SUNDANCE TV HIGHLIGHTS:
Deutschland 86 (Season 2 premiere; 10 episodes)
Thursday, October 25th at 12a ET / 11p C
Created by Anna Winger and Jörg Winger, Deutschland 86 follows Martin Rauch (Jonas Nay), his Aunt Lenora (Maria Schrader) and their colleagues at the East German foreign intelligence agency (HVA). Long banished to Africa for his sins in 1983, Martin Rauch is called back into the field. Dark deals and a dangerous mission lead him to South Africa, Angola, Libya, Paris, West Berlin, and finally back to East Berlin, where he must make a decision.
The first season of the series (Deutschland 83) won an International Emmy, a Peabody Award, an Adolf Grimme Award and a Golden Camera award in Germany. Jonas Nay was honored with the 2016 Golden Nymph for Best Actor at the Festival de Television in Monte Carlo, as well as the German Television Award for his portrayal of Martin Rauch.
Jonestown: Terror in the Jungle (Docu-series Premiere; Two-Night Special Event)
Saturday, November 17 at 9p ET / 8p C & Sunday, November 18 at 9p ET / 8p C
Airing in conjunction with the 40th anniversary of the Jonestown massacre that claimed the lives of more than 900 people, the two-night special paints a picture of Jim Jones’ transformation from charismatic preacher and champion of civil rights into an egomaniacal demagogue who led the biggest mass suicide in American history. Based on the best-selling book by investigative journalist Jeff Guinn, and featuring archival footage – including secret FBI and CIA recordings, unreleased photographs and previously classified documents – Jonestown: Terror in the Jungle will attempt to answer the questions surrounding the grim event. The account includes new interviews with survivors and Jones family members.
The docu-series is executive produced by Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson of Appian Way, author Jeff Guinn, and Stephen David of Stephen David Entertainment (The Men Who Built America, Making of the Mob).
SUNDANCE NOW HIGHLIGHTS:
Dead Lucky (U.S. and Canada Premiere; Four episodes)
Series Begins Streaming Thursday, September 20
Starring Rachel Griffiths (Six Feet Under) and Yoson An (Grace, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny), Dead Lucky is a gripping crime thriller told from multiple perspectives. Detective Grace Gibbs (Griffiths) is obsessed with catching the armed robber who killed her junior officer. Charlie Fung (An) her new trainee, blames Grace for the death of his best friend. Meanwhile, a share house of international students think that they have found paradise, until one of their housemates disappears. A couple of greedy convenience store owners resort to deadly measures to defend their business, while on the outskirts of the city, a violent fugitive is hiding. Over one week, the paths of these characters collide, with devastating consequences.
Dead Lucky is created and written by Subtext Pictures’ Ellie Beaumont and Drew Proffitt for SBS with major production investment from Screen Australia in association with Create NSW.
54 Hours (U.S. and Canada Premiere; Four episodes)
Streaming Date to Come
Based on a true story and directed by Kilian Riedhof, 54 Hours examines an armed bank robbery gone awry in 1988. While fleeing from the police, the two gangsters take an entire busload hostage. The ensuing manhunt, however, turns into a disaster. The police make fools of themselves with their amateurish operations and, above all, are obstructed by the nation’s media who swoop down on the events in their rat race for the juiciest pictures and live interviews with the kidnappers. As Rösner, the driving force of the duo, orchestrates their 54 hours of fame in cold blood, his accomplice Degowski derives sinister pleasure from manipulating the media. But Degowski is also unpredictable and violent. When he loses his nerve, and kills a teenage passenger in the bus, the two men choose two young women as their hostages while leaping into another getaway vehicle. Thus, begins an odyssey that goes completely out of control, marking one of the biggest hits for the local broadcaster in 1988.
