“Smelly Little Town” details a Rust Belt city’s decades-long drama over whether to capitalize on the celebrity of its most famous native. Madonna was born in Bay City on August 16, 1958, and her connection to the town has been a hot button issue there since her rise to stardom. The mayor used it as a wedge issue during his 1985 re-election campaign. Then in 1987, local media turned public opinion against Madonna after comments she made about Bay City on national TV. By 2008, attitudes had shifted as the town fell on hard times and there was renewed interest in using Madonna’s fame for municipal gain. But with a shrinking population and cash-strapped government, is it too late to do anything?
Director: Zach Neumeyer, Cinematographer: Matt Bockelman, Editor: Zach Neumeyer, Composer: Shaun Hettinger, Producer: Zach Neumeyer, Year: 2021, Runtime: 25 minutes, Twitter: @zachneumeyer