The Max Original documentary film SANTA CAMP will debut on HBO Max in November and have its world premiere on SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 12 at the IFC Center as part of DOC NYC – America’s largest documentary festival.
Every summer, a horde of professional Santas, Mrs. Clauses and elves descend on a campsite in the woods of New Hampshire to learn the ropes of their trade. But this year is different. The organizers, members of the New England Santa Society, which numbers around 100 people, decided to tackle a complex and historical problem: the lack of diversity in the Santa Claus industry.
They decide to enlist a black Santa named Chris, a disabled Santa named Fin, and a transgender Santa named Levi, each with their own surprising Santa origin story. Meanwhile, Ms Claus’ delegation, led by veteran Dianne, is getting more outspoken in its calls for equal billing and pay.
The arrival of new Santa Clauses triggers a reflection on what it means to embody the beloved role model and cultural icon. After graduation, Clauses draw on their camp experiences to effect change in their communities. But they soon learn that not everyone is ready for the “breaking the mould” Santa Clauses.
Nick Sweeney, director and producer: “This film was a joy to make. I learned that being Santa Claus isn’t easy, especially when you’re not a cookie-cutter Christmas. to me, being Santa Claus is what’s in your heart, and that there’s room for everyone in one of the most popular traditions in the world.”
Stacey Reiss, producer, quote: “Movies have the power to change the way we see the world, and I believe everyone should see themselves reflected in Santa.”
SANTA CAMP is directed and produced by Nick Sweeney (“AKA Jane Roe”), and produced by Emmy® winner Stacey Reiss (“The Andy Warhol Diaries,” “The Eagle Huntress”).