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Discovery+ has ordered a true-crime series centered on a documentary filmmaker’s obsessive journey to find the truth behind the disappearance of a missing woman.
Relentless will follow Christina Fontana search for what happened to 21-year-old Christina Whittaker, who disappeared in the small town of Hannibal, Mo., leaving behind her 6-month-old daughter.
Eight months later, Fontana met Whittaker’s mother, Cindy, when filming a documentary about the families of missing persons. Fontana was deeply moved by Cindy’s determination to find her daughter and turned her camera on Whittaker’s family. “Little did she know, this case would lead her down a path of conspiracies, betrayal, suicide and murder as she herself becomes entangled in the story,” discovery+ says.
Fontana spent 11 years looking into this case. During her research, she initially grew close to Whittaker’s family. But after countless interviews and multiple trips from her home in L.A. to Hannibal, Fontana started to see that stories did not add up. As she spoke with more people, she uncovered more lies and began to wonder if anyone was telling the truth.
Relentless was culled from more than 400 hours of footage from field investigations and video diaries filmed over 11 years. Discovery+ says the documentary “follows not only a complex search for a missing person, but the journey of a filmmaker who becomes dangerously ensnared by the story she’s documenting.”
The six-part true crime series is produced by Blumhouse Television (Fall River, A Wilderness of Error) in association with Stick Figure Entertainment (Chasing Tyson, Dancer). The first three episodes will stream exclusively on discovery+ beginning June 28. Subsequent episodes drop every Monday.
“It’s rare that a documentarian becomes part of the story she’s trying to tell, and Christina Fontana has risked her career and her personal safety to bring this story to light,” said Lisa Holme, group senior vp content and commercial strategy at discovery+. “This series is an extraordinary achievement for her directorial debut and we are proud to introduce this incredible story and talented filmmaker to our passionate true crime audience.”
Added Mary Lisio, executive vp alternative and nonscripted programming at Blumhouse Television: “Relentless puts the viewer in the passenger seat alongside director Christina Fontana in a propulsive, intense, and often emotional search to find a missing woman. It’s the kind of investigative, true-crime storytelling that excites us.”
Fontana got her start as a staff editor at Stick Figure. “After so many unbelievable twists and turns, we’re thrilled to see her come into her own as a director and to finally bring this story to audiences,” said Jamie Schutz, president of the company.
Added Fontana: “When I joined the search for Christina Whittaker, I had no idea how dark the path it took me on would become, and never imagined my independent documentary would evolve into a dangerous and all-consuming obsession to uncover the truth. But, in Hannibal, Mo., nothing is what it seems.”
Executive producers for Blumhouse Television include Jason Blum, Chris McCumber, Jeremy Gold, Mary Lisio. Fontana directs and executive produces. For Stick Figure, executive producers are Schutz and Steven Cantor. George Moll serves as showrunner/executive producer; Amanda Spain and Noah Moskin are co-executive producers. For discovery+, Liz Massie is senior executive producer.
Watch the trailer below.
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