CNN New Day anchor Chris Cuomo interviewed Michael Morton in an extended discussion about his wrongful conviction for murder on Wednesday's edition of the program. Morton spent nearly 25 years of his life in the Texas penal system for brutally murdering his wife, Christine, in front of their young son.
Although a team of lawyers, including Houston-based attorney John Raley and several lawyers at The Innocence Project, eventually were able to exonerate him with DNA evidence, his aggressive prosecution and wrongful incarceration robbed him of more than two decades of his life and disrupted his relationship with his son. In addition, while free at large, Christine Morton's true murderer also killed another woman.
Morton described the details of his survival in prison and how he has been able to find grace through his misfortune. Morton now works to secure legal reforms in Texas to help prevent others from being victimized by wrongful prosecutions.
The CNN Films premiere of AN UNREAL DREAM: THE MICHAEL MORTON STORY has screened to extraordinary reviews around the country in film festivals in 2013. The documentary film will debut on television for the first time ever on Sunday, Dec. 8 at 9:00pm Eastern and Pacific on CNN/U.S..
Academy award-nominated filmmaker Al Reinert (Apollo 13 and For All Mankind) profiles a universal worst nightmare scenario of a man wrongly convicted of murdering his wife in the film AN UNREAL DREAM: THE MICHAEL MORTON STORY. The film will air for the first time ever on television at 9:00pm ET and PT on Sunday, Dec. 8 on CNN/U.S.
“We’re thrilled to bring this story to CNN audiences, raising awareness that the price of wrongful convictions goes well beyond individual loss of freedom for the wrongfully incarcerated” said Al Reinert, director of AN UNREAL DREAM. FULL POST
CNN/U.S. plans for second quarter 2014 broadcast
In advance of the 2013 International Documentary Film Festival in Amsterdam (IDFA), CNN Films has acquired the U.S. broadcast rights to DOCUMENTED, a feature-length film that explores the life – and journey out of the shadows – led by undocumented immigrant and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Jose Antonio Vargas, it was announced today. DOCUMENTED will premiere on CNN/U.S. in the second quarter of 2014 as a CNN Films broadcast, following its international bow at the IDFA and its theatrical distribution in the United States. DOCUMENTED is written and directed by Vargas, with technology entrepreneur Sean Parker, Matthew Hiltzik (“Paper Clips”), Scott Budnick (“The Hangover” series), and philanthropist Liz Simons as executive producers.
“Immigration, to me, is not a political issue, it’s not a Latino or Asian issue – it’s an American story,” said writer-director Jose Antonio Vargas. “The film is in honor of 11 million undocumented immigrants – many of us Americans in all but papers. And, the film is dedicated to parents everywhere who dream of better futures for their children. It is a privilege to be associated with CNN Films in bringing DOCUMENTED to television,” Vargas said. FULL POST
CNN New Day Anchor Kate Bolduan interviewed Academy Award-nominated director Robert Stone about his documentary film Pandora's Promise, which profiles several high profile environmentalists who now strongly support nuclear power as a part of the global solution to reduce fossil fuels emissions. Stone, who supports the replacement of fossil fuel powered energy plants with nuclear energy, debated Sierra Club executive director Michael Brune, who says that the cost and safety concerns of nuclear energy are outweighed by the relative benefits of renewable energy sources like solar and wind power.
Pandora's Promise debuted at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2013 and is set to debut for the first time ever on television on Thursday, Nov. 7. The CNN Films broadcast will premiere tomorrow from 9:00pm to 11:00pm and 11:00pm to 1:00am on CNN. All times Eastern. During the film, users can join the debate with the filmmaker and environmentalists from all perspectives on this topic online tomorrow by using #PandorasPromise or by tweeting to @CNNFilms on Twitter.
More information about Pandora's Promise may be found here: www.cnn.com/pandoraspromise.
New Day with Chris Cuomo and Kate Bolduan airs weekday mornings from 6:00am-9:00am ET on CNN/U.S.
PANDORA’S PROMISE, premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in January, will receive its global television debut as a CNN Films broadcast on Thursday, Nov. 7 from 9:00pm to 11:00pm, with encores from 11:00pm to 1:00am and 2:00am to 4:00am. All times Eastern.
