February 2nd, 2016
01:18 PM ET

1.35 Million Viewers See CNN Films Presents HISTORY OF THE EAGLES – Premiere #1 on Saturday

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Director Alison Ellwood’s look at the musical legacy of the rock supergroup soars for CNN Films Presents 

Among Viewers 18-34, in 25-54 Demo, and Total Viewers

The CNN Films Presents premiere of History of the Eagles won its time period on Saturday night, and was seen by 1.35 million total viewers Saturday, Jan. 30, beginning 8:00pm Eastern.  The four-hour film premiere also won the time period (8:00pm to 11:55pm Eastern) for cable news viewers with 384k viewers aged 25 to 54 years, as well as among younger viewers aged 18 to 34 years with 67k viewers.

In its time period Saturday night, CNN Films Presents History of the Eagles outperformed the combined delivery of Fox News and MSNBC (726k total viewers for Fox and 304k total viewers for MSNBC) among total viewers and among viewers in the cable news demo of viewers aged 25 to 54 (168k for Fox and 157k for MSNBC).  MSNBC averaged 44k among viewers aged 18 to 34; Fox News averaged 33k among viewers aged 18 to 34.

The film, directed by Alison Ellwood and produced by Alex Gibney first debuted at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, and spans the early life of the bandmates, their rise to super stardom, the breakup of the band, and their reunion.  FULL POST

January 6th, 2016
03:11 PM ET

Television Premiere for SUNSHINE SUPERMAN Set For CNN

Film debuts as CNN Films broadcast Sunday, Jan. 17 at 9:00pm and 12:00am Eastern

SUNSHINE SUPERMAN, the immersive love story of Carl and Jean Boenish, the husband and wife team who invented BASE jumping – and their devotion to the freedom and beauty of foot-launched human flight – will make its global television premiere on CNN/U.S. Sunday, Jan. 17 at 9:00pm and 12:00am Eastern, the network announced today. The CNN Films broadcast will be presented with limited commercial interruption by Volkswagen.

Carl Boenish, a trained electrical engineer and experienced skydiver, as well as an innovator of film techniques and film technology, zealously chronicled the pioneering days of BASE in the early 1980’s in exquisitely beautiful 16mm film. Boenish sometimes mounted cameras to his head and the heads of his small band of fellow fliers in order to document a bird’s-eye view of their jumps. Director, writer, and producer Marah Strauch interweaves this archival footage along with new photography and reenacted events (recreated from the Boenishes’ personal audio diary recordings), for a visually stunning feature film debut. Strauch and producer / editor Eric Bruggemann, develop an intimate portrait of the Boenishes as risk-takers who passionately loved both each other and BASE.

BASE, which stands for “building,” “antenna,” “span,” and “earth” was, in its experimental early days, initially opposed by the U.S. Parachute Association. Those first jumps also brought inquisitive fame and attention to the novel sport – along with a risk of arrest. Phil Smith (BASE #1, the first person to ever successfully complete a series of jumps from all four types of objects – in Houston, TX), Phil Mayfield (BASE #2), and the Boenishes (BASE #3 and #4), describe first-person accounts in the film, adding insight into their preparation and collective genius. They also vividly recall their frustrations with the legal obstacles to their adventures, taking viewers on a thrilling emotional ride of beauty and suspense. Cameos of Phil Donahue, Pat Sajak, and Kathie Lee Johnson (later Gifford) yield a glimpse into the excitement of the followers and fans of BASE that some found difficult to understand.

At the pinnacle of Carl’s and Jean’s extraordinary achievements, they together broke the BASE jumping Guinness World Record in 1984 by jumping from Trollveggen, ‘Troll Wall,’ along the western coast of Norway’s Trolltindene mountain range. Incredibly, within hours, that astonishing triumph was followed by heartbreaking disaster.

“We want to feel like we’re astronauts walking on the Moon….it just gives us a feeling of power, and of joy. And, we want to share it with the world…,” says Carl Boenish in the film, describing the allure and exhilaration of BASE.

SUNSHINE SUPERMAN will be available via desktop (www.CNN.com/go), iPad, Apple TV, Roku, and across CNN’s mobile platforms.  After the broadcast premiere, the film will be On Demand for seven days via CNNgo.  The film will encore on CNN/U.S. Saturday, Jan. 23, at 8:00pm Eastern.

