AMC helped usher in the Golden Age of Television — now it wants to be a part of the Golden Age of Documentaries

David Brancaccio May 20, 2016
HTML EMBED:
COPY
AMC Networks President and CEO Josh Sapan David Buchan/Getty Images

AMC helped usher in the Golden Age of Television — now it wants to be a part of the Golden Age of Documentaries

David Brancaccio May 20, 2016
AMC Networks President and CEO Josh Sapan David Buchan/Getty Images
HTML EMBED:
COPY

The AMC channel recently started the SundanceNow Doc Club, where users can stream documentaries and independent films. The club is launching a short film series called “Take 5,” which consists of themed documentary film collections — just five minutes long — that focus around a single timely topic. The first set is called “Justice in America,” and it’s available for free right now.

Josh Sapan, CEO of AMC Network, joined us to talk about the medium.

Why Sapan decided to launch these five-minute documentaries:

They were stimulated by our listening to a panel of documentary filmmakers at the Sundance Film Festival, in which [Eugene Jarecki] — a well-known documentarian — said that his short documentary had more impact on the world than his long ones because it was distributed more widely. And that gave birth to this idea. 

Sapan on the budding audience for documentaries: 

There’s an increasing audience for documentaries. There’s a bigger audience for “The Walking Dead,” for “Fear the Walking Dead,” for “The Night Manager,” and for “Preacher,” we hope, which also premieres on the AMC channel in a couple of days. But cumulatively, as the technology allows you to watch when you want, there is an increasingly large audience for documentaries that are headier and thicker and stay with you longer.

Click the above audio to hear the full interview.

As a nonprofit news organization, our future depends on listeners like you who believe in the power of public service journalism.

Your investment in Marketplace helps us remain paywall-free and ensures everyone has access to trustworthy, unbiased news and information, regardless of their ability to pay.

Donate today — in any amount — to become a Marketplace Investor. Now more than ever, your commitment makes a difference.

There’s a LOT to celebrate!

It’s National Pumpkin Spice Day, the last day of our fall fundraiser, and thousands of fans like you have invested in Marketplace.

You inspire us, and your support makes us stronger, especially now.