Director/Producer Sharon Liese’s Film to Stream Across CNN Digital Platforms During Fall Short Film Series
Fresh from its world premiere at New York’s Tribeca Film Festival, award-winning filmmaker Sharon Liese’s short film, THE GNOMIST, produced by Herizon Productions and Cynthia Wade, has been acquired by CNN Films and CNN Digital Studios, it was announced today.
“It is a huge honor to have my work selected by such a distinguished network,” says Liese. “I am thrilled that THE GNOMIST and its message will have this expansive reach.”
“We are delighted to be able to bring Sharon’s beautifully-crafted, novel true story to a wide audience via CNN’s robust digital platforms. On the heels of the success of our first series of digital shorts, we are extremely pleased that THE GNOMIST will become part of our fall series of extraordinary short-form films for CNN,” said Courtney Sexton, senior director for program development for CNN Worldwide.
THE GNOMIST is the true story of the mysterious appearance of fairy dwellings in a suburban Kansas forest and the psychic healing power of the magical experience shared by three former strangers.
“THE GNOMIST is an incredible story, beautifully told. It’s the perfect addition to CNN Digital’s continued push into long-form narrative storytelling,” said Chris Berend, vice president of video content development for CNN/U.S.
The acquisition of THE GNOMIST was negotiated by Stacey Wolf, vice president of business affairs, and Sexton, on behalf of CNN. THE GNOMIST will premiere internationally at Hot Docs Film Festival in Toronto (April 29) and continue to screen at other U.S. film festivals this spring. For more information on screenings, please visit www.thegnomistfilm.com. The film is expected to premiere on CNN’s digital platforms sometime in the fall.
Additional films for the fall series will include short films from Andrew Jenks (MTV’s World of Jenks) and Roger Ross Williams (GOD LOVES UGANDA).
CNN’s inaugural series of short films launched in March and includes the films UBAH!, about the uncommon life of Somalian supermodel and philanthropist Ubah Hassan, directed by Joe Berlinger; RAISING RYLAND, a journey inside the transgender experience as lived by a six-year-old boy, directed by Sarah Feeley; and THE 414S: THE ORIGINAL TEENAGE HACKERS, about a small, talented group of Milwaukee teens who hacked into dozens of prominent computer systems – including the Los Alamos National Laboratory – during the early days of the Internet, directed by Michael T. Vollmann. All three of these exceptional short films are now available via www.CNN.com/shortfilms.
About CNN Films
CNN Films produces and acquires documentary feature and short films for theatrical and festival exhibition and distribution across CNN’s multiple platforms. Amy Entelis, svp of talent and content development, Vinnie Malhotra, svp of development and acquisitions, and Courtney Sexton, senior director for program development, oversee the strategy for CNN Films. For more information about CNN Films, please visit www.CNN.com/CNNFilms, www.CNN.com/shortfilms, and follow @CNNFilms via Twitter.
CNN Worldwide is a portfolio of two dozen news and information services across cable, satellite, radio, wireless devices and the Internet in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide. Domestically, CNN reaches more individuals on television, the web and mobile devices than any other cable TV news organization in the United States; internationally, CNN is the most widely distributed news channel reaching more than 271 million households abroad; and CNN Digital is a top network for online news, mobile news and social media. Additionally, CNN Newsource is the world’s most extensively utilized news service partnering with hundreds of local and international news organizations around the world. CNN is division of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner Company.
The judges' citations of CNN's reporting:
CNN’s Coverage of Kidnapped Nigerian Schoolgirls
CNN approached the Boko Haram kidnapping horror from many angles, even moving Isha Sesay’s daily show to Abuja to raise the profile of the #BringBackOurGirls campaign. Sesay’s tough, live-TV interviewing, along with high-risk field reporting of Nima Elbagir, Arwa Damon and other CNN journalists, made the network’s coverage comprehensive and indispensable.
CNN Investigative Reports: Crisis at the VA High-impact journalism, CNN’s investigation into delays in care at Veteran Affairs hospitals exposed a systemic VA breakdown, eventually leading to the resignation of VA Secretary Eric Shinseki, the passage of federal legislation, and a dramatic change in how veterans’ medical appointments are made, recorded and reported.
After winning the Laureus Sportsman of the Year award for the second time, world number one Novak Djokovic spoke to CNN’s Alex Thomas about taking the prestigious prize and his prospects at Roland Garros.
“This is certainly a crown for all the achievements I had in phenomenal 2014 season, that’s been highlighted with a Wimbledon trophy and a year end at number one of the world. And most importantly, my wedding and six months ago I had the honour to become a father…so all in all, it’s been the best year in my life so far,” said the 8-time grand slam champion.
