“After Parkland” directors Emily Taguchi and Jake Lefferman were already well versed in covering mass shootings around the country by the time they made it to Parkland, Florida.
But in talking with the students and the families who had lived through the Marjory Stoneman Douglas school shooting, they could tell the members of this community were ready to speak out about something more.
Taguchi and Lefferman are both producers on ABC’s “Nightline,” but for their documentary “After Parkland,” they went beyond the breaking news heartbreak and received intimate access to families at the center of the tragedy who were still there long after the other news crews had left.
Their film profiles survivors like David Hogg and Samuel Zeif, as well as the parents of victims like Andrew Pollack and Manuel Oliver, throughout the remainder of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas school year as they fight for change and find a way to carry on.
Ric Burns’ “Oliver Sacks: His Own Life,” about the famed neurologist and author has been acquired by Zeitgeist Films in association with Kino Lorber. As part of the U.S. rights deal, the documentary will open theatrically in New York City, followed by a national rollout.
The film, which counts American Masters Pictures among its producers, will have its exclusive U.S. broadcast premiere in 2021 on PBS’ American Masters series.
Burns explores Sacks’ life and work as the renowned doctor shares details of his battles with drug addiction, homophobia, and a medical establishment that accepted his work only decades after the fact.
The film features exclusive interviews with Sacks done just weeks after he received a terminal cancer diagnosis in January 2015 and prior to his death in August 2015.
“For Sama,” Waad al-Kateab’s wrenching story of raising a young daughter in war-torn Syria, was named best feature documentary of 2019 at the International Documentary Association’s 35th annual IDA Documentary Awards, which were handed out on Saturday night on the Paramount Pictures lot in Los Angeles.
Al-Kateab, who directed “For Sama” with Edward Watts, also received the IDA Courage Under Fire award at the ceremony.
Last week, the film also won the top award at the British Independent Film Awards, a rarity for a documentary.
See the complete list of winners and nominees of the IDA Awards at the International Documentary Association website.
Billie Eilish’s big 2019 is culminating in a deal with Apple TV+ for a documentary that comes with a $25 million price tag, according to multiple sources.
The documentary, which has already been filmed, was directed by R. J. Cutler (“The September Issue,” “The World According to Dick Cheney”) and produced in collaboration with Eilish’s label, Interscope Records, for a budget that one source pegs as between $1 million and $2 million.
The film is expected to follow the 17-year-old singer-songwriter in the wake of the release of her album, “When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?” released in March 2019. Cutler was allowed access to Eilish’s private moments with her family and to the behind-the-scenes of her public appearances.
The documentary will be available through Apple TV+ instead of Apple Music, which has previously released documentary projects such as Taylor Swift’s “The 1989 World Tour (Live)” and Ed Sheeran’s “Songwriter.”
The move signals a blurring of the lines between Apple’s $10 per-month music streaming service and its $5 per-month film and TV offering.
Apple TV+ has not announced a release date for the documentary.