Doc ‘Fake Famous’ About Social Media Influencers Debuting on HBO Max, HBO Feb. 2

The documentary Fake Famous, about social media influencers, will debut on HBO Max and HBO Feb. 2.

From first-time director and veteran journalist Nick Bilton, the film explores the industry of social media influencers through a social experiment. The film’s journey is driven by the casting of three people in Los Angeles who all have relatively small social followings and the attempt to grow them into famous influencers. By purchasing fake followers and an army of bots to “engage” with their social media, the newly made “influencers” discover both the wonders and costs of this unlikely, immersive lifestyle. Each of their stories illuminates the ephemeral world of online influence and the realities of a lifestyle based largely on fantasy.

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Bilton, a technology journalist, explores a fundamental question: What is fame and influence in the digital age? There are now hundreds of millions of people on social platforms who have such large followings that they are considered to be a new kind of celebrity. But are they really famous? Bilton and his team set out to explore what it all really means. Peeling back the layers to reveal what’s really happening behind the scenes of influencer fame, Fake Famous illuminates our obsession with the numbers of likes, followers and favorites we get, and how most of our online world is much more fabricated than we realize.

Joining Bilton in providing insights into today’s social media landscape are interviewees including New York Times technology reporter Taylor Lorenz; Liz Eswein of @newyorkcity; Bloomberg technology reporter Sarah Frier; Justine Bateman, author of “Fame: The Hijacking of Reality”; and others.

Sports Doc ‘Eddie’ Hitting Digital March 9 From Lionsgate

Eddie, the story of legendary basketball coach Eddie Sutton, arrives on digital March 9 from Lionsgate.

The documentary follows the life and legacy of famed basketball coach Eddie Sutton, who coached across the universities of Arkansas, Kentucky and Oklahoma State, becoming one of the winningest coaches in sports history.

The film features interviews from notable names in basketball and pop culture, including former President of the United States Bill Clinton, former NBA basketball player Rex Chapman, owner of the Dallas Cowboys Jerry Jones, University of Kansas head coach and Basketball Hall of Fame inductee Bill Self, ESPN sportscaster and Basketball Hall of Fame inductee Dick Vitale, and basketball analyst and radio host Doug Gottlieb.

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Rooted in basketball, but exploring issues of substance abuse, father-son relationships and perseverance, the documentary follows the famed career of 800-win basketball coach Sutton. It revisits not only conference championships and numerous trips to the Final Four, but also the pains of addiction and the devastating 2001 Oklahoma State basketball team plane crash. The film ponders the conflicting attributes of a man with flaws shared by many and achievements matched by few.

Doc ‘Nasrin’ Coming to DVD and Digital HD Jan. 26 From Virgil

The documentary Nasrin will come out on DVD and digital HD Jan. 26 from Virgil Films.

Narrated by Academy Award winner Olivia Colman, Nasrin, filmed in Iran by women and men who risked arrest, is an immersive portrait of one of the world’s most courageous human rights activists and political prisoners, Nasrin Sotoudeh, and of Iran’s remarkably resilient women’s rights movement. In the courts and on the streets, Nasrin has long fought for the rights of women, children, LGBT prisoners, religious minorities, journalists and artists, and those facing the death penalty. She was arrested in June 2018 for representing women who were protesting Iran’s mandatory hijab law, and she was sentenced to 38 years in prison, plus 148 lashes. Even from prison, she has continued to challenge the authorities. An Amnesty International petition calling for her release received over a million signatures from 200 countries.

The film features acclaimed filmmaker Jafar Panahi, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi, journalist Ann Curry, exiled women’s rights activist Mansoureh Shojaee, and Nasrin’s equally courageous husband Reza Khandan.

Nasrin features an original song by Tony Award-winning composers Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, performed by four-time Grammy winner Angélique Kidjo.

Doc ‘21 Miles’ Travels to Digital Jan. 16 From Virgil

The documentary 21 Miles is traveling to digital HD Jan. 16 from Virgil Films.

From Director Richard Parry (Shooting Robert King, BASE) and executive produced by Coldplay’s manager Dave Holmes and creative director Phil Harvey, the film is the story of a father’s incredible journey to reach his son in England.

