Sam Katz is turning his lens away from Philadelphia's history to Pennsylvania's present.
The three-time mayoral candidate announced Thursday that his next documentary will focus on the saga of embattled Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane. Katz, who is seeking funding for the project, plans to call it The Kane Mutiny.
Unlike his previous regionally focused documentaries with his History Making Productions - such as Philadelphia: The Great Experiment - Katz sees The Kane Mutiny as a story with national appeal because of its uniqueness, and because Kane is "such an unusual character."
Katz is partnering on the project with freelance writer Lisa DePaulo, whom Katz first met when she wrote a 1991 profile of him for Philadelphia magazine that he did not like. They've since found common ground.
DePaulo said she's interested in the Kane saga because it's still unfolding. She also mentioned the gender implications of Kane's story.
"All my friends are saying to me, 'Don't let [Kane] be a disaster for women getting into politics.' I know Sam [Katz] isn't as into the gender thing, but I am. But we don't want our strong and smart, charismatic women to fail," said DePaulo, who like Kane hails from Scranton. "And she may not. She's endured a lot more than I thought she would.
"You can say whatever you want about Kathleen Kane, she is one tough broad."
The first woman and first Democrat elected state attorney general, Kane had a bright political future in front of her after taking office in 2013. There were even rumblings about a potential gubernatorial bid.
But after The Inquirer reported in 2014 that she had quashed a sting operation launched by her predecessors that had ensnared Democratic Philadelphia politicians, her fortunes took a dive:
She has been charged with leaking confidential grand jury information to a newspaper to embarrass a political rival; her law license has been suspended; Gov. Wolf and other top Democrats have called for her resignation; and the state Senate has formally begun a process that could end with her removal from office.
Kane has fought back, saying her troubles have been generated by angry Republican men who resent her crashing the old boys' network.
She has also released hundreds of emails containing racist, sexist, and misogynistic quotes and images that were circulated among judges, prosecutors, and other law enforcement officials using government servers.
"Porngate," as the matter is called, led one state Supreme Court justice to retire early and has placed another in danger of losing his post.
Chuck Ardo, Kane's spokesman, said Thursday he does not believe Kane has heard about The Kane Mutiny.
"But I can tell you without equivocation that she hopes it has a happy ending," Ardo said.
Asked what that would be, he said:
"I think the happy ending would be that she was found to have been innocent of the charges she faces. And that she's given due credit for the problems she has exposed with the judicial system."