FRONTLINE Acquires Full Streaming Rights for A Thousand Cuts in the Philippines


March 2, 2021

The acclaimed documentary will begin streaming in the Philippines on Sat., March 13, and will be followed by a live roundtable discussion featuring Maria Ressa and the film team

Tuesday, March. 2, 2021 — FRONTLINE, the PBS documentary series, announced today that it has acquired full-streaming rights for the award-winning film A Thousand Cuts in the Philippines, a country experiencing an escalating war between the government and the press.

The important acquisition will make the film accessible on and YouTube to the people in the Philippines who are most impacted by the issues in this story. The news comes after Philippine distributors and TV did not license the film.

From award-winning filmmaker Ramona S. Diaz, A Thousand Cuts chronicles the story of journalist Maria Ressa, a top target of President Rodrigo Duterte’s crackdown on the news media. Ressa and her colleagues have been at the forefront of reporting on Duterte’s brutal war on drugs and she has endured harassment, arrests, and a cyber libel conviction that could send her to prison. In January, she posted bail for her tenth arrest warrant.

The film will begin streaming in the Philippines on Saturday, March 13. At 9pm PHT/8am EST on March 13, FRONTLINE will host a live YouTube roundtable discussion with Ressa, Diaz and FRONTLINE’s Executive Producer, Raney Aronson-Rath. The roundtable will explore the importance of sharing A Thousand Cuts with Filippino audiences as Ressa’s legal situation continues to unfold.

The 2020 Sundance Film Festival documentary made its U.S. broadcast debut on FRONTLINE (PBS) in January 2021, and is currently available to stream in North America. By securing full streaming rights on both and YouTube, the Philippine people can stream A Thousand Cuts in its entirety and learn about the implications for democracy when press freedom is threatened  — a story that is increasingly vital, as President Duterte has taken severe measures to thwart journalists.

“At FRONTLINE, we felt we needed to do whatever we could to make this story available to the Filipino people,” says FRONTLINE Executive Producer Raney Aronson-Rath. “We’ve seen a growing desire to have A Thousand Cuts be more permanently accessible in the Philippines, especially as Maria’s legal situation continues to worsen. We’re proud we can make Ramona’s documentary available to the community it impacts the most.”

“After a year of screening for audiences around the world — from New Zealand to North America, from Israel to the Netherlands, A Thousand Cuts is finally coming home. I’m so grateful that FRONTLINE (PBS) stepped up to the plate to make the film available to audiences in the Philippines where it matters most,” says Diaz.

Prior to its PBS broadcast, A Thousand Cut completed a robust festival run — including Sundance Film Festival, SXSW Film Festival and AFI DOCS — and a nation-wide virtual theatrical release last summer. The New York Times calls A Thousand Cuts “absorbing” (Critic’s Pick), The Washington Post says is “utterly urgent” and The Hollywood Reporter describes as it “essential.”

FRONTLINE’s A Thousand Cuts is now streaming online in North America on and YouTube. The film is also 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 GBH/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 and follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube to learn more. FRONTLINE is produced at GBH in Boston 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; 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.


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).

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.

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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