Epix hires director of doc development

Jill Burkhart to strengthen original programming focus

NEW YORK -- Epix is further strengthening its commitment to original programming and particularly documentaries. The premium TV service joint venture of Viacom, Lionsgate and MGM has hired Jill Burkhart as director of documentary development, effective immediately.

The new position was filled following Epix's recent first Emmy nomination for "Believe: The Eddie Izzard Story," which chronicles the comedian's rise to fame. Its slate of documentaries has also included Academy Award winner "The Cove" and Michael Moore classic "Bowling for Columbine," among others.

Burkhart most recently served as the executive director of the Nantucket Film Festival, which she founded along with her brother in 1996. Previously, she worked with Madstone Films as a curator for its Very Indie Film Series and led screenwriters' retreat the Screenwriters Colony.

"Jill's experience working with independent film producers, studios, and festivals uniquely qualifies her for this new role in deepening Epix's original programming slate," said Laverne McKinnon, executive vp of original programming and development at Epix.

Epix on Thursday also announced a new documentary project, called "The Harvest," about American child migrant farm workers.