CNN announced the creation of CNN Films to secure feature-length documentaries for air on CNN and CNN International, alongside theatrical distribution.
The move is part of a wider strategy to acquire original non-fiction content to complement CNN’s news programs.
Its first project, titled Girl Rising, directed by Richard Robbins (Operation Homecoming), tells the story of several girls fighting tough odds to achieve their dreams. It follows 10 girls in 10 countries struggling for education, and features voiceovers by Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway, Kerry Washington and Selena Gomez, and will air in spring 2013.
CNN Films has also signed development deals with Academy Award winning director and producer Alex Gibney (Taxi to the Dark Side, Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, andClient 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer) and director Andrew Rossi (Page One: Inside the New York Times).
Both will develop original documentaries to air on CNN.
The films will premiere in primetime and will re-air in order to increase exposure.
CNN Films also plans to bring the documentaries beyond the small screen, to film festivals and of course in movie theaters.
So CNN is a player in the documentary film acquisition universe, which means that your feature doc just might find a home there.
Here’s a preview of its first acquisition, Girl Rising: