Documentary producer Jeff Hays brings a simple philosophy to his work.
“I’m attracted to the side of the story that’s not being told, and I don’t care what it is,” Hays says, especially if the counter-narrative isn’t given a fair hearing.
It explains his connection to “The Real Anthony Fauci,” a film excoriating the just-retired head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). The press, and the 2021 documentary “Fauci,” hailed the doctor as a hero for his response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Not Hays’ film, fueled by Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s tome of the same name, shreds Dr. Fauci’s dictates following the virus’ outbreak.
“The Real Anthony Fauci” bowed online, free of charge in October. More than 560,000 people registered to watch it online. The movie doesn’t just criticize Dr. Fauci’s inconsistent advice and convenient memory lapses. It digs deeper, connecting dots between Big Pharma and the U.S. Military and questions the media and Big Tech’s role in educating the public.
Hays’ previous work includes “FahrenHYPE 9/11,” “Quack,” “Doctored” and “On Native Soil,” a film short-listed for an Academy Award. He says shooting “The Real Anthony Fauci” proved “one of the most pleasurable films I’ve ever made.”
He credits Kennedy’s book for doing much of the necessary research.
“The hardest part was deciding what to leave out,” he says.
Another factor eased it into production.
Documentary filmmakers often struggle to find enough experts to flesh out a project. The subjects in Hays’ “Fauci,” by comparison, lined up “cheerfully” to be a part of the production.
“I never had this experience,” he says, “But once we got it made, the suppression of it was astounding.”
The film’s web site endured daily, “creative” attacks, he says. An editor working on the film posted working clips on YouTube, via a password-protected system, for Hays’ consideration. YouTube deleted the material, claiming it violated its policies.
Other social media sites didn’t help, either.
“We were just banned everywhere,” he says, adding Facebook even banned his personal page. “Twitter is the first social media that we now can post on [following Elon Musk’s takeover of the platform].”
Hays has worked with Vimeo on multiple projects, but that became another issue with the “Fauci” documentary. The company notified him that he uploaded video with “vaccine misinformation” and gave him three days to remove it.
“Tell me what it is, and I’ll remove that,” he says. Except the platform wouldn’t tell him what information, in particular, was false.
The film festival circuit proved a dead end, too, and Hays figured no major streamer would touch “The Real Anthony Fauci.”
“We took a chance and put it out for free, believing enough people would watch it and wanna own it,” he says. “And it’s been profitable.”
The film’s Rumble link can be found via the web site cantshutthisdown.com.
From the real Anthony Fauci movie… pic.twitter.com/6QHRxbJ2cU
— Mike Law (@LawMike) January 3, 2023
He’s under no delusion about why his film faced so many obstacles.
“[People on the Left] were the champions of free speech until they weren’t. It’s the Left saying, ‘we need to suppress this kind of speech,’” he says.
Hays wasn’t a Dr. Fauci critic at first. It took time, and reading Kennedy’s book, to change his mind. The filmmaker initially viewed Dr. Fauci as this “grandfatherly, avuncular, rational-seeming fellow.”
“When I was exposed to all this information … this is exactly the kind of bureaucrat we want to sweep out of our government,” Hays says.
Many people still cling to that original image of the 82-year-old retired doctor. Late-night hosts fete Dr. Fauci, and many on the Left still hail his contributions to the pandemic fight.
Hays thinks that won’t last for long.
“There’s no question in my mind that he’s gonna be held accountable. The truth is emerging. It’s leaving the court of public opinion and entering into the court of law,” he says, citing several attorneys general taking on cases involving Dr. Fauci. “Once this hits the courts where people can’t perjure themselves we’ll start to piece this together.”
Hays has other projects coming soon, including a pro-gun docuseries that includes how many lives are saved each year by gun-toting Americans. Those numbers are often hidden by the media, says Hays who isn’t a gun owner himself.
He also teamed with podcaster and comedian Adam Carolla for a project on resilience called “Adam Carolla: Hard to Kill.”
“The Real Anthony Fauci” is technically complete and ready for viewing, but Hays’ team has tweaked it in recent weeks as new information becomes available.
And that might happen again. Soon.
Twitter’s Musk is teasing a Fauci-themed addition to the ongoing Twitter files, and Hays is ready for it.
“We’re eagerly anticipating [the Twitter Files]. The film could be different a week from today,” he says.