CNN Films to produce feature doc about pandemics

Coproduced by Sierra Tango Productions and directed by Janet Tobias (pictured), the film is to focus on the pathogens that could lead to the next pandemic and will feature leading researchers in the field.
November 6, 2014

CNN Films and Sierra Tango Productions are producing a feature documentary about pathogens that could lead to the next pandemic.

Due to open in theaters in 2015, the yet-to-be-titled doc is being directed and produced by No Place on Earth helmerĀ Janet Tobias (pictured) and will feature the doctor who discovered the virus that causes Ebola in humans, among other leading researchers.

Peter Piot, the microbiologist and director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, was an early HIV/AIDS researcher credited with co-discovering the virus that causes Ebola. Tobias will follow him as he returns to the location of the first Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to work on solving the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

Larry Brilliant, a doctor and senior adviser to Participant Media chairman Jeff Skoll on social and environmental issues, will also appear in the doc. He is a bio-surveillance expert who was part of the World Health Organization team that helped eradicate smallpox.

“Recent experience has shown us that modern life has made nations very vulnerable to global pandemics,” said Amy Entelis, seniorĀ VP for talent and content development at CNN Worldwide, in a statement. “We commissioned this film as a way to present the risks, explore the challenges, and offer solutions to this threat.”

In addition to Tobias, Michael Ehrenzweig, Peter W. Klein and Rogger Lopez will serve as producers. CNN’s chief medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta will exec produce and serve as an advisor. Cinematographer Cesar Charlone will co-direct and Benjamin Berkowitz will work to secure theatrical distribution, festival exhibition and broadcast deals.

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Jillian Morgan is the Associate Editor at Realscreen with a background in journalism and digital marketing. She joined the publication in 2019 after serving as the assistant editor to trade publications HPAC and On-Site. With a bachelor of journalism from the University of King's College in Halifax, she also works as a freelance writer and fact-checker.