Investigation Discovery has announced the launch of a new independent documentary strand on the channel entitled ID Films. The strand, which will debut in August, will be home for indie docs on overlooked aspects of the U.S. justice system.
The first documentary to make its world television premiere on ID Films will be Cropsey, a film looking at one of New York’s most disturbing unsolved mysteries. As children the filmmakers, Joshua Zeman and Barbara Brancaccio, had heard the urban legend of Cropsey, a escaped mental patient who allegedly lived in the abandoned Willowbrook Mental Institution. He was rumored to come out late at night and snatch children off the streets. The filmmakers assumed the story was an urban legend meant to keep them close to home, but when five children went missing from Staten Island they started to wonder if the legend was real. Cropsey, which screened at Tribeca in 2009, investigates the unsolved mysteries of these missing children and the urban legend of the escaped mental patient.
The second film to debut on ID Films is Roger Weisberg and Vanessa Roth’s No Tomorrow, which explores the role of media in the criminal justice system while looking at why the U.S. is one of the only developed nations to still use capital punishment. The film will air on ID October 8 under the title Final Judgment.
Final Judgment looks at how the filmmakers’ 2005 film Aging Out, which examined what happens to teenagers after they leave foster care and documented the last year in the life Risa Bejarano who was murdered shortly after the doc was released, and how it became a part of the courtcase determining whether Bejarano’s alleged killer would get the death penalty.
The goal of the new strand is to program quarterly premieres and provide an outlet for investigative, mysterious and intriguing documentaries. ‘Created by some of the top independent filmmakers in the country, the documentaries featured in ID Films are, by their very nature, intensely personal,’ syas Henry Schleiff, president and general manager of Investigation Discovery. ‘We are proud to provide an outlet for documentaries like Cropsey and Final Judgment. This is the perfect way to kick off this initiative in that the first is an incredibly compelling true story of one of New York’s most infamous unsolved crimes while the second is an example of ID’s commitment to bringing attention – as well as informed and articulate debate – to important issues such as those that surround the controversial subject of capital punishment.’