SUNSHINE SUPERMAN had its world premiere at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival and was produced by Scissor Kick Films, Flimmer Films, and Submarine Entertainment. It was executive produced by Oscar-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney and was exhibited nationally by Magnolia Pictures and internationally by Universal Pictures.  For more information about SUNSHINE SUPERMAN, please visit www.CNN.com/cnnfilms and follow @CNNFilms via Twitter and use #SunshineSuperman to participate in conversations about the film.

About CNN Films

CNN Films produces, acquires, and commissions documentary feature and short films for theatrical and festival exhibition and distribution across CNN’s multiple platforms.  Amy Entelis, executive vice president of talent and content development for CNN Worldwide, oversees the strategy for CNN Films and CNN Films Presents.  Courtney Sexton, senior director of program development, manages the day-to-day operations for CNN Films and works directly with filmmakers to supervise original projects.  For more information about CNN Films, please visit www.cnn.com/CNNFilms and follow @CNNFilms via Twitter.

About CNN

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.

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January 4th, 2016
05:45 PM ET

CNN Films STEVE JOBS: The Man in the Machine Premiere #1 on Sunday

Alex Gibney’s look at the life and legacy of the legendary tech innovator helps CNN rank #1 in total viewers, demo, and young viewers during premiere; Encore set for Saturday, Jan. 09 at 9:00pm & 11:00pm Eastern

The CNN Films premiere of STEVE JOBS: The Man in the Machine was seen by more than 1.15 million total viewers Sunday, Jan. 3 at 9:00pm Eastern. The film also won the time period among the cable news nets with 455k viewers aged 25 to 54 years, and had 97k among viewers aged 18 to 34 years for its premiere. In its time period last night, CNN Films outperformed the combined delivery of Fox News and MSNBC in each demo. MSNBC averaged 255k total viewers, 143k among viewers aged 25 to 54, and 47k viewers aged 18 to 34; Fox News averaged 436k total viewers, 85k among viewers aged 25 to 54, and 10k viewers aged 18 to 34, for the same time period.

Last night’s premiere makes the film the third highest-rated in the franchise among total viewers and viewers aged 25 to 54 years old for CNN (after CNN Films Presents Glen Campbell…I’ll Be Me and CNN Films Blackfish).

The strong performance of the CNN Films presentation helped CNN far outpace the cable news competition for the evening in primetime (8:00pm to 11:00pm), with 968k total viewers for CNN (vs. 266k for MSNBC; 494k for Fox News), 358k viewers aged 25 to 54 for CNN (vs. 144k for MSNBC; 89k for Fox News), and 81k among viewers aged 18 to 34 for CNN (vs. 39k for MSNBC; 10k for Fox News). CNN easily outperformed the combined delivery of MSNBC and Fox News in each demo.

STEVE JOBS: The Man in the Machine trounced the competition with 720k total viewers, 312k viewers aged 25 to 54, and 92k viewers aged 18 to 34 for its 11:00pm replay. MSNBC had 352k total viewers, 203k viewers aged 25 to 54, and 61k viewers aged 18 to 34. Fox News came in a distant fourth in each category: 307k total viewers, 71k viewers aged 25 to 54, and 22k among viewers aged 18 to 34.

The critically-acclaimed STEVE JOBS: The Man in the Machine was directed and narrated by Academy® Award-winning director Alex Gibney (Taxi to the Dark Side) and sponsored by Volkswagen. The film is set to encore Saturday, Jan. 09 at 9:00pm and 11:00pm.  All times Eastern.

In between the encore broadcasts, viewers can watch the film On Demand and learn more about Steve Jobs, by visiting www.CNN.com/CNNFilms.

Source: The Nielsen Company, Fast Nationals time period-based data for Sunday 01/03/2016, program-based historical data. All data based on Live+SD. FULL POST

December 21st, 2015
11:35 AM ET

THE GNOMIST streaming now for the holiday season

CNN Digital Studios and CNN Films add story of hope during season of peace to digital film series

THE GNOMIST, award-winning filmmaker Sharon Liese’s short film about the mystical power of kindness, and produced by Herizon Productions and Cynthia Wade, is streaming now, here: Watch The Gnomist.

The documentary short, which clocks in at just under 18 minutes, is the true story of the mysterious appearance of fairy dwellings in the suburban forest of Overland Park, Kansas. Visitors to the park began noticing the miniature homes along Tomahawk Creek Trail in the summer of 2013, lovingly decorated with interior furnishings, and even signs of life of their inhabitants – tiny kettles and tea cups, small-scale gardening tools, clothing, and even notes of love and welcome affixed to the diminutive doors of the abodes.

