festival program / Special Presentation



NEON, the film distributor who brought you the Oscar Best Picture winner Parasite last year, returns with yet another incredibly timely film. The past nine months have wrought havoc on the world’s estimated 8 billion people. In the biggest global health crisis in 100 years, more than 1 million people have died from over 33 million cases of COVID-19 infections. Social and economic structures have endured unfathomable stress, and our lives have changed in drastic and bewildering ways. We are left to wonder – how exactly did this all happen?

Alex Gibney, an Academy Award winner for Taxi to the Dark Side and a Miami Film Festival alumnus, working with co-directors Ophelia Harutyunyan and Suzanne Hillinger, walks us back to the beginning of the “totally under control” American response, when early reports from Wuhan began reaching the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta. The filmmakers reconstruct the timeline of the days and weeks of the first half of 2020 and capture the essential moments of indecision, confusion and contradictions – discovering a pattern of recommendations by medical experts, doctors and scientists being sidelined by political jockeying.

Through it all, a larger theme emerges – as institutions in so many traditional industries teeter and/or topple in our present age, perhaps it is worth leaving the most important decisions in the hands of trained professionals?

Event Dates

October 11, 2020 to October 11, 2020 6pm – 10pm ET


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Director Bio

Alex Gibney is a world-renowned documentary filmmaker, whose prolific body of films includes the Oscar-Nominated Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room (06), the Oscar-winning Taxi to the Dark Side (08), The Armstrong Lie (13), and Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine (15). He has also won and been nominated for multiple Emmy Awards. Ophelia Harutyunyan is an experienced film producer. Totally Under Control (20) is her first feature documentary as director. Suzanne Hillinger is an experienced film producer and director. Totally Under Control (20) is her latest feature documentary as director.

Cast & Credits

  • Director(s)
    Alex Gibney, Suzanne Hillinger, Ophelia Harutyunyan
  • Producer(s)
    Alex Gibney, Suzanne Hillinger, Ophelia Harutyunyan
  • Screenwriter(s)
    Alex Gibney
  • Cinematographer(s)
    Ben Bloodwell
  • Editor(s)
    Lindy Jankura, Alex Keipper
  • Composer
    Peter Nashel, Brian Deming

Film Info