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Since its inception, TV has demonstrated the power to enact positive social change — from political elections to humanitarian crises and beyond. Today, with the medium ballooning in prevalence and an ever-expanding slate of programming available to audiences all over the world, television has arguably become the mightiest arbiter of pop culture and society at large.
To that end, the eighth annual Television Academy Honors, held May 27 at the Montage Hotel in Beverly Hills, has chosen to celebrate six programs that best exemplify the facility of the smallscreen to inspire, educate and raise awareness of social injustices: “Black-ish” (“Crime and Punishment” episode from ABC); E:60 Presents “Dream on: Stories of Boston’s Strongest” (Espn); “The Normal Heart” and “Paycheck to Paycheck: The Life and Times of Katrina Gilbert” (both HBO); “Transparent” (Amazon); and Netflix’s “Virunga,” exec produced by Leonardo DiCaprio.
“People need to be reminded of the power that we have to do good, »
- Malina Saval
The Palm Springs International ShortFest and Short Film Market has announced the first 13 films that will comprise the 2015 ShortFest Online Film Festival. “Solemates,” directed by “Jurassic World”‘s Bryce Dallas Howard, and “We Are Fire,” Orlando von Einsiedel’s follow-up to his Oscar-nominated Netflix documentary “Virunga,” lead the selection. The films will play on the festival’s website beginning Tuesday, then open to online votes from June 9-20, culminating in a “ShortFest Online Audience Award” to be announced at the festival’s awards ceremony on closing night. Also Read: 13 Biggest Winners and Losers at Cannes Film Festival “The online world »
- Matt Donnelly
It's astonishing how any filmmaker can keep up the pace that Alex Gibney does while maintaining such consistent quality standards. Gibney has had three films premiere on HBO in less than a year: four-hour biodoc "Sinatra: All or Nothing At All" and Scientology expose "Going Clear" --which has generated new scrutiny of the tax-exempt empire founded by L. Ron Hubbard--and last Fall's "Mr Dynamite: The Rise and Fall of James Brown," which may be the best of the lot. Read: Why Mick Jagger & Alex Gibney's 'Rise of James Brown' is a Musical' The film, which tells the James Brown story from his rural Southern childhood and his musical ascension to his civil rights impact, has just won the hard-working director a 74th Peabody Entertainment Award. Read More: Behind the Scenes with Alex Gibney at His Jigsaw Productions Orlando von Einsiedel's Oscar-nominated "Virunga" also made this week's Peabody list. »
- Anne Thompson and Ryan Lattanzio
Exclusive: Feature documentary interviews sons of high ranking Nazi officials.
Altitude Film Distribution has acquired the UK rights for feature documentary A Nazi Legacy: What Our Fathers Did ahead of its premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival on Sunday (April 19).
The film follows eminent human rights lawyer and author Philippe Sands and two sons of high-ranking Nazi officials, Niklas Frank and Horst von Wächter.
For Frank and Von Wachter, the journey involves a confrontation with the acts of their Nazi fathers. For Sands, it means visiting the places where much of his own Jewish family was killed under orders of the fathers of the two men he has come to know.
The film is directed by David Evans, Emmy-nominated for his work on drama series Downton Abbey. It is edited by David Charap (Virunga;) and produced by Finola Dwyer and Amanda Posey (Brooklyn) from Wildgaze Films in association with the BFI and BBC Storyville.
The film includes »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Michael Rosser)
The TV Acad kudos, which are distinct from the Primetime Emmy Awards, recognize programs that harness the influence of television to make an impact on a range of social and cultural issues.
Also recognized this year are HBO’s AIDS drama “The Normal Heart” and documentary “Paycheck to Paycheck: The Life and Times of Katrina Gilbert.” Espn’s “E: 60″ docu-series is honored for the “Dream On: Stories of Boston’s Strongest” episode about the lives of those affected by the bombings at the 2013 Boston Marathon.
“These programs have enlightened viewers, prompted discussion, raised social awareness and are sparking change,” said Bruce Rosenbloom, Television Academy chairman-ceo in announcing the 2014 selections.
The eighth annual TV Academy Honors ceremony will be held May 27 at the Montage Hotel in Beverly Hills. Dana Delany will return as host. »
- Cynthia Littleton
The team behind the hugely successful and respected nature documentaries The Blue Planet, Planet Earth, and Frozen Planet are moving from their previous home of the BBC to Netflix, for their new epic Our Planet.
Alastair Fothergill, whose production company Silverback Films will make the eight-part series, said: “Our Planet is going to raise the bar for natural history landmarks. We will reveal the most amazing sights on Earth and show them in ways they have never been seen before.”
