The Weinstein Company’s Radius division has partnered with CNN Films to make a feature-length documentary about sexual assault on college campuses, with Kirby Dick set to direct and Amy Ziering producing, the team behind Oscar-nominated doc The Invisible War about rape in the military.
The film will follow the personal struggles of several people dealing with sexual assault trauma and will feature survivors revealing their stories to family members and school administrators. The filmmakers argue that there’s an institutional similarity between this type of enabling environment, where the reporting of assault is often discouraged, with that of the U.S. military.
Radius is set to release the currently untitled doc in theaters in 2015 with a CNN broadcast set for later that year.
“The Invisible War was a landmark film that had a major impact within the military. That said, there’s still a lot more work to be done across every aspect of our society. In conjunction with the exceptional team of Amy and Kirby, CNN and this powerful film, we hope to draw attention and engage in real debates about this national crisis,” Radius co-presidents Tom Quinn and Jason Janego said in a statement.
The filmmakers also believe there’s a near tipping point in how such incidents are viewed with rising outrage following recent nationally publicized scandals associated with college and professional athletes accused of violent and sexual crimes.
Dick and Ziering have both won Emmys for their work, and Dick directed the movie ratings board documentary This Film Is Not Yet Rated.
In Monday’s announcement about the partnership on the film, Radius and CNN noted that one in five women is sexually assaulted while in college, according to the Campus Sexual Assault Study of the National Institute of Justice, but only some of those incidents are reported and even fewer result in punishment for the perpetrators.
“The statistics are staggering. Our country has a moral obligation to address this issue. We hope our film will provide a wake-up call to our nation to better protect our students,” Dick said in a statement.
Vinnie Malhotra, senior vp development and acquisitions for CNN Worldwide added: “This type of important but sensitive material requires skilled handling by exceptional filmmakers. Kirby and Amy are the perfect team to take on this challenge, as a natural follow-up to their Academy Award-nominated and critically acclaimed film The Invisible War.”
The co-production deal was negotiated by Quinn and Janego for Radius alongside Malhotra and Stacey Wolf for CNN, Marc H. Simon of Cowan DeBaets and Dan Cogan of Impact Partners on behalf of the filmmakers.