CNN films is delving into shorter subjects.
The CNN non-fiction banner plans to unveil four new short documentaries., two of which will debut Saturday, July 31, and two on Saturday, August 7. Each 25-minute title examines a unique American community or sub-culture, and will be introduced by Anderson Cooper. Scheme Engine, a minority-owned studio and production company, is the creative partner for CNN Films for the doc shorts.
“This lets us play a bit more in the documentary space,” said Alexandra Hannibal, director of program development for CNN and an executive producer on each of the four films. “These are more like snapshots into different communities and spaces that we are cognizant of but haven’t had the opportunity to really dig deep into.”
On July 31 at 9 p.m. eastern, CNN will show “58 Hours: The Baby Jessica Story” and “Super Reviewers: Rate, Review, Repeat.” The former examines the aftermath of the rescue of 18-month-old Jessica McClure, who fell into a well while playing in a backyard in Midland, Texas, and looks at what happened to the community and her rescuers after the media spotlight dimmed. The latter introduces viewers to a group of “super reviewers,” or people who have developed new online communities by posting hundreds, even thousands, of reviews on various web sites.
Mark Bone directed “58 Hours” and Yu Gu and Arianna LaPenne directed “Super Reviewers.”
On August 7 at 9 p.m. eastern, CNN will show “The Bunker Boom: Better Safe Than Sorry,” as well as “Lessons From The Water: Diving With a Purpose.” The former looks at a subterranean community of “preppers,” or people living off the grid, in rural South Dakota. The latter examines a group of Black deep-sea divers from the organization Diving With a Purpose, which works to restore nearly 500 shipwrecks that sank during the slave trade.
LaPenne directed “The Bunker Boom” while Charles Todd directed “Lessons From The Water.”
The films examine “individual relationships with communities that are sometimes unconventional,” said Bayan Joonam, an executive producer for Scheme Engine. Viewers will get all kind of details about unique groups and what motivates them. Viewers of “58 Hours” will get to hear from some of the rescuers who helped McClure as well as journalists who were on the scene at the time. People who watch “Super Reviewers” will come face to face with people who “were not necessarily feeling their voice was being heard within the traditional structure of reviewing,” he added, but who found a “sense of purpose and sense of value within the online community.”
CNN will make the shorts these shorts available through cable and satellite on demand services and CNNgo following their linear TV debuts, through September 8, 2021