NXIVM Documentary Series from ‘The Square’ Filmmakers Coming to HBO

Jehane Noujaim and Karim Amer, who previously documented the downfall of Hosni Mubarak's regime in Egypt, will next look into criminal activity inside Keith Raniere's controversial organization.
Actress Allison Mack, center, leaves Federal court, in the Brooklyn borough of New YorkBranded Women, New York, USA - 25 Jul 2018
Mary Altaffer/AP/REX/Shutterstock

In the midst of the ongoing intrigue and uncertainty surrounding the fate of those behind NXIVM, HBO announced on Wednesday that it is producing an upcoming documentary series that will look into the mysterious group. Filmmakers Jehane Noujaim and Karim Amer, whose 2013 film “The Square” garnered an Oscar nomination and won three Emmys, will be at the helm of this new show.

Since its founding over two decades ago, NXIVM has transformed in public perception. Going from a self-described organization aimed to help personal advancement, a gradual stream of investigations have uncovered possible criminal activity at NXIVM’s highest levels. Founder Keith Raniere has been indicted on charges ranging from racketeering to sex trafficking and is currently awaiting a trial that may begin as early as this month. The group gained even more notoriety with allegations that former “Smallville” actress Allison Mack had become a vocal and willing participant in NXIVM’s allegedly illegal enterprises and that actor Sarah Edmondson was branded as part of her initiation into the group.

An HBO statement explained that the series will follow “a range of people who joined the self-improvement group NXIVM. The organization has been under siege, with charges including sex trafficking and racketeering conspiracy brought against its highest members, most notably founder Keith Raniere. The show will take a deep, nuanced look at experiences of its members, spotlighting their universal desire for personal growth.”

Combining her documentary filmmaking background with personal experience taking a NXIVM introductory course nearly a decade ago, Noujaim is once again partnering with Amer. The two have now worked together on a number of projects, including “The Square,” which highlighted a series of events preceding and following the ouster of Hosni Mubarak as President of Egypt in February of 2011. Noujaim and Amer’s most recent film, “The Great Hack,” examining the recent Cambridge Analytica Facebook data-gathering scandal, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival back in January.

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