Dubbed “Firefly Forest,” the small community brought joy to its visitors with an immediate mystery: who had erected the gnome homes – and why did they do it? Resplendently presented as a true fairytale, THE GNOMIST explores the psychic healing power of a magical experience shared by three former strangers.

“I love that the film is being released now because its message is a powerful counter balance to recent disturbing events that jeopardize our faith in humanity. I am grateful that I can now share this with the world,” said Liese. FULL POST

December 9th, 2015
12:38 PM ET

STEVE JOBS: THE MAN IN THE MACHINE to make TV Debut on CNN/U.S.

Following successful theatrical and festival exhibitions, film debuts as CNN Films broadcast Sunday, Jan. 3 at 9:00pm ET

STEVE JOBS: THE MAN IN THE MACHINE will make its global television premiere on CNN/U.S. Sunday, Jan. 3 at 9:00pm Eastern with an encore to air on CNN/U.S. immediately following the premiere, the network announced today. The CNN Films broadcast of the acclaimed documentary will be presented with limited commercial interruption by Volkswagen.

STEVE JOBS: THE MAN IN THE MACHINE is a candid biography of the Apple co-founder’s incredible true life and legacy. Directed and narrated by Academy® Award-winning director Alex Gibney (Taxi to the Dark Side), this captivating film features exclusive interviews with people close to Jobs at various stages of his storied life, including Chrisann Brennan, the mother of his oldest child; Daniel Kottke, formerly Jobs’ roommate, college classmate, and Apple’s twelfth employee; former Apple executives Bob Belleville, Jon Rubinstein, and Andy Grignon; other industry contemporaries; and also journalists who covered him throughout the years.

The frank film leverages a mix of the new interviews with archival footage, intimate photos, relatively rare video of Jobs speaking during media interviews – and previously unseen video from a legal deposition as Jobs attempted to explain his role in the Apple stock option backdating scandal.  The story moves from Jobs’ heady rise from Silicon Valley whiz kid to CEO, to his ouster from Apple and triumphant return, the Foxconn and stock option controversies, and the worldwide outpouring of grief upon his untimely death in 2011.  A man who was both revered as an iconoclastic genius and feared by some as a barbed-tongued tyrant, the film also attempts to explain the carefully constructed mythology of Jobs, perhaps the most publicly-admired corporate figure of the technology age.

“I ended up changing my entire life…I lost my wife in that process, I lost my children…the whole structure of my life was just changed forever by going to work on that Mac…work was intense, the commitment needed to do it was intense…,” recalls Belleville, who was lured to the fledgling Apple to engineer the Macintosh.  Yet, Belleville also weeps as he reads a letter he wrote commemorating Jobs’ death, emotionally describing him as “a combination of James Dean, Princess Diana, John Lennon, and maybe Santa Claus.”

At the time of Jobs’ death, his name and image had become synonymous with the sleek, high-tech personal devices that came to define and transform the first two decades of the 21st Century.  The highly secretive creation and careful launching of each new Apple product continue to be the focus of mass media interest and global consumer aspiration.

STEVE JOBS: THE MAN IN THE MACHINE will be available via desktop (www.CNN.com/go), iPad, Apple TV, Roku, and across CNN’s mobile platforms.  After the broadcast premiere, the film will be On Demand for seven days via CNNgo.  The film will also encore Saturday, Jan. 9, at 8:00pm Eastern.

STEVE JOBS: THE MAN IN THE MACHINE had its world premiere at the 2015 SXSW Film Festival and was co-produced by Jigsaw Productions and exhibited by Magnolia Pictures in theaters nationally.  For more information about this film, please visit www.CNN.com/cnnfilms. FULL POST

December 4th, 2015
11:17 AM ET

BLACKFACE Streams Across CNN’s Digital Platforms

Academy® Award-winning filmmaker Roger Ross Williams’s new provocative short explores racially-charged Christmas tradition

Academy® Award-winning filmmaker, Roger Ross Williams, takes viewers with him on a provocative exploration of the origins of the curious Christmastime custom of dressing up in blackface, for his latest documentary short film, also titled BLACKFACE, co-produced by CNN Films and CNN Digital Studios, and now streaming across CNN’s digital platforms, the network announced today. BLACKFACE makes its global premiere across CNN’s digital and mobile platforms.

