GroupNine’s NowThis, the digital media brand known for its snack size social programming, is launching its first-ever feature film.
Set to debut on Facebook and YouTube on Oct. 30, “Virginia 12th” is a 64-minute documentary that follows the story of local Virginia TV news anchor Chris Hurst, a millennial journalist impacted by gun violence, who pivoted his career towards elected office by running and defeating an NRA-backed incumbent State House representative.
In 2015, Hurst’s girlfriend and fellow journalist, Alison Parker, was murdered live on-air during a local news report. Following the incident, which made national headlines, Hurst quit his job to run for political office leading him to serve as delegate for Virginia‘s 12th House District.
“We couldn’t be more thrilled to release our first feature length documentary film, ‘Virginia 12th,’ whose central theme and message is the impact young people can have when they vote, ” said NowThis chief content officer Tina Exarhos. “The documentary marks an enormous step in our brand’s evolution from short-form video pioneers to an award-winning millennial-focused news brand.”
After its premiere on Facebook and YouTube, the film, which is directed by Tim Johnson and produced by David Check of Checkpoint Productions, will be screened at the Virginia Film Festival on Nov. 3. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion in which Hurst will be joined by Johnson; Athan Stephanopoulos, president of NowThis; and Leslie Cockburn, the Democratic candidate to represent Virginia‘s 5th District in the U.S. House of Representatives, and an award-winning investigative journalist whose work has been seen on CBS, NBC, PBS Frontline, and 60 Minutes.
NowThis, which garners 2.5 billion monthly views across its social media channels, has 13 content verticals, including: News, Politics, Entertainment, Future, Money, Sports, and Food. It was launched in 2012.