EXCLUSIVE: The long-running PBS documentary series POV has acquired U.S. broadcast rights to Midnight Traveler, the Hassan Fazili-directed feature that been collecting awards-season noms since it bowed this year winning a jury prize at the Sundance Film Festival.
POV, produced by American Documentary, will air the docu for the first time on Monday, December 30 as the second-to-last episode of the series’ 32nd season, followed by The Rescue List in March 2020.
Midnight Traveler is an autobiographical documentary chronicling the perilous journey Fazili’s family takes across central and west Asia, to Europe, after the Taliban puts a bounty on the Afghan director’s head. He is forced to flee with his wife and two young daughters, capturing along the way the dangers facing refugees seeking asylum and the love shared between a family on the run.
“There are many stories about refugees, but rarely do producers and news editors give refugee-seekers the opportunity to tell their own story,” said Chris White, executive producer of POV. “Midnight Traveler is an urgent corrective, not only to that tendency, but to our current moment’s hostility toward a diffuse group of people who share the most basic human instinct: to find a safe home.”
The pic, which scored a Gotham Awards nom last month for Best Documentary and was nominated for a Cinema Eye Honor for best production, hit theaters in September via Oscilloscope. It is a co-production of Old Chilly Pictures, American Documentary | POV and Independent Television Service, with funding provided by the Corporation For Public Broadcasting.
“Public media showcases such as POV give stories like Hassan’s an important platform,” said producers Emelie Mahdavian and Su Kim of Old Chilly Pictures. “If there are Americans unsure of the dedication and intentions of migrant families, a PBS broadcast of Midnight Traveler compels them to connect with migrants and the daunting sacrifices they make to find safety far from their homes.”
Justine Nagan and Chris White negotiated the deal on behalf of POV, and Mahdavian and Kim on behalf of the film.