By Jenna Zucker and Nivedita Balu
TORONTO (Reuters) – Craig Gillespie’s “Dumb Money” – a pandemic-era story of the battle between hedge fund billionaires and amateur investors – is relevant and timely, the director said at the Toronto International Film Festival on Friday.
Dumb Money captures the behind-the-scenes of one of the biggest Wall Street stories of COVID that hooked retail investors and created a mutiny by grabbing the attention of professional investors on social media.
It chronicles the battle between institutional and retail investors when Reddit-inspired small traders rose up against Wall Street by buying shares of GameStop en masse, creating large losses for short sellers.
With the tagline “Dear Wall Street …,” the movie is “very front and center” and is timely in discussing the topic of wealth disparity in America, Gillespie said.
“It’s a commentary on what’s happening in our society, the wealth disparity that’s happening, and that’s what fueled a lot of what was happening with GameStop,” Gillespie said.
“Let the one-percenters hear the frustration that’s going on,” he said on the red carpet.
The movie stars Paul Dano, Pete Davidson, America Ferrera, Vincent D’Onofrio, Nick Offerman, Shailene Woodley and Seth Rogen, playing amateur investors and Wall Street figures such as Citadel’s Kenneth Griffin and hedge fund manager Steven Cohen.
The stars, however, were not on the red carpet as Hollywood actors and writers are on strike over pay and the use of artificial intelligence. The red carpets at the festival were adorned by fewer stars this year, and therefore smaller crowds.
The movie is produced by Gillespie, Aaron Ryder and Teddy Schwarzman, the son of private equity firm Blackstone Group co-founder and CEO Stephen Schwarzman.
Teddy Schwarzman declined to comment on how his familial ties to Wall Street affected the production of “Dumb Money.”
(Reporting by Jenna Zucker and Nivedita Balu; Editing by Sandra Maler)