5 items from 2016
The idea behind the Local Voices ad campaign is to capture the concerns that everyday Americans have about presidential hopeful Donald Trump in unscripted, personal commentaries that later air as one-minute ads in the same swing state communities where they were filmed. The key is to find voices who belong to community leaders who aren’t normal Hillary Clinton supporters, may they be conservatives or generally apolitical figures.
Read More about Local Voices: How Filmmakers Are Making a Difference in Swing States
In swing states where the voters have been confronted with constant barrage of political ads, the other key ingredient is authenticity, so they are not dismissed as just another manufactured political message.
To accomplish this, founder Lee Hirsch (“Bully”) turned to fellow documentary filmmakers and recruited some of the top filmmakers working in nonfiction, including Amir Bar-Lev (“Happy Valley, “The Tillman Story”), Amy Berg (“West of Memphis”), Marshall Curry (“Street Fight, »
- Chris O'Falt
A+E Networks veteran Bob DeBitetto is set to exit as president of the cable group’s studio arm at year’s end.
A+E Networks CEO Nancy Dubuc disclosed the news Monday in a memo to staffers. DeBitetto has been with A+E for 14 years, starting out in 2003 as a programming exec for the company’s flagship A&E Network.
“Bob has been a friend, partner and mentor to me over the course of his entire career at A&E,” Dubuc wrote. “He is widely respected in our industry and is often referred to as ‘the smartest guy in the room.’ ”
Dubai said DeBitetto came to her this summer to set his plan to “pursue the next chapter of his storied career.”
A cable industry vet, DeBitetto was a senior programming exec at Turner Broadcasting for seven years before joining A&E. Earlier in his career, he worked in business operations on the film side of »
- Cynthia Littleton
The idea behind the Local Voices neighbor-to-neighbor campaign is simple: use a documentary approach to capture the concerns every day Americans have about Donald Trump in unscripted, personal commentaries and then air them as one-minute ads in the same swing state communities where they were filmed.
Filmmaker Lee Hirsch (“Bully”), who started the Local Voices Democratic Super Pac in 2008, has spent the last three election cycles studying and experimenting with how best to engage and motivate voters.
Read More: The Presidential Debate ‘Late Night’ Helped Prove That Seth Meyers is the Host Network TV Needs
“I’ve seen the same thing over and over again,” Hirsch wrote IndieWire, “election season is intense, and perceived community norms lead to an almost palpable intimidation that suppresses an honest public dialogue about the presidential candidates, and has the deepest affect on those who might be leaning towards the democratic ticket.”
See More Local »
- Chris O'Falt
Showtime is teaming with Listen to Me Marlon filmmakers R.J. Cutler (The September Issue, The World According to Dick Cheney) and John Battsek (Searching For Sugar Man, The Tillman Story) on a feature-length documentary about the life and times of comic legend John Belushi. For the first time, Showtime says, Belushi's widow Judith Belushi Pisano has agreed to cooperate with the making of a film about the late comedian's life, and provided the exclusive photo of John from… »
Tucked into the Manhattan skyscraper that serves as the home base of A+E Networks is a small division that looks like nothing you’d expect to find in a broad corporate portfolio of television holdings: a feature film production company with an emphasis on premium content and robust theatrical releases.
But for 10 years now, A&E IndieFilms, with a dedicated staff of two led by senior VP Molly Thompson, has parlayed an unorthodox business model and a keen eye for story into a low-volume but enduring generator of noteworthy independent features, especially documentaries such as “Cartel Land,” “The Imposter” and “The September Issue.”
“Molly and A&E have an established position in the space, and they have impeccable taste and amazing instincts in terms of finding stories,” says Paul Davidson, senior VP of film and TV at distributor The Orchard. “If we see they’ve got something at a festival, »
- Gordon Cox
5 items from 2016
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