Kais, a 30-year-old Tunisian, arrives in the French shantytown with nothing more than the shirt on his back and 21 miles of sea between him and his 8-year-old boy Marcel.

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21 Miles from Virgil Films on Vimeo.

Music Doc ‘Mean Man: The Story of Chris Holmes’ Due on Disc Jan. 15 From MVD

The music documentary Mean Man: The Story of Chris Holmes will come out on Blu-ray and DVD Jan. 15 from MVD Entertainment Group and Cleopatra Entertainment.

It’s the story of an iconic guitar player who has lived a life of extreme highs and lows. After losing the publishing rights to his own songs and combatting dangerous addictions, the legendary W.A.S.P. guitarist is shown starting over from scratch while living at his mother-in-law’s in Cannes, France. He is now ready to take on Europe with his new band. As the documentary follows him, he meets many fans, proving he still is the showman he was as a young and famous rockstar. This musical journey chronicles the rise, fall and rebirth of Holmes with archives, live performances and interviews.

Bonus features include behind-the-scenes extras and a slide show.

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‘A Thousand Cuts’ Debuts Jan. 9 on PBS Documentaries Prime Video Channel

The “Frontline” documentary A Thousand Cuts will debut on the PBS Documentaries Prime Video Channel Jan. 9.

The film follows Philippine journalist and Time Person of the Year Maria Ressa as she is targeted by President Rodrigo Duterte for exposing the truth of the political corruption in her country on her news site, Rappler. The film offers an inside look at the key players in the escalating war between press and government in the Philippines and the ongoing threat against freedom of the press.

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It examines social media disinformation campaigns and the crackdown on the news media in the Philippines by Duterte — who has made Ressa one of his top targets. At great personal risk, Ressa has been at the forefront of holding Duterte and his government accountable for their violent war on drugs. In response, Duterte has barred Rappler reporters from the presidential palace and revoked Rappler’s license. Ressa herself has been charged with a cyber libel case. Ressa places the tools of the free press — and her own freedom — on the line in defense of truth and democracy in “A Thousand Cuts.”

The film received a Grand Jury Prize nomination from the Sundance Film Festival and a Best Documentary Award Nomination at the Gotham Independent Film Festival.

The subscription rate for the PBS Documentaries Prime Video Channel is $3.99 per month with an Amazon Prime or Prime Video subscription.

Season Seven of ‘Finding Your Roots’ and ‘Ken Burns: Here and There’ Among Titles Debuting on PBS Documentaries Prime Video Channel in January

American Masters: How It Feels to Be Free, season seven of “Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.” and Ken Burns: Here and There are among the programs debuting on the PBS Documentaries Prime Video Channel in January.

The subscription rate for the PBS Documentaries Prime Video Channel is $3.99 per month with an Amazon Prime or Prime Video subscription.

American Masters: How It Feels to Be Free

American Masters: How It Feels to Be Free starts streaming Jan. 19. From Award-winning director Yoruba Richen and based on the book of the same name, the program tells the inspiring story of how six iconic African American female entertainers, Lena Horne, Abbey Lincoln, Nina Simone, Diahann Carroll, Cicely Tyson and Pam Grier, challenged an entertainment industry deeply complicit in perpetuating racist stereotypes, and transformed themselves and their audiences in the process. The documentary features interviews and archival performances with all six women, as well as original conversations with contemporary artists influenced by them, including one of the documentary’s executive producers Alicia Keys, along with Halle Berry, Lena Waithe, Meagan Good, LaTanya Richardson Jackson, Samuel L. Jackson and many others. The documentary also includes interviews with family members, including Horne’s daughter Gail Lumet Buckley.

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“Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.”

Season seven of “Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.” is due Jan. 20. Over the course of 10 episodes, Gates uses genealogical detective work and cutting-edge DNA analysis to guide twenty influential guests through the branches of their family trees, traveling hundreds of years into the past to discover people and places long forgotten. The season features actors Glenn Close, John Lithgow, Jane Lynch, Christopher Meloni, and Tony Shalhoub; Broadway stars Audra McDonald and Mandy Patinkin; filmmakers Kasi Lemmons and John Waters; talk show host and author Andy Cohen; journalists Gretchen Carlson, Maria Hinojosa, Don Lemon, and Nina Totenberg; comedians Lewis Black, Jim Gaffigan, and Roy Wood, Jr.; and musicians Clint Black, Rosanne Cash, and Pharrell Williams.

