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‘Love Fraud,’ ‘The Longest War,’ ‘The Kingmaker’ Among Showtime Documentary Films 2020 Slate

Showtime’s upcoming Documentary Films slate includes “Kingdom of Silence,” “The Kingmaker,” “The Longest War” and “Love Fraud,” “The Trade” the premium cabler announced Monday.

The Kingmaker,” which comes from Lauren Greenfield, explores the disturbing legacy of the Marcos regime in the Philippines, and chronicles Imelda’s present-day push to help her son, Bongbong, win the vice presidency. It had a theatrical run last year, which culminated in a WGA Award for documentary screenplay. It will premiere Feb. 28 at 9 p.m. on Showtime. “The Kingmaker” is produced by Frank Evers and Greenfield of Evergreen Pictures. Julie Parker Benello, Dan Cogan, R.J. Cutler, Geralyn Dreyfous, Bill Haney, Lilly Hartley, Patricia Lambrecht, Nion McEvoy, Patty Quillin, Regina K. Scully and Jamie Wolf also serve as executive producers.

The Trade” Season 2 is directed by Matthew Heineman and is an IDA winner itself. This season, the four-part series follows some Central Americans on an odyssey to the United States, and others heading back home after being deported, while also delving into the shadow industries that prey on them at every step along the way. “The Trade” is designed to shed light on the smugglers and traffickers who take advantage of the migrant’s vulnerability, and law enforcement pursuing them at the border, so audiences can go inside the rarely seen underbelly of the migrants’ world, humanizing their struggle to survive. “The Trade,” which is executive produced by Heineman, Pagan Harleman and Joedan Okun, will premiere on Showtime Mar. 6 following its Sundance Film Festival premiere on Jan. 28.

“The Longest War” comes from Alex Gansa and Howard Gordon as their long-running Showtime drama “Homeland” wraps up. Teaming with director Greg Barker, the documentary feature tells human stories behind America’s involvement since 9/11 in Afghanistan, which is now the longest war in U.S. history. The reflection is done through interviews with first-hand witnesses ranging from U.S. intelligence operatives, soldiers and their families, Afghan officials, journalists, top government and military officials. “The Longest War” premieres April 19 on Showtime, immediately following the penultimate episode of “Homeland.”

“Love Fraud” marks Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady’s first foray into episodic television. The four-part docuseries follows the search for Richard Scott Smith, who over the past two decades used the internet and his dubious charms to prey upon unsuspecting women in search of love — conning them out of their money and dignity. “Love Fraud” tells the story as it unravels in real time as Smith’s victims band together and hire a bounty hunter to seek revenge, because they feel the justice system failed them. Ewing and Grady direct and executive produce the series, along with executive producer Amy Goodman Kass. “Love Fraud” will premiere May 8 on Showtime, but it will have its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on Jan. 23, which marks the first time in that festival’s history that a television series screens on Day One.

“Kingdom of Silence” is a documentary feature from Rick Rowley that examines the complex relationship between the United States and Saudi Arabia, and how the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi amplified entanglements between the two countries. The political thriller has the goal of shining new light on Khashoggi’s journey, from the battlefields of Afghanistan to the halls of power in Riyadh and Washington, and from the Arab Spring to the rise of Saudi Arabia’s new Crown Prince. “Kingdom of Silence” is executive produced by Alex Gibney and Lawrence Wright and will have a theatrical run before premiering on Showtime later this year.

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