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- Ben Beaumont-Thomas
Don't mess with Netflix. No wonder theatrical distributors are threatened by the massive online buyer. It has deep pockets and while it took careful steps moving into series production ("House of Cards," "Orange is the New Black") and documentary pickups (Oscar-nominated "The Square," "Virunga"), and is partnering on Leonardo DiCaprio's upcoming doc on the environment, Netflix is now challenging distributors on their home turf, bypassing theatrical and taking festival titles into the home. Domestic buyers were not happy when Netflix acquired "True Detective" auteur Cary Fukunaga's feature "Beasts of No Nation," which would ordinarily be a high profile theater-bound project. (Making a pact to make movies starring stumbling comedian Adam Sandler, whose "The Cobbler" tanked this weekend, bothered no one.) Netflix landed this deal because they recently made a four-picture pact with the ubiquitous Jay and »
- Anne Thompson
Netflix has nabbed global rights to Hannah Fidell’s “6 Years” and plans to debut the drama on its streaming service later this year.
The move continues the Internet giant’s aggressive recent forays into the feature film space. Earlier this month, it beat out a range of indie labels for rights to Cary Fukunaga’s feature “Beasts of No Nation” and announced plans to partner with Leonardo DiCaprio on a feature-length documentary about the environment.
“6 Years” stars Taissa Farmiga (“American Horror Story”) and Ben Rosenfield (“Boardwalk Empire”) as young lovers at a crossroads. It premiered at SXSW, earning a mixed review from Variety‘s Justin Chang, who wrote the picture “too often veers toward melodramatic overstatement.”
The film is Fidell’s follow-up to “A Teacher,” which courted controversy with its »
- Brent Lang
The equally environmentally minded star’s foundation has donated $50,000 to the film that plans to seek out the 52-hertz whale, which is known as the world’s loneliest whale because it communicates in a frequency that no other whale can understand. The film will be a documentary about the whale and the fight against noise pollution. The rest of the funding for the project came from more than 3,300 backers.
“These donations validate our ongoing efforts, and to get their vote of confidence is a huge moral boost for myself and team Lonely Whale,” Grenier said. “This is just the beginning, and I can’t wait to share more news with the community.”
DiCaprio’s Appian Way Productions shingle recently partnered with »
- Seth Kelley
Last week, Netflix announced it had pacted with Leonardo DiCaprio and his production company to produce a documentary feature and a documentary series to premiere exclusively on the streaming service. Read More: Netflix Dives Deep into Documentaries, Nabbing "Virunga" The DiCaprio deal is yet another high-profile push into the documentary world for Netflix, which first signaled its intention to dive into original documentaries in late 2013 with Jehane Noujaim's "The Square," which was later nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature, and "Mitt," the documentary about Mitt Romney which premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. In 2014, Netflix nabbed "Virunga," which was later nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature (and scored DiCaprio as a key partner), as well as other high quality documentaries, including "Mission Blue," "E-Team" and "Print the »
- Paula Bernstein
New Projects is a weekly round up of movies and TV shows recently announced and currently in development for the near future.
See, Netflix isn’t just in the business of producing multiple Adam Sandler movies. Their next big original film deal will likely help them compete even more with HBO, as they’re teaming up with Leonardo DiCaprio and his Appian Way Pictures to produce a series of environmental documentaries as Netflix originals.
DiCaprio executive produced Virunga, a documentary about mountain gorillas in the Congo, that was eventually released by Netflix and was nominated for an Oscar this year. Now DiCaprio will continue to produce or executive produce original documentaries or ones acquired through film festivals, all part of a multi-year deal between Netflix and Appian Way.
“Working with Netflix on Virunga has sparked a shared vision about projects that we want to develop and bring to viewers,” said DiCaprio via The Hollywood Reporter. »
- Brian Welk
Netflix and actor, producer and philanthropist Leonardo DiCaprio and production company Appian Way have agreed to partner on upcoming documentary and docu-series projects as part of a First Look deal for non-fiction projects to premiere exclusively on Netflix. Under the terms of the multi-year deal, Netflix and Leonardo DiCaprio will work together to identify and develop potential fact-based projects, with a particular focus on environmental and conservation themes, including original documentaries and docu-series as well as acquired existing projects.
Leonardo DiCaprio will serve as producer or executive producer for all projects launched through the partnership. Netflix and Leonardo DiCaprio first partnered on the acclaimed documentary Virunga, which earned a 2015 Academy Award® nomination for Best Documentary Feature. Said Leonardo DiCaprio:
Netflix have made two new announcements regarding their upcoming product.
First up, A&E's new supernatural drama "The Returned" is set to score a global release through the service. A remake of the acclaimed 2012 French series "Les Revenants," the story follows the residents of a small mountain town that is turned upside down when several local people, who have long been presumed dead, suddenly reappear.
For members outside the United States, new episodes of the series will be available weekly for Netflix members to stream within 24 hours of the U.S. broadcast. For those with U.S. Netflix accounts, you will have to wait as the series won't be added to the service's North American portfolio until early next year.
