DOC/FEST: Sky Atlantic has acquired Nick Broomfield’s latest film and another about Chinese artist Ai Weiwei to kick-off its upcoming documentary strand.The new strand is titled Footprints and BSkyB announced its first pick-ups at the Sheffield Doc/Fest today. Award-winning filmmaker Broomfield is working on Footprints’ first original commission, The Grim Sleeper, which follows the case of a serial murderer who killed 10 women over a 25-year period. It comes from Lafayette Films.
Footprints has also acquired Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry, which was caught in the midst of a political storm at Doc/Fest this week when the Chinese delegation cancelled their attendance after hearing it was being screened.
The film, from first-time director Alison Klayman, tells the story of the China’s most famous artist/dissident, who has constantly clashed with China’s communist government and is currently under house arrest. It comes from Artificial Eye Films, in association with BSkyB-owned Sky Atlantic.
The strand was announced in April as part of a wider initiative to invest more money into UK filmmaking, including new family-themed films for Sky Movies.
“What will unite these films, at their heart, will be a human story that will leave a mark on the viewer’s heart and mind. This strand is an important part of Sky Atlantic’s editorial direction and will reinforce our promise to be the home of iconic storytelling,” said Sky Atlantic’s acting director Naomi Gibney.
The Footprints strand is planned to launch in 2013 as part of Sky’s multi-million pound investment into new content, which will see it spending £600m (US$931m) per year on content within two years.