[08/04/10 - 02:16 PM]
HBO Unveils a Diverse Slate of Thought-Provoking Documentary Films for the Second Half of 2010

[via press release from HBO]


Presentations Include Spike Lee's IF GOD IS WILLING AND DA CREEK DON'T RISE, Alex Gibney's MY TRIP TO AL-QAEDA, Adrian Grenier's TEENAGE PAPARAZZO, Jon Alpert and Ellen Goosenberg Kent's WARTORN: 1861-2010, Executive Produced By James Gandolfini, And Randy Barbato And Fenton Bailey's WISHFUL DRINKING, Adapting Carrie Fisher's Hit Stage Production

NEW YORK, Aug. 4, 2010 - HBO Documentary Films has scheduled a compelling array of diverse, timely and thought-provoking films to debut on HBO in the coming months. Highlights include a trip back to New Orleans in Spike Lee's IF GOD IS WILLING AND DA CREEK DON'T RISE, a look at celebrity culture in Adrian Grenier's TEENAGE PAPARAZZO and a study of the effects of post-traumatic stress on military personnel and their families in Jon Alpert & Matthew O'Neill's WARTORN: 1861-2010, from executive producer James Gandolfini.

Upcoming HBO documentaries include (in chronological order):

IF GOD IS WILLING AND DA CREEK DON'T RISE (debuting Aug. 23 and 24), an all-new, four-hour documentary, follows director Spike Lee five years after Hurricane Katrina as he returns to New Orleans to see how the ambitious plans to reinvent the Crescent City are playing out. He finds a patchwork of hope and heartache in a story book-ended by a pair of momentous events � the historic 2010 Super Bowl victory and the disastrous British Petroleum oil spill � that changed the history of America's most unique city once again.

MY TRIP TO AL-QAEDA (Sept. 7), a collaboration between Oscar(R)-winning director Alex Gibney (HBO's "Taxi to the Dark Side") and Pulitzer Prize-winning author and journalist Lawrence Wright, brings Wright's acclaimed one-man play to the screen. Developed from Wright's 2006 best-selling book "The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11," the film is an emotional journey performed by Wright, chronicling fundamentalist Islam's rise to power and the dilemma he faces as a writer in maintaining his objectivity.

THE FENCE (Sept. 16), the latest film from Rory Kennedy (HBO's Emmy(R)-winning "Ghosts of Abu Ghraib"), which premiered at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, investigates the impact of the 700-mile fence that was built by the U.S. government along the 2000-mile-plus Mexican border, and has involved 350 engineers, thousands of construction workers, tens of thousands of tons of metal and billions of dollars since 2006. It reveals how the fence's stated goals - containing illegal immigration, cracking down on drug trafficking and protecting America from terrorists - have given way to unforeseen, even absurd consequences, asking the question: Was it all worth it?

TEENAGE PAPARAZZO (Sept. 27) chronicles the relationship between 14-year-old paparazzo Austin Visschedyk and Adrian Grenier, star of the HBO series "Entourage." Inspired by a chance encounter with Visschedyk, Grenier turns the cameras on him in an effort to document this unique teenager's world. But the actor-director soon finds the project becoming a personal challenge, as he is forced to take responsibility for his influence on his subject's life. Ultimately, the film is an intimate look at paparazzi and the celebrity culture they serve.

SINS OF MY FATHER (Oct. 4) tells the fascinating inside story of Pablo Escobar, the most notorious drug lord in Colombian history, through the eyes of Sebastian Marroquin, his only son, who changed his name and fled Colombia after his father's death. For the first time in more than a decade, Marroquin and his mother, Maria Victoria, break their silence in deeply personal interviews, while never-before-seen pictures and home movies from the Escobar archive paint an intimate portrait of their family life. The documentary also provides an up-close view of Marroquin's efforts at reconciliation with the men whose prominent political fathers were killed by Escobar 20 years ago. Directed by Nicolas Entel.

MONICA & DAVID (Oct. 14) explores the marriage of two adults with Down syndrome and the parents who strive to support their needs. Full of humor, romance and everyday family drama, the film weaves together intimate footage and personal interviews, beginning with Monica and David's storybook wedding and chronicling their challenging first year of marriage in pursuit of an independent life together. Winner of the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival Best Documentary Feature Award, the film was directed by first-time filmmaker Alexandra Codina.

WARTORN: 1861-2010 (Nov. 11) explores combat stress and post-traumatic stress in the military throughout American history, chronicling its effect on military personnel and their families. Directed by Jon Alpert and Ellen Goosenberg Kent and executive produced by James Gandolfini (HBO's "Alive Day Memories: Home From Iraq").

PUBLIC SPEAKING (November) is a conversation with New York writer Fran Lebowitz about her experiences and views of the world, spotlighting her trademark humor. Directed by Oscar(R)-winner Martin Scorsese and produced by Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter.

WISHFUL DRINKING (December), a feature-length adaptation of Hollywood icon Carrie Fisher's hit autobiographical stage production, tells the intoxicating tale of her life, combining her raucous one-woman stage performance, interviews with family and friends and archival footage. Produced and directed by World of Wonder's Randy Barbato and Fenton Bailey.

  [august 2010]  

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