Acclaimed Documentary “A Thousand Cuts” to Premiere on FRONTLINE (PBS) Jan. 8, Chronicling Journalist Maria Ressa’s Fight for Press Freedom in the Philippines
The broadcast premiere will also include a roundtable discussion with Christiane Amanpour, Ressa and Filmmaker Ramona Diaz
A Thousand Cuts
Fri., Jan. 8, 2021
Streaming at 7/6c at pbs.org/frontline & in the PBS Video App
Airing at 9/8c on PBS and on YouTube
Also available on PBS Documentaries Prime Video Channel
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Monday, January 4, 2021 – Boston, MA. On January 8, 2021, FRONTLINE (PBS) will present the U.S. broadcast premiere of A Thousand Cuts, the 2020 Sundance Film Festival documentary about the crackdown on the press in the Philippines that The New York Times calls “absorbing” (Critic’s Pick), The Washington Post says is “utterly urgent” and The Hollywood Reporter describes as “essential.”
This 98-minute feature film from award-winning filmmaker Ramona Diaz examines President Rodrigo Duterte’s escalating attacks on the media through the story of his prime target: Journalist Maria Ressa, a TIME Magazine Person of the Year and CEO and co-founder of the independent news site, Rappler. Ressa and her colleagues have been at the forefront of chronicling Duterte’s brutal war on drugs and she has endured harassment, arrests, and a cyber libel conviction that could send her to prison.
“What we’re seeing is a death by a thousand cuts of our democracy…little cuts to the body of Philippines democracy,” Ressa says in the documentary of Duterte’s efforts to quash independent reporting. “When you have enough of these cuts, you are so weakened, that you will die.” But she vows to press on: “We will not duck, we will not hide. We will hold the line.”
This special Friday night edition of FRONTLINE, will be followed by a roundtable conversation produced in collaboration with WLIW’s Amanpour & Company. The discussion will be moderated by Christiane Amanpour and feature Ressa and Diaz, talking about the unfolding legal situation in the Philippines and the implications for democracy when press freedom is threatened and disinformation is allowed to flourish on social media.
“We are so pleased to be able to share Maria’s story and Ramona’s incredible filmmaking with our PBS audiences this month, and to offer context through a powerful conversation with Christiane,” says FRONTLINE Executive Producer Raney Aronson-Rath.
FRONTLINE’s broadcast comes on the heels of the documentary’s robust festival run — including Sundance Film Festival, SXSW Film Festival and AFI DOCS — and a nation-wide virtual theatrical release last summer.
“At its core, A Thousand Cuts is about the epic battle for facts. ‘What do you do when the president lies,’ Maria poses in the film. With its unparalleled reputation for cutting through the noise and getting to what is true, I couldn’t have hoped for a better partner than FRONTLINE to bring this story to a national audience,” says Diaz.
A Thousand Cuts premieres on Friday, January 8 at 9/8c on PBS stations (check local listings) and online on pbs.org/frontline and YouTube. The film will also be available to stream in the PBS Video App and on PBS Documentaries Prime Video Channel.
A Thousand Cuts is a Concordia Studio, Motto Pictures, and CineDiaz production developed in association with Topic for WGBH/FRONTLINE. The executive producers are Laurene Powell Jobs, Davis Guggenheim, Jonathan Silberberg, Nicole Stott, Raney Aronson-Rath, David J. Cornfield, Linda A. Cornfield. Edited by Leah Marino. The producers are Julie Goldman, Christopher Clements, and Carolyn Hepburn. Produced by Ramona S. Diaz and Leah Marino. Written and directed by Ramona S. Diaz.
