CNN Films will celebrate its fifth year at the Sundance Film Festival with an invitation-only event Jan. 20 to be hosted by Jeff Zucker, president of CNN Worldwide, and Matthew Belloni, editorial director for The Hollywood Reporter, along with CNN’s short-video and documentary producer Great Big Story.
CNN Films also is planning a pop-up lounge on Park City’s Main Street at Fletcher’s restaurant, which will be open by invite to filmmakers and other festivalgoers, for mingling and special events, from Jan. 19 to Jan. 21.
Since debuting as a buyer at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, CNN Films has acquired such docs as Blackfish, which exposed the treatment of captive killer whales, along with Trophy, Dinosaur 13, Holy Hell and Escape Fire. CNN Films also has brought such co-productions as Whitey: United States of America v. James J. Bulger, Fresh Dressed, The Hunting Ground, Legion of Brothers, Ivory Tower and Life Itself to the festival.
This year, two biographical documentaries co-produced by CNN Films are set to premiere at the festival: RBG, a portrait of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, directed and produced by Betsy West and Julie Cohen and a co-production with Storyville Films, and Three Identical Strangers, about identical triplets who first meet as young adults, directed by Tim Wardle and produced by Becky Read and a coproduction with the U.K.’s Channel 4. CNN holds domestic broadcast television rights for both films, while other distribution rights for the films are available for buyers.
“In our fifth trip to Sundance, we’re honored to have two extraordinary films accepted for premiere,” Amy Entelis, executive vp, talent and content development for CNN Worldwide, said in a statement. “Attending Sundance is always special for us and launches our annual look for potential acquisitions for CNN Films. It always makes for an even more exciting festival to be able to premiere our own special projects that we hope will delight and inspire audiences, and make a positive contribution to the documentary film industry.”