CNN has created a film unit to acquire feature-length documentaries to air in primetime on CNN and CNN International along with theatrical distribution.
The unit, called CNN Films, is part of the network's strategy to air more nonfiction content alongside its news programs, which are struggling in the ratings.
Amy Entelis, CNN's senior VP of talent and content development and Vinnie Malhotra, CNN's senior VP of development and acquisitions, will oversee acquisition of documentaries exploring political, social and economic subject matters under the CNN Films banner, with Malhotra managing to day-to-day operation of the unit.
"CNN Films will bring distinguished, thought-provoking documentary programming to our global audiences on all our television, online and mobile platforms," said Mark Whitaker, CNN Worldwide managing editor. "We want these documentaries to tell compelling stories and stimulate importantdiscussions across CNN's other programs and websites."
CNN Films' first documentary Girl Rising, which tells the stories of several girls from around the world fighting to overcome odds to realize their dreams, will air in spring 2013.
Richard E. Robbins directs Girl Rising. CNN Films has also signed development deals with director/producer Alex Gibney (Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room) and director Andrew Rossi (Page One: Inside The New York Times).