HBO Acquires Rights to War Documentary ‘Cries From Syria’

Sundance 2017: Premium cable network lands the U.S. TV rights to Evgeny Afineevsky’s doc

HBO has picked up the U.S. television rights for Evgeny Afineevsky’s “Cries from Syria,” a documentary that covers Syria’s ongoing civil war.

The film, a Sundance acquisition, will debut March 13 at 10 p.m. ET and PT on the premium cable channel. It incorporates hundreds of hours of footage taken by activists and citizen journalists, and features testimony from a broad range of Syrians affected by the war, which has left hundreds of thousands dead and millions displaced.

“Cries from Syria” is Afinnevsky’s follow-up to “Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom,” which scored Emmy and Oscar nominations.

“This is an unabashed, unadulterated view of war,” Sheila Nevins, president of HBO Documentary Films, said in a statement. “The brutality of man’s inhumanity to man is blatantly uncovered, exposing war as it is, not as it seems to be.”

“I am so pleased that HBO has come on board with their expertise and support to bring this film to American audiences,” Afineevsky said in the statement. “Syria’s ‘lost generation’ needs to be heard, and this film provides them with a collective voice. The film takes the audience on a unique journey over five years, from Syria to Turkey, through Jordan, Lebanon and Europe. They will see the situation from the inside out, through the eyes of those trapped in-between – many of them children – and experience their suffering, bravery, struggle, survival and hope.”

HBO negotiated the deal with the film’s executive producer, David Dinerstein. “Cries from Syria” was directed and produced by Evgeny Afineevksy and produced by Den Tolmor and Aaron I. Butler. Dinerstein, Daniel Dubiecki, Lara Alameddine, Tomas Srovnal, Chamsy Sarkis and Bohdan Batruch are executive producers. Shahida Tulaganova, Sergei Zhuravsky and Jawad Sharbaji co-produced, with Aaron I. Butler editing and Martin Tillman handling the music. Nancy Abraham is senior producer for HBO, while Shiela Nevins is executive producing for the network.