EXCLUSIVE: Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker Joe Berlinger (Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory; Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile; Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich) has partnered with RadicalMedia and The Atlantic on a new conspiracy theory docuseries Shadowland.
Shadowland is a recurring timely docuseries based on the critically acclaimed multi-article interactive project from The Atlantic. As American history continues to be filled with false narratives believed by so many people, Shadowland investigates conspiracy theories capturing the public imagination and explore the life-changing impact they’re having on supporters and those caught in the crosshairs, to discover whether truth as we’ve known it can survive in the 21st century.
The Atlantic investigated the rise of far-right conspiracy theory QAnon long before it became a household name during the 2020 election. The publication’s interactive project launched in May with a cover story, “The Prophecies of Q,” warning that QAnon’s power—and the rejection of reality it represents—only grows.
For its debut season, Shadowland will intercut among three often overlapping subjects over the course of six one-hour episodes, encompassing the cult of QAnon, irrational theories surrounding COVID-19 and the forthcoming vaccine, and conspiracy beliefs that are especially resonating with women.
“Paranoid thinking is more powerful, more popular, and more dangerous than ever, threatening not just individual facts, but the very idea of truth itself. We’re excited to partner with The Atlantic to focus on conspiracies that have an enormous impact on our world today, often threatening the very fabric that makes up our democracy,” said Jen Isaacson, Executive Producer for RadicalMedia. “Through the diligent reporting of The Atlantic, including breaking news on QAnon, it is paramount we bring these important and timely stories to life now.”
“As a documentary filmmaker, I’ve devoted much of my professional life to exposing corruption and false narratives and have watched in dismay over the last year as truth itself has come under attack in our country like never before,” said Berlinger. “After devouring The Atlantic‘s revelatory reporting, I knew Shadowland would be the perfect framework for a series that could help counteract the forces that are tearing this country apart and jeopardizing our democracy. I’m delighted to be partnering with The Atlantic, a news outlet I have long admired, on this era-defining subject.”
“We are living through a mass rejection of reason and enlightenment values,” said Adrienne LaFrance, executive editor of The Atlantic. “Conspiracy theories pose grave and growing threats to society Shadowland illuminates the forces that have created and perpetuated our current unreality—and charts a course for how we might find a way out.”
The first season of Shadowland will be directed by Berlinger and executive produced by RadicalMedia’s Jon Kamen, Jon Doran and Jen Isaacson as well as The Atlantic’s editors. Berlinger also serves as executive producer for Third Eye Motion Picture Company. Dave Snyder is attached as Executive Producer of Development for The Joe Berlinger Group.