Television

HBO, PBS partner for documentaries in the US

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MUMBAI: US public broadcaster PBS and cable network HBO have announced a documentary partnership. As per the deal three provocative films from Home Box Office on nuclear terrorism, global Aids and genocide will be distributed through PBS for broadcast television following their HBO premiere.

In addition, HBO and PBS member station Weta in Washington, D.C., will co-produce, along with the Council on Foreign Relations, related panel discussions. These will serve to complement the airing of each film on PBS.

HBO chairman and CEO Chris Albrecht said, "These movies address three of the most important issues of the 21st century, including nuclear terrorism, global Aids and genocide in Africa. We are pleased to expand the audience for these extraordinary films by offering them to PBS viewers, and we're proud to help illuminate each subject with discussions by leading experts in those fields."

The first film, Dirty War tells the fictional story of a radiological "dirty bomb" attack on central London and debuts on 24 January on HBO. Directed by Dan Percival who wrote the screenplay with Lizzie Mickery, this HBO Films/BBC Films production is based on extensive research by the BBC factual department and asks the questions: Are our emergency services fully prepared for a nuclear attack? How much does the public have a right to know?

PBS CEO Pat Mitchell said, "PBS' mandate is to foster an engaged, informed citizenry through content that offers insight and sparks meaningful dialogue. These films do just that, and we are pleased to partner with HBO to extend the value of the films through televised panel discussions of these critical global issues. As the US' largest public service broadcaster, reaching nearly every household in America, we're proud to present these important films on PBS and allow them to reach an even wider audience."

PBS will air Dirty War in February. This will be followed by a half-hour panel discussion with experts in homeland security, emergency preparedness, nuclear weapons and terrorism.

Sometime In April is the first large-scale movie about the 1994 Rwandan genocide to be shot in Rwanda where the real-life events transpired. Written, directed and executive produced by acclaimed director Raoul Peck (HBO's Lumumba), this epic show follows a Hutu family as they are torn apart by the realities of ethnic cleansing; the film also explores the response of the First World to the atrocities, as well as the truth and reconciliation hearings that followed ten years later.

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