We’re talking about hundreds—well, thousands—of germane video clips. This is an allegedly elaborate criminal operation, and I’m thrilled to be working with Engelbrecht and Phillips to tell the story through the powerful medium of film.

I haven’t yet figured out if this will be a theatrical release, since theaters aren’t fully back since the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown, but I’ll make sure it’s easily accessible for all Americans to discover the truth for themselves. Let’s just say that the widely repeated proclamation that this was the most secure election in history is going to be vaporized. The truth is coming out, and the crooks and liars are going to be exposed and called to account.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.