Just over a year after the launch of Sky Documentaries, Comcast-owned British broadcaster Sky has slated five original factual features set to air in late 2021 or throughout 2022.
The new Sky Original commissions join a raft of factual programming heading to Sky Documentaries, including a forensic look at newly discovered footage from the Chernobyl disaster in Chernobyl ’86; a 90-minute feature documentary chronicling the biography of world-famous cosmologist Stephen Hawking in Hawking: Can You Hear Me?; and Positive, the story of Britain’s 40-year struggle with HIV/AIDS.
Mother Teresa: For the Love of God? (pictured; 3 x 60 minutes; Minnow Films in association with Sky Studios) delves into the life of one of the most recognized figures in contemporary history.
The series is directed by Benedict Sanderson and Ziyaad Desai, executive produced by Sophie Leonard and Sophie Jones, and produced by Dearbhalie Flynn.
Also on the slate, the 90-minute film The Three Lives of Michael X (w/t; BBC Studios in association with Sky Studios), tells the story of the rise and fall of Michael X, otherwise known as Michael De Freitas or Michael Abdul Malik — a man once heralded as the UK’s answer to Malcolm X who spent the end of his days on death row, and was eventually executed by signed order of the Queen.
The feature-length documentary, set to premiere in October 2021, is directed by James Van der pool (The Surgeon’s Cut, Britain’s Forgotten Slave Owners, Black and British)
Queen of Speed, meanwhile, tells the story of Michèle Mouton, who rose to the top of the male-dominated world of rallying in the ’70s and ’80s.
The 90-minute feature, directed by award-winning Barbie MacLaurin (The Abused, The Drug Trial), is produced by Drum Studios in association with Sky Studios. Hayley Reynolds is the Commissioning Editor for Sky.
Elsewhere, Right to Fight (w/t; 1 x 90 minutes; Raw in association with Sky Studios), tells the story of the pioneers of women’s boxing, with BAFTA-winner Georgina Cammalleri directing and Three Identical Strangers director Tim Wardle attached as executive producer.
Finally, from Curve Media comes the 90-minute true crime film The Scream.
Set to air in 2022, the film investigates the theft of one of the most iconic paintings in history, Edward Munch’s The Scream, stolen during the 1994 Winter Olympics in Norway.
The doc is directed by Jenny Ash (The World’s Biggest Murder Trial, Me and My Penis) and executive produced by Oscar-winning filmmaker Asif Kapadia (Senna, Amy, Diego Maradona), Camilla Lewis and Rob Carey for Curve Media.
The five documentaries — currently either in pre-production or production — were commissioned by Zai Bennett, Sky’s managing director of content, and Poppy Dixon, director of documentaries and factual.