Two politically-charged docs are set to make their debut on Showtime later this year.
David Nevins, president and CEO, Showtime Networks Inc. unveiled the projects at the 2018 Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour this past Saturday (Jan. 6).
The first, a documentary about whistle-blower Chelsea Manning, will be directed by Tim Travers Hawkins and executive produced by Laura Poitras (Risk, Citizenfour).
Produced by Pulse Films in association with First Look Media’s Topic Studios, Field of Vision and British Film Institute, XY Chelsea tells Manning’s story, whose 35-year sentence in an all-male maximum security prison was commuted by then president Barak Obama in 2017.
Former United States Army soldier (then) Bradley Manning was convicted in July 2013 of espionage and other offences after leaking hundreds of thousands of classified military documents to Wikileaks. She was sentenced to 35 years in prison for theft and espionage.
Since 2014, Hawkins followed Manning and her legal team as they fought to get her out of prison and for her to receive treatment for her gender dysphoria. After two suicide attempts in 2016, Manning and her team sent a request to Obama for a commutation of her sentence before he left office. Cameras follow her fight for release and as she reveals herself to the world for the first time.
Thomas Benski, Julia Nottingham and Lucas Ochoa of Pulse Films are producers. Mary Burke, Michael Bloom, Adam Pincus, Charlotte Cook, Sharon Chang, Blaine Vess and Christos V. Konstantakopoulos serve as executive producers.
The feature film, currently in post-production, will premiere at an upcoming film festival to be announced at a later date.
Produced and directed by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Garbus (What Happened, Miss Simone?), the project looks at critical issues facing journalism today including the challenge to the concept of truth, the changing role of the media, and The Times’ response to President Trump.
The docuseries offers access to the inner workings of The Times, including filming inside closed-door meetings, interviews with the editors and reporters who cover the president. Garbus also gives an insider’s view of the Sulzberger family publisher transition, while she chronicles the men and women who are fighting for the freedom of the press and America’s right to know.
The Fourth Estate premieres May 27 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Showtime.