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Upfront: CNN puts Perspectives on indie documentary production

CNN International has received the green light from parent company, Time Warner, to spend us$5-6 million on documentaries commissioned from the independent sector over the next three years. In the first stage of the strategy, cnni will commit us$1.5 million to...
February 1, 1998

CNN International has received the green light from parent company, Time Warner, to spend us$5-6 million on documentaries commissioned from the independent sector over the next three years. In the first stage of the strategy, cnni will commit us$1.5 million to documentary singles and series in 1998.

The move is part of cnni’s efforts to regionalize its programming output – a strategy being overseen by Chris Cramer who was promoted to president of the network last week. Initially, the main hunt for programming will focus on Europe.

One of the cornerstones of the new investment plan is Perspectives, launched on January 2. Handled by head of CNN Productions, Pat Mitchell, the strand will feature a one-hour film each month from either the cnn stable or the independent sector. The series is a sign of cnni’s intent to establish branded program formats on its service.

Cramer, who is already talking to a number of indies, says, ‘I want independent productions to be the backbone of the Perspectives series. There is a wealth of talent and production knowledge in the international arena that I want to tap into. During the early part of this year, I will be in Europe hunting for new and fresh programming for the network.’

Forthcoming films in the strand include Exile Productions’ Exile in Sarajevo, made by Bosnians, Tahil Cambis and Alma Sahbaz, and Gerrie and Louise, by Canadian Sturla Gunnarsson. Another strand, artclub, is already being produced for cnni by artv in London.

Also in Upfront:

-News Briefs

-D Network to expand development and distribution

-Discovery goes local with new Eastern European producer fun.

About The Author
Meagan Kashty is an associate editor of realscreen, an international print and online magazine that covers the non-fiction film and television industries. Meagan is an award-winning business journalist. Prior to joining the realscreen team, Meagan was online editor of Canadian Grocer, named Magazine of the Year at the 2015 Canadian Business Media Awards. She can be reached at mkashty@brunico.com, and you can follow her on Twitter @MegKashty

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