Sundance: CNN Unveils Digital Short-Doc Series

Courtesy of The 414s
'The 414s'

CNN Films also snapped up the short 'The 414s: The Original Teenager Hackers' before its Sundance world premiere.

As CNN finds ratings success with a news/documentary combination, the cable news network on Friday launched a digital short-film series by emerging and established documentary makers.

CNN Films said it picked up the short film The 414s: The Original Teenage Hackers ahead of a world premiere in Sundance. Michael T. Vollman's film portrays a group of Milwaukee teenagers in 1983 breaking into dozens of high-profile computer systems, only to cause a media frenzy and fears over computer interconnectivity.

In addition, CNN Films will pact with CNN Digital Studios to debut The 414s alongside another three short films in spring 2015 on digital platforms like and the cable channel's mobile and social media properties.

Read more CNN Films Acquires Jose Antonio Vargas' 'Documented'

Shorts in the pipeline from CNN include an untitled project by director Joe Berlinger, about a New York supermodel's rise to fame, and Sarah Feeley's Raising Ryland, about a transgender journey by a 6-year-old boy and his parents. "This new venture into short-form documentary storytelling brings to fruition our vision for a premium, multidimensional film brand for CNN," Vinnie Malhotra, senior vp development and acquisitions for CNN Worldwide, said in a statement Friday.

Other future shorts include untitled projects by Andrew Jenks (World of Jenks) and Rogers Ross Williams (God Loves Uganda). CNN has recently premiered documentaries including Dinosaur 13, the Roger Ebert doc Life Itself, the Whitey Bulger doc Whitey: United States of America v James J. Bulger and Ivory Tower, all of which bowed at Sundance.