When asked about his chances at Roland Garros and whether Rafael Nadal is beatable, Djokovic said: “Nobody’s unbeatable, I can tell you that. But he’s definitely an ultimate challenge on the clay courts. He’s the king of clay. He has an incredible record at Roland Garros; he’s only lost one match in his entire career there, so - but he’s not the only player that I’m thinking about winning against on this surface. There’s Federer, of course, Wawrinka. I think it’s really a golden year of men’s tennis at this moment and I’m just trying to stay kind of self-disciplined and committed to this sport.”
2015 to see CNN air new investigations, news reporting and engaging digital content
CNN is bringing viewers a renewed series of reporting and programming about modern slavery in the ground-breaking and award-winning editorial initiative, CNN Freedom Project.
Throughout 2015, CNN will air stories that uncover and expose modern-day slavery including human trafficking, child labour and the sex trade. There will be a focus on turning engagement with CNN Freedom Project into action, with an emphasis on education and harnessing the passion of young people to make a difference.
The aim of CNN Freedom Project is to bring greater global awareness to the problem of modern-day slavery and translate this awareness into real concrete action by donor countries, international organisations, NGOs and private foundations. Through passionate storytelling, investigative journalism, documentaries, live events, and viewer involvement, the CNN Freedom Project helps educate, motivate, and unravel the complicated tangle of criminal enterprises trading in human life.
CNN's Ashleigh Banfield discusses sexual assault on college campuses and allegations against troubled SAE, a college fraternity recently also in the spotlight following recent revelations of a racist chant by members in a now-viral video of Oklahoma University chapter members.
Filmmaker Amy Ziering discusses THE HUNTING GROUND, a documentary she co-produced with fellow award-winning filmmaker Kirby Dick, with Banfield. The film, now playing in New York and Los Angeles, opens more in several cities tomorrow, Friday, March 13, and includes allegations that involve the SAE fraternity and its culture.
THE HUNTING GROUND is executive produced by RADiUS and CNN Films.
At the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, CNN announced a new series of short films representing a collaboration between CNN Films and CNN Digital Studios. These original short films directed by established and rising filmmakers will premiere exclusively across CNN’s digital platforms. The first series of films begins today, March 11, with the 12-minute film, THE 414s: The Original Teenage Hackers, which may be viewed now via www.CNN.com, CNN’s mobile properties (including CNNgo) and CNN’s social footprint. No authentication is required to view the film.
Whether called “snooping,” “raiding,” or “hacking” – what began as surreptitious activity for fun, eventually grew more deliberate when, in 1983, Milwaukee teenagers Neal Patrick, Gerald Wondra, and Timothy Winslow began experimenting with computer networking using a relatively new technology: personal computers. The boys called themselves “the 414s,” an homage to the telephone area code associated with their hometown. FULL POST
CNN Spotlight: Charles and Camilla premieres Saturday, March 14 at 7:30 pm ET on CNN
Ahead of Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall’s official U.S. tour, CNN will air CNN Spotlight: Charles and Camilla – The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall – a half-hour special that includes an exclusive interview with The Prince and new footage of the couple. The program is scheduled to air on Saturday, March 14 at 7:30 pm ET on CNN.
Reported by CNN anchor and London correspondent Max Foster (@maxfostercnn), CNN Spotlight: Charles and Camilla gives viewers special access to the couple as they prepare for their joint visit to the U.S. March 17-20, a few weeks before their 10th wedding anniversary. FULL POST
It was announced today that CNN has been honored by the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation with five Gracie Allen Awards. CNN's recognitions include:
Outstanding Original Online Programming – Series for The Empowered Patient
Outstanding Director – News
Outstanding On-Air Talent: Sports Program
Outstanding Anchor – News or News Magazine
Every Day in Cambodia: A CNN Freedom Project Documentary
A complete list of Gracie Allen Award winners can be found here: 2015 Gracie Award Winners
In an exclusive interview, world champion Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao tells CNN his eldest children are most excited about his upcoming bout with Floyd Mayweather Jr., saying they would be on the “front row” at the Las Vegas showdown on May 2.
"My son and my daughter, they really wanted this fight to happen…Three years ago [they said] 'Daddy, I want you to fight Mayweather. I want you to fight Mayweather.' I said, 'Why? It's not my fault. He doesn't want to fight.' And now finally now it finally happened. They really, really want to watch the fight."
Speaking to CNN’s Becky Anderson (@beckycnn) in Amman, Jordanian Interior Minister Hussein Majali says the war against ISIS is “our war – not the West’s.”
“We look at ourselves as principals in this coalition. This is our war. This is not the West’s war. We are the spearhead of this war.”
Majali continues: “His Majesty – in his latest visit just a few days ago to the States – I think he was promised extra assistance on military hardware, which will make our forces more effective and more sustained.”
On whether he’s satisfied by support from the U.S. and other allies:
“We are extremely satisfied. The United States have gone the extra mile for Jordan.”
On ISIS claim that Jordanian airstrikes killed an American hostage:
“This is another PR stunt by ISIS. They tried to cause problems internally in Jordan and haven't succeeded. They are now trying to drive a wedge between the coalition with this latest low PR stunt.”