CNN Films has nabbed the U.S. broadcast rights to Documented, a feature-length documentary on Jose Antonio Vargas, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and undocumented immigrant.
The film will broadcast on CNN in the U.S. in the second quarter of 2014, after its festival screening at IDFA in Amsterdam and a theatrical run in the U.S.
Written and directed by Vargas and produced by his company Apo Productions, Documented is executive produced by technology entrepreneur Sean Parker, Matthew Hiltzik (Paper Clips), Scott Budnick (The Hangover films) and philanthropist Liz Simons.
The doc tells the story of Vargas, who came to the U.S. from the Philippines as a child, and won a Pulitzer in 2008 as part of a team of Washington Post journalists who covered the Virginia Tech University shooting in 2007.
He began working on the film before coming out as an undocumented citizen in the New York Times Magazine essay, “My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant”.
Vargas has since launched the Define American project and joined the Dreamers group, which fights for legal recognition of other undocumented citizens in the U.S., and the film follows his lecture tour, as well as features his memories growing up.
“Immigration, to me, is not a political issue, it’s not a Latino or Asian issue – it’s an American story,” said 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.”
“We have followed Jose’s story closely since 2011 and are very pleased we will be able to offer U.S. viewers a window into the experiences of recent immigrants through his story,” said Amy Entelis, senior vice president for talent and content development for CNN Worldwide. “Jose also reports this story from a journalist’s point of view – which makes it a great fit for distribution on our network.”