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‘Compared to What’ Team Campaigns to Bring Flick to D.C.

Sheila Canavan and Michael Chandler, the documentarians who filmed former Rep. Barney Frank throughout the Massachusetts Democrat's final year in Congress, have launched an online fundraising effort to help spread their still-in-need-of-fine-tuning project nationwide.  

“Compared to What? The Improbable Journey of Barney Frank,” a pull-no-punches peek into Frank’s personal and professional lives, began making the festival rounds last year, opening first at Tribeca before migrating West.  

While pleased with the industry response, Chandler told HOH he’s ready to share the film with a broader audience.  

“It was fun being at the festivals. But we want the world to see it,” Chandler said of the dream of wider distribution.  

The projected $85,000 to be raised via the new Indiegogo campaign (live through Feb. 26) would allow the duo to do just that. Roughly half of that amount, Chandler explained, is required just to cover the licensing of all the archival footage they used.  

Although the film has been tweaked since Tribeca — Canavan said dates have been corrected and the financial services coverage padded — Chandler insists the latest cut closely tracks the original product. “It’s 95 percent the same movie,” he said.  

Canavan and Chandler are already looking forward to showing their movie far and wide, mapping out plans to dovetail with Frank’s forthcoming book tour by plotting screenings in Boston, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and, of course, here in the District.  

“We’ve been getting requests from D.C. constantly,” Canavan said of the steady drumbeat of support that’s flowed from #ThisTown. The plan is to repay that patience with a weeklong run at West End Cinema (2301 M St. NW) beginning on March 20.  

According to Canavan, Frank has committed to being on hand on March 22. And other surprise guests could materialize on March 20 and 21 as well.  

Those interested in speeding the process along are welcome to contribute what they can online. Those who plunk down at least $25 will be rewarded with a “Little Punk Staffer” pin — a piece of congressional bling made famous by then-Minority Leader John A. Boehner.