Sundance pick The Case Against 8 and Tribeca title Herblock: The Black & The White (pictured) feature among HBO’s documentary line-up for the first half of the year.
The 13-doc slate, which covers everything from intimate family portraits to examinations of U.S. prisons, kicks off January 27 with Herblock: The Black & The White, which follows the life of Washington Post cartoonist Herbert L. Block, who won four Pulitzer Prizes and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Questioning Darwin, an in-depth look at debates surrounding modern-day creationist theory from Anthony Thomas (For Neda), premieres February 10, followed by Happy Birthday to a Beautiful Woman, a celebration of director Mickalene Thomas’s mother and long-time muse Sandra Bush, on February 24.
In March, HBO will debut Paycheck to Paycheck: The Life and Times of Katrina Gilbert, an examination of U.S. women living in poverty, exec produced by Maria Shriver (March 17).
Two prison-themed documentaries air March 31, including the Oscar-shortlisted Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall, which goes inside one of America’s oldest maximum security prisons, the Iowa State Penitentiary; and The University of Sing Sing, a study of several inmates at the maximum security Sing Sing Correctional Facility and their pursuit of a college education.
Kicking off April is One Last Hug: Three Days at Grief Camp, Oscar nominee Irene Taylor Brodsky’s profile of a U.S. camp where children recovering from the loss of loved ones go to grieve. Also premiering that month is All About Ann: Governor Richards of the Lone Star State, which chronicles the political life of former Texas Democratic governor Ann Richards, who made major reforms to gun control, the state’s prisons and women’s rights laws.
Next up is The Dead Mothers’ Club on May 5. Inspired by Hope Edelman’s New York Times-bestseller Motherless Daughters, the documentary shares the stories of three women who lost their mothers during childhood and are now mothers themselves. May also sees the debut of Larry Kramer, a intimate profile of the acclaimed playwright, novelist and essayist that focuses on his contributions to LGBT rights advocacy.
On June 9, actor Robert De Niro Jr. discusses his father in Remembering the Artist: Robert De Niro, Sr.; and on June 16, sometime wedding photographer Doug Block revisits some of his favorite weddings and couples in 112 Weddings.
Rounding out June is Sundance pick The Case Against 8, which goes inside the Supreme Court case that overturned Proposition 8, California’s ban on same-sex marriage (June 23).
Finally, HBO Family’s Masterclass Presentations – half-hour documentaries that follow gifted high-school students mentored by U.S. artists – includes Josh Groban: Sing Your Song – A Youngarts Masterclass (January 21), and Anna Deavere Smith: A Youngarts Masterclass (February 17).