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HBO Announces 2018 Documentaries From Mariska Hargitay, Judd Apatow, Peter Kunhardt, Rebecca Miller

HBO has announced its documentary slate for the first half of 2018, including projects from Judd Apatow, Peter Kunhardt, Rebecca Miller and Mariska Hargitay.

From Apatow comes a two-part, four-and-a-half-hour project entitled “The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling.” Set to air on Mar. 26 and 27, the doc explores the legendary comedian, who was Apatow’s mentor and friend, featuring interviews from nearly four dozen friends, family and colleagues; four decades’ worth of television appearances; and a lifetime of personal journals, private letters and home audio and video footage.

Also from Apatow, and Michael Bonfiglio, is “May It Last: A Portrait of the Avett Brothers,” which premieres Jan. 29. Filmed over the course of more than two years, this doc is an intimate portrait of the acclaimed North Carolina band s they chart their 15 year successes and chronicle their present day collaboration with Rick Rubin on the multi-Grammy nominated album “True Sadness.” The recording process is a backdrop, but the doc is designed to depict a lifelong bond and unique creative partnership as the band members go through life moments and milestones.

Peter Kunhardt’s “King of the Wildnerness” is about the last years of Martin Luther King Jr. Coming in April, this doc explores the passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965 to MLK’s assassination in 1968. It is designed to find a clear window into King’s character, showing him to be a man with an unshakable commitment to nonviolence in the face of an increasingly unstable country.

Rebecca Miller’s “Arthur Miller: Writer” is an intimate portrait of one of the greatest playwrights of the 20th century, premiering on Mar. 19.  Told from the unique perspective of his daughter, who filmed interviews with her father over decades, the doc features a host of personal archival material and provides new insights into Miller’s life as an artist and explores his character in all its complexity.

“I Am Evidence,” produced by Hargitay, is about the untested rape kit backlog in the U.S. The doc tells stories of survivors who have waited years for their kits to be tested, as well as the law enforcement officials who are leading the charge to work through the backlog and pursue long-awaited justice. Directed by Trish Adlesic and Geeta Gandbhir, this doc premieres in April.

Other upcoming documentary on HBO are:

“The Number on Great-Grandpa’s Arm” is directed and produced by Amy Schatz and will launch on Jan. 27. When ten-year-old Elliott asks his 90-year-old great-grandfather, Jack, about the number tattooed on his arm, he sparks an intimate conversation about Jack’s life that spans happy memories of childhood in Poland, the loss of his family, surviving Auschwitz, and finding a new life in America. The doc will use historical footage, photos, and hand-painted animations in order to more visually tell a heartbreaking story of Jewish life in Eastern Europe before and during the Holocaust.

“Atomic Homefront” from Rebecca Cammisa premieres on Feb. 12 and will shine a light on the lasting toxic effects nuclear waste can have on communities. Focusing on a group of moms-turned-advocates in St Louis, the doc follows them as they confront the Environmental Protection Agency, state regulators and the corporations behind the illegal dumping of dangerous radioactive waste in their neighborhoods.

“Traffic Stop” is produced by David Heilbroner and directed by Kate Davis, bowing Mar. 12. The film will tell the story of Breaion King, a 26-year-old African-American school teacher from Austin, Texas, who was stopped for a routine traffic violation that escalated into a dramatic arrest. Caught on police dashcams, King was pulled from her car by the arresting officer, repeatedly thrown to the ground and handcuffed. En route to jail in a squad car, she engaged in a revealing conversation with her escorting officer about race and law enforcement in America. The doc juxtaposes dashcam footage with scenes from King’s everyday life, offering a fuller portrait of the woman caught up in this unsettling encounter.

“The Final Year,” which comes from director Greg Barker and debuts in May, looks at Barack Obama’s foreign policy team during its last year in office.

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