|Division of CNN|
On October 8, 2012, CNN announced the creation of CNN Films. CNN says that it will acquire and commission original feature-length documentaries that will "examine an array of political, social, and economic subject matters." It also signed development deals with documentary directors Alex Gibney and Andrew Rossi. Since its creation, it already acquired the rights for Girl Rising, a 100-minute documentary narrated by Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway, Kerry Washington, and Selena Gomez.
While the documentaries will initially air on CNN, the network reportedly plans to enter them in film festivals and distribute them to theaters as well.
At the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, CNN announced the acquisition of three documentaries. It acquired the rights to air Life Itself, a film adaptation of Roger Ebert's 2011 memoir, in television. The project will be directed by Steve James and executive produced by Martin Scorsese and Steven Zaillian. It is scheduled to air in 2014. The two other untitled projects are expected to air on CNN in 2013. One, from directors Michael Tucker and Petra Epperleini, centers on 9/11 and reconstructs the events at Ground Zero; the other, from director Andrew Rossi, focuses on the transformation of higher education, examining the costs and relevance of college.
CNN Films bought the television rights of Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare which premiered on March 10, 2013 on CNN. The film was directed by Matthew Heineman and Susan Froemke. The film premiered on January 19, 2012 at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and was theatrically released on October 5, 2012.
It recently acquired Penny Lane's Our Nixon. CNN plans to premiere the film in August, while Cinedigm will release it theatrically. The network has also then acquired the domestic television broadcast rights of the Sundance film selection Robert Stone's Pandora's Promise and is slated to air on CNN on November while it will be theatrically released on June 12.
|Girl Rising||June 16, 2013||Richard E. Robbins||Martha Adams
Richard E. Robbins
|Blackfish||January 19, 2013||Gabriela Cowperthwaite||Gabriela Cowperthwaite
Eli B. Despres
|Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare||March 10, 2013||Matthew Heineman
|The Flag||September 4, 2013||Michael Tucker
|Our Nixon||August 1, 2013||Penny Lane||N/A||Brian L. Frye
|Pandora's Promise||November 7, 2013||Robert Stone||TBA||Jim Swartz
|An Unreal Dream: The Michael Morton Story||December 5, 2013||Al Reinert|
|Sole Survivor||January 9, 2014||Ky Dickens||Ky Dickens||Susan Aurinko
|41ON41||June 15, 2014||Lisa Lax
Nancy Stern Winters
Nancy Stern Winters
|Documented||June 29, 2014||Jose Antonio Vargas
|Jose Antonio Vargas||Jose Antonio Vargas|
|Lady Valor: The Kristin Beck Story||September 4, 2014||Mark Herzog
|Whitey: United States of America v. James J. Bulger||September 18, 2014||Joe Berlinger||Joe Berlinger
|More than a Game||October 24, 2014||Kristopher Belman||Kristopher Belman
Harvey Mason, Jr.
|Ivory Tower||November 20, 2014||Andrew Rossi||Andrew Rossi||Andrew Rossi
|Dinosaur 13||December 11, 2014||Todd Douglas Miller||TBA||Todd Douglas Miller|
|Life Itself||January 4, 2015||Steve James||TBA||Garrett Basch|||
|Glen Campbell: I'll Be Me||June 28, 2015||James Keach||N/A||James Keach
|Évocateur: The Morton Downey Jr. Movie||August 20, 2015||Seth Kramer
Daniel A. Miller
|Daniel A. Miller||Seth Kramer
Daniel A. Miller
|Fresh Dressed||September 3, 2015||Sacha Jenkins||Sacha Jenkins||Nasir Jones
Marcus A. Clarke
|The Hunting Ground||November 22, 2015||Kirby Dick||Kirby Dick||Amy Ziering|
|Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine||January 3, 2016||Alex Gibney||Alex Gibney||Alex Gibney|
|Sunshine Superman||January 17, 2016||Marah Strauch||Marah Strauch||Marah Strauch
|Holy Hell||September 1, 2016||Will Allen||N/A||Will Allen
|We Will Rise||October 12, 2016|
|Enlighten Us: The Rise and Fall of James Arthur Ray||December 3, 2016||Jenny Carchman||N/A||Allyson Luchak|
|Now More Than Ever: The History of Chicago||January 1, 2017||Peter Pardini||N/A||Chicago|
|Unseen Enemy||April 7, 2017||Janet Tobias||Janet Tobias||Janet Tobias
|Elián||August 24, 2017||Ross McDonnell
|Tim Golden||Alex Gibney
|The Reagan Show||September 4, 2017||Pacho Velez
|Legion of Brothers||September 24, 2017||Greg Barker||N/A||Amy Entelis
|Jeremiah Tower: The Last Magnificent||November 12, 2017||Lydia Tenaglia||N/A||Susan Porretta|
|Trophy||January 14, 2018||Shaul Schwarz
|American Jail||July 1, 2018||Roger Ross Williams||Roger Ross Williams||Roger Ross Williams|
|RBG||September 3, 2018||Betsy West
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- Benzine, Adam (October 8, 2012). "CNN launches feature docs division with "Girl Rising"". Real Screen. Retrieved April 30, 2013.
- "CNN Announces Creation Of CNN Films". Foxtel. Retrieved April 30, 2013.
- Lieberman, David (October 8, 2012). "CNN Creates Unit To Acquire Documentary Films For Theaters And TV". Deadline.com. Retrieved April 30, 2013.
- Flint, Joe (October 8, 2012). "CNN's creation of film unit is step in right direction". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 30, 2013.
- Raftery, Liz (October 8, 2012). "Girl Rising to Help Launch CNN Films". TV Guide. Retrieved April 30, 2013.
- Patten, Dominic (January 18, 2013). "Sundance: CNN Films Makes Buying Debut; Announces Trio Of Documentaries". Deadline.com. Retrieved April 30, 2013.
- Miller, Daniel (January 18, 2013). "Sundance 2013: CNN Films Announces Three Documentaries". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 30, 2013.
- Patten, Dominic (March 1, 2013). "CNN Films Acquires 'Escape Fire' U.S. TV Rights; Healthcare Doc To Air In March". Deadline.com. Retrieved April 30, 2013.
- "CNN Films: 'Escape Fire' Debuts on CNN on March 10 at 8pm ET". CNN. March 1, 2013. Retrieved May 1, 2013.
- Guthrie, Marisa (April 24, 2013). "CNN Films Snaps Up Richard Nixon Documentary (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 30, 2013.
- Fleischer, Matthew (April 24, 2013). "CNN Films acquires SXSW doc 'Our Nixon' to air on the network in August". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 30, 2013.
- "CNN Films and Cinedigm Acquire 'Our Nixon'". CNN. April 24, 2013. Retrieved April 30, 2013.
- Fleischer, Matthew (April 30, 2013). "CNN continues acquisition spree with 'Pandora's Promise'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 1, 2013.
- "CNN Films Announces Acquisition of 'Pandora's Promise' for Fall 2013 Broadcast". CNN. April 30, 2013. Retrieved May 1, 2013.
- Kaufman, Amy (January 25, 2013). "'Blackfish' has SeaWorld in hot water". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 30, 2013.
- Koziarki, Ed M. (February 5, 2013). "James starts doc production on Roger Ebert's memoir". Reel Chicago. Retrieved April 30, 2013.
- "Sacha Jenkins Talks Art, Culture and 'The Burning of Kingston'". The Boom Box. July 8, 2014. Retrieved December 11, 2014.