[01/19/06 - 12:00 AM]
Showtime Announces Six New Documentary Programs

[via press release from Showtime]


Pasadena, CA January 19th, 2006 � In Showtime's continuing quest to present a slate of relevant and meaningful documentaries, six new documentary programs were announced today by Robert Greenblatt, President of Entertainment.

"Documentaries have long been an important part of our programming mix," said Greenblatt. "Last year's doc, AFTER INNOCENCE, which follows the lives of several individuals released from long prison terms after DNA evidence proved their innocence, is currently on the short list of documentaries being considered for Oscar� nomination later this month. With these varied projects we hope to offer our subscribers compelling true stories told by accomplished filmmakers."

A partial list of documentaries in production includes:


Oscar�-winner JULIA ROBERTS narrates this gripping film that exposes the 2004 hostage situation in the small Russian town of Beslan where Chechen terrorists seized a school and killed over 330 innocent people - many of them children. Some 1200 children, parents and school administrators were taken hostage and held in a sweltering gymnasium for several days, forbidden from eating, drinking and using the rest room until Russian police and Special Forces ended the stand-off in a 10-hour gun battle and bloodbath. "It was my honor to be asked to participate in this documentary," said Roberts. "While it is an incredibly sad story and shows some of the worst of humanity, it also shows the remarkable strength of family and love." From Emmy�-winning writer/producer Joe Halderman, Emmy�-winning Executive Producer Susan Zirinsky, and Senior Producer Peter Schweitzer and produced by CBS News for SHOWTIME, THREE DAYS IN SEPTEMBER contains shocking videotape and graphically illustrates a new breed of terrorism that irreversibly crosses the line of war practices proving that nothing in our world is safe or sacred anymore.


SHAME is the eye-opening saga of an heroic Pakistani woman, Mukhtaran Mai, who spoke out against her community and government after she was sentenced to a gang rape as punishment for her brother's alleged infraction. She has become an international symbol for women fighting for their rights in countries whose lawful policies towards women are nothing short of barbaric. A young Pakistani filmmaker, Mohammed Ali Naqvi, developed a friendship with Mukhtaran and her family allowing for extraordinary interviews and access. Jill Schneider executive produces with Mohammed Ali Naqvi serving as executive producer and director.


SEXUALLY DANGEROUS explores the fine line between "normal" sexual behavior and the pathological sex act. Award-winning filmmaker Debra Granik, working with the producing team of Drew Arvary, Lucas Platt and Todd Shuster, will vividly present a full range of real people who fall within Massachusetts' broad definition of 'sexually dangerous' by taking us into the Massachusetts Treatment Center which houses over 800 inmates who have been convicted of sexual crimes. Along with the patients, we will meet the doctors, lawyers, and professionals who counsel the victims, families and perpetrators, illuminating this unfathomable behavior and its devastating consequences.


In the continuing controversy surrounding the medicinal value of marijuana, seven chronically ill individuals continue to receive medical marijuana from the U.S. government even though the law was recently changed to stop this practice. Four of these seven will be interviewed for this documentary. Their illnesses range from M.S. and congenital cataracts to neurological dysfunction and hyperparathyroidism, incredibly painful maladies which are substantially relieved with marijuana cigarettes that have been provided by the federal government for years. While only these individuals continue to get relief within the law, millions of others cannot. This provocative film explores federal drug policy through the eyes of reform organizations, prohibitionist groups, politicians, drug war critics, scientists, and celebrities in an effort to make sense out of the divisive argument between drug abuse, recreational drug use, and medicine. Star Price serves as executive producer, writer and director with Mark Wolper and Joshua E. Kessler serving as executive producers.


Did Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols really act alone in the Oklahoma City bombing? The probable existence of surprising co-conspirators is explored in this documentary from Lions Gate by executive producers Dan Gordon, Eric Nelson, Rob Scheidlinger and director Mike Scott. At the time, the Grand Jury indictment charged that McVeigh and Nichols conspired "with others unknown." But in the ten years since the bombing, the FBI has not identified, let alone apprehended, any of the supposedly unknown collaborators yet there seem to be unsettling connections to foreign entities and possibly even terrorists.


A woman addicted to plastic surgery, a murderer whose tattoos could make him a marked man for rival gangs, a women dying from breast cancer. These are some of the people portrayed in a documentary from the award-winning Australian filmmaker, Kim Farrant, which is a presentation of the Magic/Real Picture Company and Film Finance Corporation Australia in association with Showtime and New South Wales Film and Television Office. This film asks the simple question of who are we beyond our clothes and skin, beyond our physical selves. Six individuals from around the globe participate in these clothed and naked portraits creating a permanent record of how they want to be seen, known, and remembered.

  [january 2006]  

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