FRONTLINE, U.S. television’s longest running investigative documentary series, explores the issues of our times through powerful storytelling. FRONTLINE has won every major journalism and broadcasting award, including 95 Emmy Awards and 24 Peabody Awards. Visit pbs.org/frontline and follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube to learn more. FRONTLINE is produced by GBH and is broadcast nationwide on PBS. Funding for FRONTLINE is provided through the support of PBS viewers and by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Major funding for FRONTLINE is provided by The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the Ford Foundation. Additional funding is provided by the Abrams Foundation, the Park Foundation, the Heising-Simons Foundation and the FRONTLINE Journalism Fund with major support from Jon and Jo Ann Hagler on behalf of the Jon L. Hagler Foundation. A Thousand Cuts original production funding provided by Cinereach, Catapult Film Fund, Sundance Institute, and the International Documentary Association (IDA)
ABOUT CONCORDIA STUDIO
Concordia is a talent-first studio, founded by Davis Guggenheim and Jonathan King, to produce and finance the most compelling storytelling with the most exciting creators. The studio’s slate includes the 2020 Sundance Official Selections in competition BOYS STATE (Jesse Moss, Amanda McBaine) which won the U.S. Grand Jury Prize for Documentary and was distributed in 2020 through Apple TV+ and A24, TIME (Garrett Bradley) which won the Directing Award for U.S. Documentary and was distributed by Amazon Studios, A THOUSAND CUTS (Ramona S. Diaz), and BLOODY NOSE, EMPTY POCKETS (Bill Ross & Turner Ross) which screened at the 2020 Berlin International Film Festival and was released by Utopia. Other recent work includes INSIDE BILL’S BRAIN: DECODING BILL GATES (Davis Guggenheim) for Netflix, Sundance premiered WHERE’S MY ROY COHN? (Matt Tyrnauer) for Sony Pictures Classics, Sundance premiered BISBEE ’17 (Robert Greene), Sundance Grand Jury Prize Winning THE PRICE OF FREE (Derek Doneen) for YouTube Premium and FROM HERE TO HOME, a series of shorts with the New York Times Op-Docs including Laura Nix’s Oscar-nominated WALK RUN CHA-CHA.
Concordia Studio’s executive team includes Davis Guggenheim (Founder and Chief Creative Officer of Nonfiction), Jonathan King (Founder and Chief Creative Officer of Narrative), Alexa Platt (Chief Operating Officer), Jonathan Silberberg (President of Nonfiction), Nicole Stott (EVP of Nonfiction), Shannon Dill (EVP of Nonfiction Physical Production & Operations), and Rahdi Taylor (EVP of Nonfiction Artists in Residence).
ABOUT MOTTO PICTURES
Motto Pictures specializes in producing and executive producing documentary features and series. Motto has been honored with three Academy Award nominations and multiple Emmy Awards. Founded in 2009, Motto has produced a wide range of award winning films, working with a line-up of talented and acclaimed filmmakers, that have been featured at the most prestigious film festivals and distributed around the world. These films and series include: ONE CHILD NATION; RINGSIDE; OLIVER SACKS: HIS OWN LIFE; MURDER IN THE BAYOU; BULLY. COWARD. VICTIM. THE STORY OF ROY COHN; THE RAFT; HUMANS OF NEW YORK: THE SERIES; ABACUS: SMALL ENOUGH TO JAIL; THE FINAL YEAR; LIFE, ANIMATED; WEINER; BEST OF ENEMIES; ART AND CRAFT; THE KILL TEAM; 3 1/2 MINUTES; TEN BULLETS; 1971; SOLITARY; SOUTHWEST OF SALEM; BUCK; SERGIO; GOD LOVES UGANDA; AI WEIWEI: NEVER SORRY and BEWARE OF MR. BAKER among many others.
CineDiaz, Inc. is an independent production company founded in 2000 by filmmaker Ramona S. Diaz to produce feature length documentary films.
ABOUT TOPIC STUDIOS
Topic Studios, the award-winning entertainment studio from First Look Media, develops, finances and produces content for all platforms including theatrical, streaming, television and podcasts. Working with creators at the forefront of culture, the studio explores a wide range of provocative and entertaining subject matter. From Academy Award® winning films (SPOTLIGHT); to documentaries (THE FIGHT released in 2020 with Magnolia); to television and streaming (the docu-series Love Fraud premiered on Showtime August 30 and MUCHO MUCHO AMOR premiered on Netflix summer 2020); and podcasts (MISSING RICHARD SIMMONS, ANTHEM and SOMEBODY). Additional films from Topic Studios include Michael Angelo Covino’s THE CLIMB, with Sony Pictures Classics and Euros Lyn’s DREAM HORSE, starring Toni Collette and Damian Lewis, with Bleecker Street. Other upcoming projects include the political drama PRISONER 760 directed by Kevin Macdonald and starring Jodie Foster, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tahar Rahim and Shailene Woodley.
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