SUMMIT, NJ - The Film Society of Summit will host the New Jersey premiere of “Charlie vs. Goliath," a feature-length documentary that chronicles the improbable U.S. Senate bid of Wyoming's Charlie Hardy, a former Catholic priest who inspired a ragged band of idealistic volunteers intent on shaking up the political establishment. The film focuses on Hardy’s battle to take on the political power brokers and show that one can win in politics without discarding their values.

The screening will be held September 8, beginning at 8 p.m. at MONDO, with a post-film discussion featuring the film's director, Reed Lindsay, and first-time candidate and Summit resident Lacey Rzeszowki, a Democrat who is seeking election to the State Assembly in District 21.

Director Lindsay spent months following Hardy’s campaign as it traversed the state, and "Charlie vs Goliath" sees Hardy and his 'team' of four volunteers campaign across the state, from the Tetons to Casper.

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The 75-year-old penniless former Catholic priest spent nearly a decade serving the poor while living in a cardboard shack in a Venezuelan slum. In 2011, After returning to his hometown of Cheyenne, he is shocked to see poverty, hunger and homelessness.

Snubbed by his congressional representatives, Hardy decides to run for office himself in 2014 and manages to win the Democratic Party’s nomination for the U.S. Senate. His opponent has a $3 million war chest, and Hardy’s advisors urge him to focus his efforts on fundraising. Instead, he rejects money from special interests and makes campaign finance reform a key part of his platform.

In his interactions with potential supporters and backers, he laughs and jokes, and offers humble insights. He believes the level of support for him is much larger than the polls show, and that if he can simply meet its estimated 445,830 citizens of voting age, that he will be able to win them over simply by his cheer, good heart and common sense views.  

Admission is $12 in advance, $14 at the door. Advance tickets can be reserved by contacting summitfilm@gmail.com or purchasing in-person at MONDO. For more information, call The Film Society of Summit at 973-885-1983 or visit .summitfilmsociety.com.

MONDO is located at 426 Springfield Avenue.