American cable network CNN has created a new division CNN
Films to secure feature-length documentaries for airing on
CNN and CNN International, alongside theatrical distribution.
move is part of a wider strategy to acquire original non-fiction
content to complement CNN's award-winning news programs, CNN
Worldwide Managing Editor Mark Whitaker said.
Rising, the first documentary acquired by CNN Films, will
air in spring 2013. The documentary is directed by Academy
Award Nominee Richard E. Robbins and executive produced by
Tom Yellin and Holly Gordon of the Documentary Group and Paul
G. Allen of Vulcan Productions.
Films has also signed development deals with Academy Award
Winning Director and Producer Alex Gibney and Director Andrew
Rossi. Both will develop original documentaries to air on
Films will bring distinguished, thought-provoking documentary
programming to our global audiences on all our television,
online and mobile platforms," said Whitaker. "We
want these documentaries to tell compelling stories and stimulate
important discussions across CNN's other programs and websites."
original feature-length documentaries will examine an array
of political, social, and economic subject matters. The films
will premiere in primetime and will re-air in order to increase
exposure. Surrounding the premiere of each documentary, acclaimed
CNN programs will run dedicated programming that sheds light
on the topics and issues discussed in each film.
interviews, expert commentary, roundtable discussions, debates,
and behind-the-scenes footage will be featured across all
of CNN's broadcast and online platforms.
Worldwide senior vice president of talent and content development
Amy Entelis and CNN Worldwide senior vice president of development
and acquisitions Vinnie Malhotra will oversee the acquisition
strategy of documentaries under the CNN Films banner. Malhotra
will manage the day-to-day operation of CNN Films, and work
directly with filmmakers to develop original projects.
Films also plans to bring the documentaries beyond the small
screen by developing strategic partnerships to leverage distribution
opportunities at film festivals and in theaters, the news