PBS, Channel 4 order Algerian terror doc

Nutopia will produce and Bruce Goodison (pictured) will direct the tentatively titled Terror in the Desert, which promises to tell the full story behind the hostage crisis at the In Amenas gas facility in Algeria.
July 31, 2013

UK broadcaster Channel 4 and U.S. network PBS are uniting to coproduce a documentary about the terrorist attack and hostage crisis at the In Amenas gas facility in Algeria, which left at least 67 people dead in January this year.

The hour-long doc Terror in the Desert (working title) is being produced by Jane Root’s indie Nutopia, and directed by BAFTA-winning director Bruce Goodison (pictured above), whose credits include Our War and The Flight that Fought Back.

Beth Hoppe, PBS’s chief programming executive and general manager for general audience programming, said: “This documentary will portray a dramatic and important event in contemporary history from the perspectives those who lived it.”

Nutopia will use a combination of drama and documentary in to tell the story of the terrorist siege, presenting first-person interviews with hostage survivors and their families, many of whom will be speaking on camera for the first time.

The doc promises dramatic reconstruction of key events during the four days of the stand-off, which were punctuated by gun battles and dramatic tales of escape.

Nutopia CEO Root said: “This is an extraordinary and tragic story which has been almost hidden from the world. We’re incredibly grateful that these brave men and women are going to collaborate with us to try and shine a light on what happened in the desert.”

The commission editor for Channel 4 is Daniel Pearl and the exec producer for Nutopia is Nav Raman. BBC Worldwide will distribute the doc internationally.

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