The Bureau (U.S. and Canada Season Four Premiere; 10 episodes)
Streaming Date to Come
In season four of French-language spy thriller The Bureau, Malotru (Mathieu Kassovitz), hunted by the CIA and the DGSE, takes refuge in Moscow. Unable to stay hidden very long, he finds himself obligated to collaborate with the Russian secret service. Meanwhile, back at headquarters in Paris, paranoia and suspicion run rampant as The Bureau is under heavy scrutiny. JJA (interpreted by Mathieu Amalric), the DGSE’s new Internal Security Director, is convinced that the entire department is under the influence of Malotru, and needs to be totally overhauled. Yet, the Bureau is more active than ever, this time looking East to launch a new mission: the infiltration of a Russian hacking operation. The DGSE is still on the ground in the war against ISIS, sending its analysts to approach increasingly difficult targets in the war torn Middle East.
The Bureau is created by Eric Rochant, and produced by TOP (The Oligarchs Productions) and Federation Entertainment.
The Cry (U.S. and Canada Premiere; Four episodes)
Streaming Date to Come
This psychological thriller chronicles the collapse of a relationship in the aftermath of a tragedy, and explores the myths and truths of motherhood. Based on Helen Fitzgerald’s bestselling book of the same name, Jenna Coleman (Victoria, Doctor Who) and Ewen Leslie (Top of the Lake: China Girl) star as new parents Joanna and Alistair. They live in Scotland, but travel to his home country of Australia to introduce the new arrival to family – and so that Alistair can pursue custody of his first child, Chloe.
Joanna is already struggling with being a first-time mom and soon after arrival they find themselves at the center of an unthinkable tragedy. As they face the glare of public scrutiny, alongside this deeply personal trauma the consequences of the tragedy succeed in changing their lives and their relationship forever.
The screenplay for The Cry was written by Jacquelin Perske (The Secret Life of Us), with Glendyn Ivin (Gallipoli) directing and Brian Kaczynski producing. The series was Executive produced by Synchronicity’s Claire Mundell (Not Another Happy Ending), Gaynor Holmes (Trust Me) and Elizabeth Kilgarriff (McMafia).
CHEAT (U.S. and Canada Premiere; Four episodes)
Streaming Date to Come
Produced by Harry and Jack Williams (The Missing, Liar) and written by Gaby Hull, Cheat is a four-part miniseries that stars Katherine Kelly (Strike Back, Him and The Night Manager) and the BAFTA award winning Molly Windsor (Three Girls). At the heart of the drama is a dangerous relationship between university professor Leah (Kelly), and her student Rose (Windsor). A seemingly open and shut case of academic deception quickly spirals out of control, ending in fatal consequences and triggering a devastating sequence of events that threaten to engulf them both.
Cheat is directed by Louise Hooper (Stan Lee’s Lucky Man, Cold Feet, Vera), and produced by Lydia Hampson (Fleabag, Wonderdate) with Christopher Aird (Retribution, Clique, Call the Midwife) as executive producer.
Sundance Now also announced that it is expanding its content offerings to include podcasts, beginning with its first scripted podcast, Exeter. Created by indie writer/director Ronnie Gunter (Lighter) and starring Jeanne Tripplehorn (Big Love, Grey Gardens) and Ray McKinnon (Rectify, Sons of Anarchy, Deadwood”), Exeter will premiere on the service in September 2018.
The six-episode podcast series, produced by Insurrection Media, will be further brought to life with dynamic captioning — also known as ‘kinetic typography’ — a process by which words and phrases in the character’s dialogue are animated to underscore emotion and heighten tension. This marks the first time this process has been used for a scripted dramatic podcast.
Exeter is a crime mystery that follows a veteran detective, Colleen Clayton (Jeanne Tripplehorn), as she is forced to reconcile the errors of a past case when a woman she convicted of murder is exonerated after 10 years in prison. Detective Clayton struggles to keep the trust of her department as a series of grisly and ritualistic murders rock her decaying South Carolina town, putting her at odds with her ambitious partner, Lester Pruitt (McKinnon) and the department at large, as they race to put the pieces together.