Paramount+ Bolsters Documentary Collection with Six Compelling Additions from MTV

In a strategic move to diversify its content offerings, Paramount+ is set to unveil six new short documentaries from MTV Documentary Films on November 21.

The lineup includes a mix of compelling narratives, shedding light on a variety of subjects ranging from book banning to the legacy of Black Panther Party leader Huey P. Newton.

The directorial debut of renowned documentary filmmaker Sheila Nevins, “The ABCs of Book Banning,” takes a poignant look at the human toll of depriving children of their right to read.

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Through interviews with children and authors, the film explores the dangerous precedent set by the removal of over 2,000 books from school districts across the U.S., emphasizing the importance of preserving diverse perspectives in education.

“Alive in Bronze: Huey P. Newton” delves into the collaboration between sculptor Dana King and Fredrika Newton, wife of Black Panther Party leader Huey P. Newton.  

The documentary follows their efforts to build a monument in Oakland, California, honoring Newton’s legacy and reclaiming erased history.

It promises to be a powerful exploration of art, activism, and the enduring impact of historical figures.

“Birthing a Nation: The Resistance of Mary Gaffney” takes viewers back to the antebellum South, examining the history of forced reproduction.

Through interviews with Mary Gaffney, an enslaved woman who took control of her body and fertility, and Black women scholars spanning decades, the documentary unveils a story of resilience and resistance against oppressive systems.

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“The Last Song from Kabul” presents a poignant narrative following two orphaned girls whose music school was shut down after the Taliban took control of Afghanistan.

Escaping to Portugal, they embark on a journey to rebuild their lives and rediscover the joy of playing music.

The film captures the resilience of the human spirit in the face of adversity.

“A Tattoo on my Brain” explores the personal journey of Alzheimer’s neurologist Dan Gibbs after his diagnosis.

Capturing his experiences as he strives to slow the progression of memory loss, the documentary offers a unique perspective on living with Alzheimer’s and the challenges of preserving one’s identity in the face of cognitive decline.

“Omoiyari: A Song Film” follows violinist Kishi Bashi on a six-year artistic project to learn about history and its relevance.

The documentary connects the dots between the Muslim ban, the immigration crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border, and the incarceration of Japanese-Americans during WWII.

Through interviews and music, Kishi Bashi explores the impact of historical events on contemporary issues.

Paramount+ aims to strengthen its position in the streaming market by expanding its documentary division, a move that comes as documentaries experienced a 142% growth in audiences in 2021.

The platform’s commitment to offering a diverse selection of originally produced shorts reflects a broader industry trend, with audiences increasingly drawn to authentic and untold stories.

Nina L. Diaz and Liza Burnett Fefferman, co-heads of MTV Documentary Films, express their enthusiasm for the current slate of documentaries, noting the positive reception from critics and festival audiences worldwide.

As the streaming landscape becomes saturated with high-profile action and comedy films, Paramount+ looks to gain a competitive edge by investing in the “underdog documentary division.”

The addition of these thought-provoking documentaries not only enriches the platform’s content library but also reaffirms the growing significance of documentary storytelling in the streaming era.

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