CNN Adds Documentary Films To Its Repertoire: First Will Feature Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway
News network CNN has announced the creation of CNN Films, which will put out feature-length documentaries meant to air on both CNN and CNN International and see theatrical release.
In a continuing effort to revamp the cable news network and improve its flagging prime-time ratings, CNN will create and air feature-length films to further distinguish itself from rivals Fox News and MSNBC, reports The Washington Post.
First on the schedule is Girl Rising, a look at female education worldwide directed by Academy Award Nominee Richard E. Robbins. The film will include performances by Academy Award-winner Meryl Streep and Academy Award nominee Anne Hathaway. Also included in the cast are actress Kerry Washington and singer Selena Gomez.
CNN Films has also signed deals with Academy Award-winning director and producer Alex Gibney and director Andrew Rossi to develop documentary projects.
The original documentaries put out by CNN Films will examine political, social, and economic subjects. They’ll premiere in prime time alongside other CNN programs that will delve further into the issues presented in each film.
Amy Entelis, senior vice president of talent and content development for CNN Worldwide, and Vinnie Malhotra, senior vice president of development and acquisitions for CNN Worldwide, will oversee the development and acquisitions of CNN Films with Malhotra supervising the day-to-day operations.
CNN Films also plans to shop their films at festivals and release them in theaters.
The L.A.Times calls the announcement of CNN Films a step in the right direction for the media giant:
“To be sure, a handful of documentaries isn’t going to single-handedly reverse CNN’s fortunes. However, given that most commercial news outlets have eschewed any sort of serious long-form material in favor of what’s trending on Google, perhaps CNN should be applauded for at least trying to increase the substance of its programming instead of throwing money away looking for a quick fix.”
Do you think that CNN Films is a step in the right direction for the cable news network?