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'Discovery Docs' taps top helmers

5 March 2003 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

NEW YORK -- Discovery Networks and CameraPlanet are co-producing a new series of documentaries that will be released in theaters before premiering on cable television. An all-star assemblage of documentary filmmakers has been recruited for Discovery Docs, including Barbara Kopple (Harlan County USA), Michael Apted (28 Up), Peter Gilbert (Hoop Dreams), Nanette Burstein (The Kid Stays in the Picture) and the duo of Chris Hegedus ( and D.A. Pennebaker (The War Room). "I've got the dream team," Discovery Networks president Billy Campbell said during a conference call. "We're open to all great ideas and all great filmmakers." With indie studio CameraPlanet in charge of theatrical release, each installment of Docs will bow in at least five cities on the art house circuit as early as next year. About six months after a documentary debuts, it will migrate to one of Discovery's cable channels -- an unprecedented windowing schedule that might also be supplemented by a DVD/home video line. »

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