In Holland, “a country of tolerance, forward-thinking, bikes, and Dutch apple pie,” as Williams describes in his narration, dressing up as Zwarte Piet, is as Dutch as “tulips or Gouda cheese.” Each December, as in the United States and many countries around the world, revelers mark the holiday season by dressing up as Santa Claus (“Sinterklaas”). In the Netherlands though, Santa is frequently depicted with a mischievous companion, “Zwarte Piet,” or “Black Pete,” a childlike African caricature dressed in fancy clothes with ruby-red lips, who is sometimes Santa’s helper, sometimes an angry slave that works for Sinterklaas.

Williams discovers that Black Pete is a fiercely – and controversially-defended tradition, but it’s also a tradition that many people see as hostile and offensive – an odd cultural juxtaposition for a society that is globally-known for its avant-garde cultural inclusiveness. Williams speaks with art and cultural historians who outline the history of the tradition – and the political challenges – even extending to the Prime Minister’s defense of the tradition – that are associated with pointing out the hurtful images that remind many of slavery. Along the way, Williams also explores the complicated relationship of the Dutch to their colonial history and the global slave trade.

Williams also speaks with Black Pete protestors, and explores how even today, Dutch children are still learning to practice a custom that seems of a bygone era.

BLACKFACE runs approximately 15 minutes and is available via CNN.com, CNNgo, and across CNN’s mobile properties. For a preview of BLACKFACE, please visit http://cnn.it/1XlouOW. The film is presented across CNN’s digital platforms exclusively by Volkswagen.

CNN’s fall doc short series launched in November with ALL-AMERICAN FAMILY, directed by award-winning filmmaker Andrew Jenks, and produced and directed by Jenks and Daniel Zinn through Andrew Jenks Entertainment. FULL POST

ALL-AMERICAN FAMILY Launches Fall Doc Short Series Across CNN’s Digital Platforms
November 25th, 2015
09:47 AM ET

ALL-AMERICAN FAMILY Launches Fall Doc Short Series Across CNN’s Digital Platforms

Award-winning filmmaker Andrew Jenks’s doc short explores family, high school football, and Deaf culture

In Pleasanton, Ca., brothers Zane and Jax Pedersen are famous for leading their high school football team to glory. Like many brothers, they are rivals and best friends – their family and school is also largely Deaf. Four generations of Pedersens have played football at the California School for the Deaf, teaching visitors that they are fierce competitors on the field – and fiercely proud of their Deaf culture. ALL-AMERICAN FAMILY, directed by award-winning filmmaker Andrew Jenks, and produced by Jenks and Daniel Zinn through Andrew Jenks Entertainment, and co-produced by CNN Films and CNN Digital Studios, is streaming across CNN’s digital platforms now, kicking off a new series of digital documentary short films.

ALL-AMERICAN FAMILY, which runs approximately 12 minutes, shows the exuberance and comradery of football in a suburban town, the love of a tight-knit family, proud of its young generation, and the community that comes with being Deaf. Jenks describes his passion quest in pursuing this film as having begun when he was a teenager and lived not far from a school for the Deaf.

“I would pass a school for the Deaf enroute to the local mall and thought if I could ever make movies, I would want to make one that captured that world. I thought a good entry point would be an aspect of life that most people can relate to, or find accessible. A high school football team came to mind; sort of like my own version of Friday Night Lights.” said Jenks. “I feel so lucky to have met the Pedersen family and to have had the opportunity to tell a little slice of their extraordinary family story.”

ALL-AMERICAN FAMILY premiered at New York’s Tribeca Film Festival and won the audience award for best short film at the 2015 Hamptons International Film Festival. The film is presented across CNN’s digital platforms exclusively by Volkswagen. The film will be available via CNN.com and across CNN’s mobile properties. For a preview of the film, please visit www.CNN.com/shortfilms.

In future weeks, following the premiere of ALL-AMERICAN FAMILY, CNN’s digital film series will include films by award-winning filmmakers Sharon Liese and Roger Ross Williams.

CNN’s inaugural series of short films launched in March and currently 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.

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, evp of talent and content development, 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.

About CNN

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.

