Google, NFL Concussions And Egypt On Tap In Al Jazeera America Docs

By Alex Weprin 

It is a good time to be a documentary filmmaker. Not only has CNN started aggressively acquiring films, but Al Jazeera America is stocking up on long-form documentary programming as well.

AJAM’s first doc–branded as “Al Jazeera America Presents”–is called “Google and the World Brain.” Tied to the 15th anniversary of the company’s founding, “Google and the World Brain” chronicles its effort to scan and catalog all the world’s books. It will debut Sunday, September 1 at 9 PM ET.

Other films later this year will include a documentary on concussions in the NFL called  “Head Games,” based on former NFL player Chris Nowinski‘s book Head Games: Football’s Concussion Crisis from the NFL to Youth League and directed by Steve James, who also did “Hoop Dreams.” “Open Secret” is a personal film about adoption and family secrets from NPR’s Steve Lickteig, while “Words of Witness” is about a young Egyptian blogger braving Tahrir Square and the battle for democracy in that country.

“These documentaries encourage viewers to think again about important issues,” said Kathy Davidov, senior executive producer of Al Jazeera America’s documentary unit in a statement. “Through personal stories and journeys, we explore topics that affect every day Americans.”