The atomic bomb and accidents at Chernobyl, Three Mile Island, and Fukushima bring to mind apocalyptic disasters, but the science and experience since suggest that long-held fears about nuclear power may be wrong. Academy Award®-nominated director Robert Stone examines how fears of “nukes” may have extended the era of fossil fuels, perilously accelerating the pace of climate change as the global demand for energy soars, particularly in the developing world. Stone takes his camera inside the exclusion zone around Fukushima, and even ventures inside the notorious Chernobyl nuclear power plant.
Stone tells the intensely personal stories of environmentalists and energy experts who have undergone profound conversions from being passionately against, to strongly favoring nuclear energy – putting their careers and reputations on the line in the process. Through the voices of Stewart Brand, Gwyneth Cravens, Mark Lynas, Richard Rhodes, and Michael Shellenberger, Stone exposes this rift within the environmental movement as they describe their individual journeys of defection. Also included are interviews with two pioneering engineers of next generation nuclear reactors. FULL POST
Network to offer dynamic second screen experiences to enhance television event for viewers
As the weather cools, CNN Films’ fall schedule heats up with two, new-to-television documentaries that examine the relationship between humans and nature. On Thursday, Oct. 24 from 9:00pm to 11:00pm and 12:00am to 2:00am, CNN will air BLACKFISH, the story of a performing orca, connected to the deaths of several people while in captivity. And, on Thursday, Nov. 7, CNN will air PANDORA’S PROMISE from 9:00pm to 11:00pm and 12:00am to 2:00am, a film that explores the personal journeys of several environmental experts who evolved from being strongly against to being strongly in favor of nuclear energy. All broadcast times are Eastern.
“Both of these special films represent exactly the type of engaging, thought-provoking content that is the mission of CNN Films,” said Jeff Zucker, president of CNN Worldwide, when the documentaries were announced as part of the 2013 fall slate of the network’s documentary presentations. “Through our acquisitions and commissions of exceptional factual content, we aim to encourage dialogue on the issues raised in the films with our filmmakers, experts, and other stakeholders via our robust television, digital and social platforms,” he said. FULL POST
Co-directed by Michael Tucker and Petra Epperlein, THE FLAG examines one of the great untold stories of the September 11th attacks: what happened to the flag raised on the site of the World Trade Center by three firemen, immortalized in one of the most iconic photographs of that day?
In this first commissioned documentary from CNN Films, the filmmakers unravel the mystery of the whereabouts of the flag and, along the way, reveal the meaning of its symbolism in the aftermath of the horrific events of September 11, 2001. THE FLAG sensitively explores and commemorates American resilience during a moment seared into the nation's collective consciousness.
The 90-minute film, THE FLAG debuts Wednesday, Sept. 4 on CNN/U.S. at 9:00p.m. It encores on Sept. 4 at 10:30p.m., 1:00a.m., and 2:30a.m. and again on Sunday, Sept. 8 at the same airtimes. All times Eastern.
The First Commissioned CNN FILMS Documentary Debuts Wednesday, September 4
The first original production commissioned for CNN FILMS, THE FLAG, directed by Michael Tucker and Petra Epperlein, follows the mysterious journey of the American flag featured in one of the most iconic photographs taken at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. The 90-minute film is based upon the forthcoming book by David Friend, Vanity Fair’s editor of creative development and formerly LIFE magazine’s director of photography (The Flag, August 27), and will debut Wednesday, September 4, at 9:00pm, 10:30pm, and 1:00am. All times Eastern.
A vibrant American flag, flying from the back of a boat moored very near the Twin Towers, managed to survive the destruction of the World Trade Center 12 years ago. Someone removed the flag from the boat on September 11th. Thomas Franklin, a photographer for the New Jersey newspaper The Record, took a searing photograph of that flag as it was raised by three fire fighters above the smoldering rubble on the evening of the terrorist attacks. That image immediately became one of the archetypical photographs of the disaster.
Shortly after the iconic photo was taken, the whereabouts of the original flag became a mystery. Who would keep it – and why? FULL POST