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Blindsided: How ISIS Shook the World to air TONIGHT, Nov. 17 on CNN/U.S. and CNN International #FZGPS
November 17th, 2015
02:43 PM ET

Blindsided: How ISIS Shook the World to air TONIGHT, Nov. 17 on CNN/U.S. and CNN International #FZGPS

The origins of the terror group known as Islamic State or ‘ISIS,’ and what they want, are explored by CNN’s Fareed Zakaria, in a one-hour special, Blindsided: How ISIS Shook the World, tonight, Tuesday, Nov. 17 at 9:00pm Eastern on CNN/U.S. and CNN International.   

Deputy National Security Advisor for strategic communication Ben Rhodes; a former jihadi who now leads a counter-extremism think tank, Quilliam, Maajid Nawaz; former director of the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency, Lt. General Michael Flynn; Middle East expert and London School of Economics professor of international relations Fawaz Gerges; former FBI agent Ali Soufan; and others discuss the ambitions and goals of the terror group.

The chief objective of ISIS, or Daesh, is its unique vision of a caliphate – and luring American and Western troops back to the Middle East to apocalyptic ground in combat.

Also discussed, how ISIS grew to become a transnational terror organization, how it recruits followers, what is being done to try to stop it – and what does and doesn’t seem to be working.

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November 10th, 2015
03:07 PM ET

CNN Films to encore #Blackfish documentary Nov. 14 at 8pmET

CNN Films will encore the thought-provoking documentary film, Blackfish, on Saturday, Nov. 14.

Blackfish explores the extraordinary nature of Orcas and their decades-long history in captivity.  This revealing film also explores the chilling 2010 incident in which an experienced Sea World trainer was killed by the 12,000-pound Tilikum, a whale previously also associated with the deaths of two other people.

CNN Films will encore #Blackfish Saturday, Nov. 14 at 8:00pm Eastern (5:00pm Pacific).

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THE HUNTING GROUND Premieres on CNN in November
November 3rd, 2015
04:28 PM ET

THE HUNTING GROUND Premieres on CNN in November

Broadcast set for Sunday, Nov. 22 at 8:00pm Eastern

CNN Films will broadcast the groundbreaking feature documentary about sexual assault on American college campuses – the failure of universities to address the problem, and the rise of a new student movement – on Sunday, Nov. 22 at 8:00pm, the network announced today. THE HUNTING GROUND is written and directed by Academy Award®-nominated, two-time Emmy®-winning film director Kirby Dick, and produced by Academy Award®-nominated, two-time Emmy®-winning filmmaker Amy Ziering, the team also behind the Oscar®-nominated THE INVISIBLE WAR, that exposed the shocking prevalence of sexual assault in the U.S. Military.

THE HUNTING GROUND will be exclusively presented on CNN/U.S. with limited commercial interruption, immediately followed by Sexual Assault on Campus, a roundtable discussion including legal and counseling experts skilled in sexual assault investigations, and the filmmakers, to discuss the sensitive, complex issues explored in the film. Sexual Assault on Campus will be hosted by CNN New Day anchor Alisyn Camerota.

“We are glad CNN is presenting THE HUNTING GROUND, and providing a national platform for this urgent issue that has been ignored far too long,” said Kirby Dick, on behalf of the filmmakers.

Utilizing devastatingly raw, first-person testimonies and expert insights, the film traces the experiences of two intrepid survivors, Annie Clark and Andrea Pino, who meet as they pursue their educations while seeking justice for themselves. The two also connect with other survivors to offer support, compassion, and legal aid, eventually developing a novel legal strategy that leverages Title IX legislation to compel more fair adjudication. Pino and Clark have also inspired a national dialogue on the handling of campus assaults and launched a survivors’ network for women who refuse to be silenced.

The story behind the film has inspired music artist Lady Gaga and seven-time Academy Award®-nominee Diane Warren to write, and Lady Gaga to record “Til It Happens to You,” an intensely moving song that calls for support and compassion for sexual assault survivors and is fast becoming an anthem for survivors around the world.

THE HUNTING GROUND was released theatrically by RADiUS, the boutique label of The Weinstein Company; the film was also screened by nearly 1,000 educational institutions. A streaming simulcast will be available on CNNgo via desktop (www.CNN.com/go), mobile, iPad, and Apple TV. After the broadcast premiere, THE HUNTING GROUND will be available On Demand for seven days on CNNgo and cable operator VOD platforms. The film and special will encore Sunday, Nov. 22 beginning at 11:00pm. All times Eastern.

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