September 2021
Story of the Month
9/11 in Documentaries
That was the view from my study on 9/11/2021.

It's the same window from which I saw the 9/11 attacks, certain that we had lost family, close friends and neighbors, but waiting to find out which ones.

For the 20th anniversary, the news media captured the shock and the grief that persist twenty years later.

Sadly, even today, the documentary landscape avoids interrogating the "Why's?": "Who attacked us?" "What motivated them?" "What could we have done differently, before and since?" Peter Hamilton

Read more in this month's News Roundup...
'Vacuous' & 'Cynical'
Why Netflix's Turning Point documentary is ‘big on caricature and short on context’ // Middle East Eye
“Never Forget?” The sheer number of spiritually vacuous and cynical films about 9/11 is intimidating // Hyperallergic
9/11 conspiracy doc: How a Viral Video Bent Reality // NYT
VR documentary commemorates 9/11 // Le Point (FR)
Questioning the 9/11 media // Hervé Brusini on Méta-Media (FR)
How 9/11 gave birth to Google News // La revue des medias INA (FR)
“Cured” When homosexuality was considered a mental illness to be “cured," LGBTQ+ activists fought back. A PBS Independent Lens documentary / Counterpunch
HBO’s The Jinx helped convict millionaire Robert Durst for Murder // Washington Post
How Anthony Fauci became a documentary superstar // Guardian
CBS’ ‘The Activist’ retooled from competitive series into a doc special // Variety
Netflix's "Women and the Assassin" series breaks new ground in crime // GQ (FR)
Center for Media & Social Impact report asks, Who's Holding Documentary to Account? // Documentary
Paul Giamatti narrates PBS Nature version Season of the Osprey // WNET
Netflix's "Women and the Assassin" breaks new ground in crime // GQ (FR)
Center for Media & Social Impact report asks, Who's Holding Documentary to Account? // Documentary
Netflix Australia, NZ takes Wildbear feature documentary // RapidTV

The Producer Rate Sheet is a tool for producers who are striving to build a sustainable career // Dear Producer (thx Amelia Hanibelz)
Export record for French audiovisual programs // Les Echos (FR)
Europe’s indie producers are fighting to retain IP and revenues amid streaming boom // Screen International

More women make documentaries than narrative features // BizWomen
BET Studios launched by ViacomCBS: Offers equity for Black content creators. // Worldscreen
Disney, Netflix U.K. Executives Talk Diversity, Originals Strategy at Edinburgh // THR
Women remain under-represented in Europe // la place des femmes dans le  télévisée européenne. // European Audiovisual Observatory (ENG/FR – Thx Pauline Mazenod)
MediaLink’s CEO Wenda Millard on Women Navigating Work, Family and the Pandemic... and more // Video - BeetTV
Football & Inclusion: Australia’s A$1.25 Mn production inspires a new format // Documentary Business on Grand Final day in Perth
Millennials use Netflix. They spread TV viewing across Live and Streamed: US Media Consumption Report 2021 // Attest Technologies
Zaslav talks up Discovery-WarnerMedia merger, vows ‘shock-and-awe’ strategy // C21
Sky, Love Nature partnership: Expansion into Germany, Italy // RapidTV
Disney Plus Slowdown: Rocketing subscriber growth drops off peak  // Variety
Why Talent Docs Are a New “Lightning Rod” for Streamers // THR (Thx Jan Rofekamp)
Netflix plans to invest in children’s content // The Verge
Is Hollywood’s Documentary Boom Too Much of a Good Thing?  // Variety
Disney Plus Ups European Originals From 50 to 60 // Variety
Sharp drop in Pay-TV subscribers that began in 2018 looks to have steadied // RapidTV
TikTok expands format to offer longer videos // MediaPost
Instagram insiders reveal its growing TikTok turmoil // Wired
Consumers discover new streaming content via social media // RapidTV
Close Email, Open Netflix. How TV Replaced the Commute as a Workday Wind-Down // WSJ
Freedom of expression issues clouding virtual reality world // Screen Daily
Quibi’s $1.8 Billion Dollar Disaster: Jeffrey Katzenberg tries to explain it all away // NYT
Apple saturates programs with product placement. iPhones in every frame! // WSJ
YouTube has paid out $13 billion to creators in the past year, 55% of its revenues // Lightshed (scroll down)
Artifactual and the Lincoln Assassination
In 1933, Joseph Hazelton told the story of watching Abraham Lincoln’s assassination as a program boy at Ford's Theatre. The audio recording disappeared until the mid-2000s, when a collector found the last copy in existence.

The Lincoln podcast launches Artifactual, a series about the archive produced by Tom Jennings' 1895 Films. It's an exciting new content partnership with Sunny Side of the Doc and Peter Hamilton's Documentary Business.
WaterBear Network, the new, free streaming service led by Ellen Windemuth leads the industry in sustainability innovation // Forbes
Amazon Studios former head offers a hope for the documentary industry // Variety
Matt White influential and creative archivist is remembered by David Royle // Realscreen
IMAX appoints John Turner to head of documentaries // Realscreen
Will Smith & Jada Pinkett Smith tap Jannat Gargi as Head of Docs // Variety
Susan Zirinsky, ex-CBS News president heads ViacomCBS documentary unit  // THR
Vogue’s Met Gala Livestream breaks site traffic records; 192.6 million views across all social channels // Adweek
Mohammed is Palestinian. Why does 23andMe think he’s Egyptian? // Wired
Facebook’s devastating defeat: Australia’s High Court decision to hold media companies responsible for their readers’ comments // The Age
The persisting 'Trust Gap' between traditional and online media // EBU (login)
Internet shutdowns are increasingly used to stifle democracy. What comes next could be worse // Wired
Why Storytelling is Important for Culture // Paul Jenkins, Brilliantio
How “engagement” makes you vulnerable to manipulation and misinformation on social media // NiemanLab
Peter Hamilton's Documentary Business and Sunny Side of the Doc are publishing partners, providing our colleagues throughout the year with valuable industry analysis and context. Thanks for your feedback, and for sending us stories with links that you feel our readers will appreciate... at
Editorial Assistant: Niko Frost