CNN Commissions Hillary Clinton Film

By Alex Weprin 

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CNN Films has commissioned a feature film based on the life of former First lady, Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Charles H. Ferguson will direct the feature, which will be distributed in theaters and on CNN.

The news comes just after NBC announced that it was producing a miniseries about Clinton.

Politico’s Dylan Byers broke the news, and also notes that, as with NBC, the news editorial side of the operation will have no say in the film. That said, it will likely result in some headaches for the company.

Conservatives will likely criticize CNN for devoting so much airtime to a Democratic candidate, while the Clinton campaign is likely to take issue with the network for dedicating so much of its energy to their candidate, rather than her likely competitors.

“We’re hoping to understand how these concerns would be addressed,” Nick Merrill, Clinton’s press secretary, told POLITICO when asked whether or not he had concerns about the influence the film might have on CNN’s reporting.

Both NBC and CNN are betting that Clinton will run for President in 2016. A number of news outlets are planning some unusual staffing moves around that speculation. The NY Times has a reporter dedicated to covering the Clintons exclusively and TVNewser hears that CNN, NBC News, ABC News and CBS News are all toying with the idea of having a “Clinton correspondent” as well.

Update: The film is official, details below.

CNN Films Commissions Feature-length Documentary Film on Hillary Rodham Clinton from
Academy Award-Winning Director and Producer Charles Ferguson

CNN Films announced today that it has commissioned a feature-length documentary on Hillary Rodham Clinton from Academy Award-winning director and producer Charles Ferguson. The documentary, currently in pre-production, will take a comprehensive look at the professional and personal life of one of the most powerful women in American politics. It is expected to premiere in 2014 with a theatrical run prior to airing on CNN.

“I am very excited to be making a film about Hillary Rodham Clinton, whose fascinating life and work embody so many of America’s, and the world’s, hopes and challenges. I am delighted and extremely grateful that CNN Films has given me this remarkable opportunity.”

Charles Ferguson is the founder and president of Representational Pictures, Inc. Ferguson produced and directed “No End in Sight: The American Occupation of Iraq” which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2007. The film, which marked his directorial debut, won several awards including the National Society of Film Critics, New York Film Critics Circle Award, Toronto Film Critics Association Award, and Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award. Ferguson’s critically acclaimed second film “Inside Job” debuted at the Cannes Film Festival in 2010 and went on to win the Academy Award for Best Documentary Film.

About CNN Films

CNN Films brings documentaries beyond the small screen by developing strategic partnerships to leverage distribution opportunities at film festivals and in theaters. Amy Entelis, senior vice president of talent and content development for CNN Worldwide, and Vinnie Malhotra, senior vice president of development and acquisitions for CNN Worldwide, oversee the acquisition strategy of documentaries for CNN Films. Malhotra manages the day-to-day operation of CNN Films, and works directly with filmmakers to develop original projects.