HBO has begun production on the first project in its multi-film deal with best-selling author and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ronan Farrow. In partnership with Loki Films’ Oscar-nominated directors Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady (HBO’s 12th & Delaware, Jesus Camp, One of Us), Farrow and team will investigate threats, intimidation and violence directed at journalists working to expose corruption and abuse by governments, corporations and other powerful interests. The film will follow subjects in the United States and internationally. The project was announced Wednesday at TCA.
“Around the world, journalists are under fire,” says Farrow. “They’re being spied on using new surveillance technology, imprisoned, even murdered. And we’re seeing evolving tactics deployed against reporters in the United States, too, against the backdrop of a new era of misinformation campaigns and rhetoric that seeks to undermine the very idea of objective reporting. I’m so grateful to have the opportunity to work with Rachel, Heidi, and HBO to tell these stories.”
The project falls under the three-year television deal Farrow signed with HBO in 2018, in which he would develop and front a series of investigative documentary specials for the network.
“We cannot think of a better place than HBO to bring audiences the first-hand stories of reporters taking huge risks in order to fight misinformation and to defend a free and informed society,” says Ewing.
“Reporters covering this upcoming political cycle will be working in a vitriolic, deeply divided country – and our cameras will bear witness to this make or break moment for America’s dedication to a free press,” adds Grady.
Ewing and Grady will direct. Farrow will executive produce through his production company Glass Cannon Inc., in association with Loki Films. Nancy Abraham and Lisa Heller will executive produce for HBO.
“Now more than ever, as evidenced by Ronan’s recent reporting, unbiased investigative journalism is both essential and under siege,” says Casey Bloys, president, HBO Programming. “We’re excited to provide a platform for Ronan, Heidi and Rachel to shed light on the harrowing circumstances thrust upon journalists in their tireless pursuit of the truth.”
Farrow is a contributing writer to The New Yorker, whose book Catch and Kill, chronicling his investigations into Harvey Weinstein and other influential figures, is currently a New York Times best seller. His new podcast of the same title has received millions of downloads and topped Apple’s podcast charts.