Meanwhile, Leonardo DiCaprio and his Appian Way production label is set to partner with Netflix on documentary and docu-series projects as part of a multi-year, first-look deal for non-fiction projects »
- Garth Franklin
While movie theaters continue to refuse to book films that strike deals for releases on Netflix the same day a film hits theaters, that's not stopping production companies from teaming up with the streaming service for future endeavors. Today, Netflix announced a multi-year first look deal with Leonardo DiCaprio and his Appian Way production banner for documentary projects that will stream exclusively on the streaming service. The aim of DiCaprio as a producer or executive producer of these projects is to mix philanthropy with filmmaking and create projects with topical, provocative environmental and conservation themes. This comes after DiCaprio and Netflix teamed on Virunga, a documentary that was just nominated for an Academy Award. Even though these forthcoming documentaries will be available exclusively on Netflix as far as streaming is concerned, that doesn't mean they won't get limited theatrical releases to qualify for awards season like Virunga. And since Netflix »
- Ethan Anderton
Netflix has some new non-fiction content arriving for the educational benefit of its subscribers. The streaming video service has teamed with Leonardo DiCaprio to exclusively stream documentary-style projects created under the actor’s Appian Way production house.
As reported by Deadline, DiCaprio will produce or executive produce all the environmentally-focused documentary films and series to come out of the Netflix deal. The streaming platform previously teamed with the actor on his documentary Virunga, which received a Best Documentary Oscar nomination in 2014. This new partnership is an extension of that success and will bring about what Netflix’s Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos calls “more thought-provoking, high-quality documentaries and docu-series.”
“Working with Netflix on Virunga has sparked a shared vision about projects that we want to develop and bring to viewers,” said DiCaprio to Deadline. “There’s never been a more critical time for our planet or more of a need »
- Bree Brouwer
Ever the advocate of championing the protection of our planet’s endangered environments, actor Leonardo DiCaprio has partnered with Netflix for a slate of documentaries and docu-series in what is set to be a multi-year deal.
Coming off the back of their collaboration on Virunga, it’s understood that this partnership between DiCaprio’s Appian Way production company and the streaming giant will see an array of non-fiction projects premiere exclusively on Netflix. In light of this recent deal, the actor himself spoke about how raising awareness for what is one of the most pressing issues facing our civilization is paramount.
“Working with Netflix on Virunga has sparked a shared vision about projects that we want to develop and bring to viewers,” said DiCaprio. “There’s never been a more critical time for our planet or more of a need for gifted storytellers to help us all make sense of the issues we face. »
- Michael Briers
Leonardo DiCaprio and Netflix are partnering on upcoming documentary and docu-series projects, the streaming service announced Wednesday. DiCaprio and his production company, Appian Way, have secured a first look deal for non-fiction projects to premiere exclusively on Netflix. Under the terms of the multi-year deal, Netflix and DiCaprio will work together to develop potential fact-based projects. Also Read: Leonardo DiCaprio’s Oscar Loss Inspires #PoorLeo Memes (Photos) The projects will have a particular focus on environmental and conservation themes, including original documentaries and docu-series as well as acquired existing projects. Netflix and DiCaprio first partnered on the documentary “Virunga,” which »
- Joe Otterson
The partnership, which includes DiCaprio’s Appian Way production company, will focus on environmental and conservation themes. The actor, an ardent environmentalist, will be a producer or executive producer on all projects.
Netflix and DiCaprio previously teamed on “Virunga,” which was nominated for an Academy Award in the documentary category. DiCaprio was an exec producer on the doc, which focused on the conservation efforts of rangers within Virunga National Park.
“Working with Netflix on ‘Virunga’ has sparked a shared vision about projects that we want to develop and bring to viewers,” said DiCaprio. “There’s never been a more critical time for our planet or more of a need for gifted storytellers to help us all make sense of the issues we face. »
- Dave McNary
Breaking: After their recent first collaboration, Virunga, got a Best Documentary Oscar nom, Leonardo DiCaprio is setting his Appian Way banner in a multi-year first-look deal with Netflix for nonfiction projects that will air exclusively on the streaming service. DiCaprio’s goal is to mix philanthropy with filmmaking and generate docus with topical and provocative environmental and conservation themes. Those movies often play at festivals but have few opportunities… »
Fresh off their Oscar-nominated documentary collaboration Virunga, Leonardo DiCaprio and Netflix are teaming up on a slate of documentaries and docuseries that will premiere exclusively on the streaming service. DiCaprio's Appian Way has signed a multiyear first-look deal for nonfiction projects that will have environmental and conservation themes. The deal covers both original documentaries and docuseries as well as acquisitions. That means Appian Way will likely become active on the festival acquisitions front, where the supply of eco-minded documentaries has increased in recent years. It also offers an opportunity for DiCaprio to marry his producing skills with
- Tatiana Siegel
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