Ken Burns: Here and There debuts Jan. 1. The biography is about the life and work of the documentary filmmaker and follows the story of his love for filmmaking and storytelling, the evolution of his career throughout the years, his fondness of small-town life, and his love for a bridge in Brooklyn. Filled with small stories and monologues, this program captures the 40-year intimate relationship Burns has with his America, with his colleagues, his family, his community, his craft, and taking sweeping historical concepts and making them relatable to his audiences.

Doc ‘Best in Class — The Making of a Concours d’Elegance’ Rides to DVD and Digital From Mill Creek

The documentary Best in Class: The Making of a Concours d’Elegance is available on DVD and digital from Mill Creek Entertainment.

It chronicles the premiere celebration, which is a motor week unlike any other, filled with grandeur and elegance featuring some of the rarest and most prestigious cars in the world. The Audrain Automobile Museum partnered with Torque Media Group to produce this account of the inaugural Audrain Newport Concours & Motor Week, a world-class event bringing the best of the motoring world to a global audience. The documentary captures the highs and lows of competition, the people and passions that drive the pursuit of excellence, and the bonds that unite car lovers around the world.

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The Audrain Concours d’Elegance in Newport, R.I., is rich with automotive history dating back to the dawn of the motoring age. The inaugural event captured the celebration of history, luxury and sport where the Breakers Mansion serves as a backdrop to the awarding of trophies with first in class winners competing for the Willie K. Vanderbilt Trophy. Special guests included automotive expert Nic Waller, actress Emily Ratajkowski and event chairman Jay Leno.

“We are thrilled to give car fans, collectors and everyday spectators an unprecedented behind-the-scenes look at the Audrain Concours d’Elegance,” said Jeff Hayne, SVP of Mill Creek Entertainment, in a statement. “Being able to experience such an iconic event at home amid the absence of live events allows enthusiasts to share their love of the automobile.”

Doc ‘Driving While Black’ Streaming on PBS Documentaries Prime Video Channel

The documentary film Driving While Black is streaming now on PBS Documentaries Prime Video Channel.

From Emmy award-winning Ric Burns and Gretchen Sorin, the film explores the deep background of a recent phrase rooted in realities that have been an indelible part of the African-American experience for hundreds of years. Chronicling the riveting history and personal experiences of African-Americans on the road from the advent of the automobile through the seismic changes of the 1960s and beyond, Driving While Black examines the history of African-Americans on the road from the depths of the Depression to the height of the Civil Rights movement and beyond, exploring the deeply embedded dynamics of race, space and mobility in America.

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Driving While Black utilizes archive material from the period — including footage, photographs, advertisements, road signs, maps, letters and legal records — and weaves together oral histories and the on-camera insights of scholars, writers, musicians and ordinary American travelers. The film also delves deeply into the history of The Green Book, the travel guide authored by New York City mailman Victor Hugo Green. From a first edition focused on the Northeast, Green expanded his guide to include much of the country, providing travel tips for African Americans driving, including safe and welcoming places to stop, dine and rest, as well as places to avoid, given the potential for racially motivated violence. “Vacation without aggravation,” the book advised African American families planning a road trip.

Manson Doc ‘Other Side of Madness’ Available on Disc From MVD

The 1971 Charles Manson documentary The Other Side of Madness is available on Blu-ray Disc and DVD from MVD Entertainment Group and Film Detective.

An avant-garde retelling of the infamous Manson murders featuring a mixture of documentary footage and re-enactment scenes, The Other Side of Madness brings audiences closer to the events than most filmmakers have dared to go, with real life footage of Spahn Ranch and music performed by Manson. Directed by Frank Howard and produced by Wade Williams, the film served as one of the first “Helter Skelter” recreations, filmed so close to the time of the events that Manson and his followers had yet to be sentenced for the vicious crimes.

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Special features include the original theatrical trailer (Helter Skelter Murders); the original theatrical trailer (original release); music CD with songs written and performed by Manson; an essay by Alexander Tuschinski exploring the nuances of the film, with film history; and “The Other Side of Manson: An Interview with Producer Wade Williams.”