PBS investigative strand ‘Frontline’ has acquired the feature-length documentary A Thousand Cuts from award-winning filmmaker Ramona S. Diaz.
The 110-minute film (pictured), which held its world premiere at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, provides an in-depth look at the escalating war between press and government in the Philippines and the ongoing threat against freedom of the press.
A Thousand Cuts charts the life of Maria Ressa, founder of independent news site Rappler, who has been on the frontlines of holding Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and his PDP–Laban government accountable for the violent war on drugs raging throughout the Southeast Asian country.
In response, Duterte has made Ressa one of his top targets, charging the reporter with a cyber libel case, barring Rappler reporters from the presidential palace and revoking Rappler‘s journalistic license.
“A Thousand Cuts comes at a time when journalists are being targeted for doing their jobs and independent media is at risk globally. It’s both a timely and timeless story of abuse of power and people who refuse to be cowed into silence,” said Diaz in a statement. “With its unparalleled work in investigative journalism and its fervor for rolling out timely cinematic documentaries, ‘Frontline’ is the perfect home for this film.”
PBS Distribution plans to release A Thousand Cuts theatrically in early August, followed by its broadcast debut on ‘Frontline’ in November 2020.
A Thousand Cuts is produced by Cinediaz and Concordia Studio in association with Motto Pictures, and developed in association with Topic Studios.
Executive producers on the film include David J. Cornfield, Linda A. Cornfield, Laurene Powell Jobs, Davis Guggenheim, Jonathan Silberberg, Nicole Stott and Raney Aronson-Rath. The film is produced by Diaz, Leah Marino, Julie Goldman, Christopher Clements and Carolyn Hepburn.
The deal was negotiated by Amy Letourneau of PBS Distribution, Jim Bracciale of PBS ‘Frontline’, and Josh Braun and Matt Burke of Submarine and Amanda Lebow of CAA on behalf of Concordia Studio and the filmmakers.
“Journalism is essential to a strong democracy — a notion that’s at the heart of A Thousand Cuts. We stand with fellow journalists in pursuit of the truth and look forward to sharing this film with our viewers this fall,” added ‘Frontline’ executive producer Raney Aronson-Rath.
Ressa is additionally set to lead a virtual conversation that will be focused on “reporting, truth and democracy” this Saturday (June 13), beginning at 8 a.m. ET/PT.
Moderated by Dr. Julie Posetti, global director of research at the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ), the session will include a conversation with Ressa on the eve of her court verdict, filmmaker Diaz and ‘Frontline’ exec Aronson-Rath.