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
Following the release of iOS 9, users will now be able to access CNN on Apple News. CNN will be providing many of its signature news and enterprises stories to the app daily, including content from CNNMoney, CNN Politics and CNN Style. With the help of Apple’s unique publishing tools, CNN will also hand-craft feature stories blending photos, videos and animations to produce immersive, interactive experiences. Users will be able to explore CNN content in the app or choose the CNN channel from the favorites section. CNN stories will also be available to search and save.
"For the last 18 months in a row, CNN has had the No. 1 iPhone news app,” said CNN Chief Product Officer Alex Wellen. "Apple News enables us to dramatically increase CNN's reach further with a bespoke experience around our original, global, multimedia reporting and storytelling.”
CNN’s Stephen Collinson (@StCollinson) journeyed across the pond to his native United Kingdom to launch CNN Politics latest original video series – Yankee Doodle.
In the debut episode, Collinson takes Americans into the heart of the pending UK election – including the race tracks, the debate hall and of course the pubs – to explain why the UK election matters how it’s different from what the United States will experience in the months ahead.
Collinson, a seasoned political reporter who’s filed from more than 50 countries, will give users a fun and easy to understand guide through a series of fascinating and complex political races and issues in his new series.
Don’t miss the adventures, antics and explainers from Collinson’s series, produced in partnership by CNN Politics and CNN Digital Studios.
CNN announced today the availability of CNNgo on Apple TV. As part of the industry-wide TV Everywhere initiative, CNNgo is now available in more than 86 million homes and to participating TV providers on Apple TV devices.
The CNNgo experience on Apple TV features the largest collection of CNN’s on-demand content to date. Pay-TV customers can log in with their user name and password for access to Live TV and Shows, such as CNN Original Series Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown, Finding Jesus, Mike Rowe’s Sombody’s Gotta Do It, Morgan Spurlock Inside Man, This is Life with Lisa Ling, The Wonder List with Bill Weir and Anderson Cooper’s nightly news program, AC 360°. All users of Apple TV can enjoy a collection of hand-curated clips by topic – from world and politics to entertainment and tech – in the Must See section.
“CNNgo on Apple TV brings together our live CNN TV simulcast and deep library of original films, franchises and short-form video in a powerful, on-demand way unlike any product we’ve launched to date," said CNN's Chief Product Officer Alex Wellen. "Apple TV is the first critical platform in our digital strategy to reimagine the TV news experience.” FULL POST
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’s Fareed Zakaria explores inspiring futuristic endeavors in science and technology for a special edition of Fareed Zakaria GPS, Moonshots for the 21st Century, available now exclusively via CNNgo, the network’s TV Everywhere product that gives viewers control of their CNN experience.
This Fareed Zakaria GPS special takes a fascinating look at how harnessing the energy of nuclear fusion reactions may create a virtually limitless energy source, unlocking innovations in hypersonic flight, and revealing the power of the mind by mapping the brain. Will astronauts reach Mars by the 2030s? Will it soon be possible to 3D-print human organs for life-saving transplants? Zakaria guides viewers on a tour of how scientists may turn these technological pipe dreams into reality during an extraordinary hour of discoveries.
Guests include NASA Administrator Charles Bolden; the chief of the Bioficial Heart Division of the Cardiovascular Innovation Institute at the University of Louisville, Dr. Stuart Williams; from the energy development member nation organization ITER, U.S. head Ned Sauthoff and scientists Gunther Janeschitz and Mark Henderson; the chief engineer for the high speed systems division at the Air Force Research Laboratory, Robert Mercier; and theoretical physicist & futurist Dr. Michio Kaku.
Moonshots for the 21st Century: A Fareed Zakaria GPS Special is available to viewers now by logging in with a TV provider username and password on CNN’s iPad app or via www.CNN.com/go.
Film Acquired as 2015 Sundance Film Festival opens, THE 414s: THE ORIGINAL TEENAGE HACKERS will debut as CNN FILMS short film series in partnership with CNN Digital Studios online
CNN Films announced today a new series of short films representing a collaboration between CNN Films and CNN Digital Studios. CNN Films makes the announcement concurrently with an acquisition of THE 414s which will have its World Premiere at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, continuing the mission of bringing premium and distinct storytelling to CNN platforms, from some of the most talented voices in non-fiction filmmaking. These original short films directed by established and rising filmmakers will debut across CNN’s digital platforms, extending across CNN.com, CNN’s mobile properties including CNNgo, and CNN’s social footprint.
“This new venture into short-form documentary story-telling brings to fruition, our vision for a premium, multidimensional, film brand for CNN. CNN Films premieres have the ability to capture audiences across theatrical, broadcast, and now digital spaces,” said Vinnie Malhotra, senior vice president of development and acquisitions for CNN Worldwide. FULL POST
Standing out among more than 700,000 available mobile apps for Android users, CNN was named to Google Play's Best Apps of 2014 List. Out of the 75 apps featured in 2014, CNN was one of just a few news applications recommended to users.
CNN's trusted mobile apps are available for download across devices, including:
Celebrity Chef Roy Choi takes a dive into the flavors, sounds and styles of Los Angeles in his new CNN web series – Street Food. Roy dips into the lives of cultural tastemakers to get their perspectives on how everyday trends and cultural movements are born. These are influencers who may work in and around Hollywood, but tackle life with a DIY, on-the-ground approach. Thus the title, Street Food.
The latest CNN Digital Studios production goes live on October 13 and debuts across CNN Digital (CNN.com, CNN Mobile Products, CNN Social), with all eight episodes premiering at once. Interview subjects include: Michelle Phan (YouTube sensation), Jon Favreau (filmmaker), Mike D. (Beastie Boy), Anthony Bourdain (traveler) and Sage Vaughn (artist).
This is the latest series from CNN Digital Studios, the premium digital content arm of CNN, and ahead of Dhani Jones’ Be a Champion due out in early 2015.
Take a sneak peek into the series on CNN.com, and exclusive early images of some of the episodes to come:Street Food with Roy Choi