DirecTV's Audience Network, known for its daring entertainment programming, will take viewers a step further into the realm of the deeply provocative with the premiere of Something to Talk About, a series of socially and culturally relevant documentaries presented in association with Brainstorm Media, beginning in October exclusively on DirecTV. In certain cities, the films will be screened in theaters starting in late September and, in select locations, will include live discussions following the screenings.
The twelve-part series will kick-off with the broadcast premiere of BATTLE FOR BROOKLYN, tonight, Oct. 20 at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT. which will be followed by BIG BOYS GONE BANANAS on Saturday, Dec. 1 at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT. From award-winning and acclaimed writers and directors, each documentary will include a special, hosted introduction and will conclude with a filmmaker interview that provides an update on the current state of the documentary issue. The films will also be available on DirecTV on Demand, DirecTV Everywhere, on home video and via electronic sell-thru.
"At Audience Network, we have had success in providing our customers with critically acclaimed, award-winning dramas and comedies," said Patty Ishimoto, VP Entertainment, G.M. of Audience Network & n3D. "With Something to Talk About, we are going even further with diverse and thought-provoking documentaries that will generate a spark among our viewers and engage them in a dialogue about the relevant, impactful events and topics these films address."
Meyer Shwarzstein, president of Brainstorm Media, stated, "Our team has been perfecting this idea for the past few years and we are thrilled that DirecTV has come on board. With their commitment to documentaries, their sophisticated audience and their willingness to support the filmmakers and movies, we couldn't be happier."
BATTLE for BROOKLYN is an intensely intimate look at the very public and passionate fight waged by owners and residents facing condemnation of their property to make way for the controversial Atlantic Yards project, a massive plan to build sixteen skyscrapers and a basketball arena for the New Jersey Nets in the heart of Brooklyn. Shot over seven years and compiled from almost 500 hours of footage, BATTLE for BROOKLYN is an epic tale of how far people will go to fight for what they believe in. The film is a character-driven verite that also addresses the broader social, economic, and political ramifications of condemnation and urban planning through interactions with individuals from all sides of the issue. The film is set to open theatrically on September 25th just before the arena, Barclay's Center, opens on September 28th. The film, which highlights speeches by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, architect Frank Gehry, Jay Z, Bruce Ratner, Steve Buscemi and others, is a primer on grassroots activism that will inspire people to look deeper into the stories that affect their lives.
In 2009, Swedish documentary filmmaker Fredrik Gertten's film BANANAS!* - recounting the lawsuit that twelve Nicaraguan plantation workers successfully brought against the fruit giant Dole Food Company - was selected for competition by the Los Angeles Film Festival. Just before the world premiere of the film, Gertten received word that the festival had decided to remove BANANAS!* from competition. The resultant legal and public relations battle with Dole Food Company is the focus of BIG BOYS GONE BANANAS!*, a classic David vs Goliath story - but it is more about freedom of speech and what happens to a documentary filmmaker when he goes up against a large corporation such as Dole Foods and how far Dole will go to shift the focus off of them and onto the filmmaker. Media spin, PR scare tactics, dirty tricks, lawsuits, and corporate bullying come into play to try and destroy the filmmaker. But, it is the people who ultimately prevail, thus creating a cautionary tale and a real life-lesson learning experience.