MSNBC has launched MSNBC Films, a new feature documentary initiative that gives the network a platform to present and produce award-winning films on television, while also supporting films during their festival run and theatrical release.
The first film in the new venture is Kurt Kuenne's Dear Zachary: ALetter to a Son About His Father. Josh Braun of Submarine Entertainment represents the film and negotiated and structured the partnership with MSNBC.
The project began as a memorial to Kuenne's lifelong friend Dr. Andrew Bagby, but it took on a whole new meaning when it was revealed that Bagby's ex-girlfriend and suspected murderer was pregnant with his child. Kuenne travels to dozens of cities in three countries where he meets with virtually every person who ever touched and was touched by Bagby, while Bagby's parents fight for custody of the baby.
“MSNBC Films is another way for NBC News to partner with great independent filmmakers, who bring different takes on the world. We're doing cartwheels over Dear Zachary," Michael Rubin, MSNBC’s vice president of long-form programming, said in a prepared statement.
Dear Zachary premiered in January at the Slamdance Film Festival to widespread acclaim and has since screened at numerous prestigious festivals including Hot Docs (Top 10 Audience Favorite), SXSW, Sarasota and SilverDocs.
The film will premiere on MSNBC following a theatrical release that is currently in negotiations and expected to be announced in the coming weeks.