Paramount+ is adding six new short documentaries by MTV Documentary Films this Tuesday, including the directorial debut of documentary filmmaker Sheila Nevins, The ABC’s of Book Banning.
Also coming to Paramount+ is Alive in Bronze: Huey P. Newton by director A.K. Sandhu, Birthing a Nation: The Resistance of Mary Gaffney by director Nazenet Habtezghi, The Last Song from Kabul directed by Kevin Macdonald, A Tattoo on My Brain directed by David Heilbroner and Kate Davis, and Omoiyari: A Song Film by Kishi Bashi.
Nevins serves as the executive producer for all six films joining Paramount+’s video library.
“As we kick off year four of MTV Documentary Films, we’re elated to share our current slate of shorts from an astonishing group of filmmakers whose authentic and untold stories are already resonating with critics and festival goers around the globe,” said Nina L. Diaz and Liza Burnett Fefferman, co-heads of MTV Documentary Films, according to Deadline.
Paramount+ added two other MTV Documentary Films earlier this month. Sundance winner The Eternal Memory by Maite Alberdi debuted on November 6, while Pay or Die, directed by Rachael Dryer and Scott Alexander Ruderman, premiered on November 14.
In a crowded market filled with high-profile action and comedy films and shows starring big stars, Paramount+ looks to gain a competitive edge by expanding what Nevins calls the “underdog documentary division” and increasing its selection of originally produced shorts. In 2021, documentaries became the fastest-growing genre on streaming as popular true crime series like Tiger King and The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel grew audiences by 142%, according to Parrot Analytics.
The new documentaries coming to Paramount+ on November 21:
- The ABCs of Book Banning – Follows the human toll the future will pay for depriving children of their right to read and learn about the complex world. The film captures interviews with children and authors who shed light on this ongoing dangerous precedent after more than 2,000 books have been removed from school districts throughout the U.S.
- Alive in Bronze: Huey P. Newton – Sculptor Dana King and Fredrika Netwon, wife of Black Panther Party leader Huey P. Netwon, collaborate to build a monument honoring his legacy in Oakland, California, and reclaim erased history.
- Birthing a Nation: The Resistance of Mary Gaffney – Explores the history of forced reproduction in the antebellum South and tells the story of Mary Gaffney, an enslaved woman who took control of her body and fertility through a collection of interviews from Gaffney and Black women scholars spanning back to the 1930s.
- The Last Song from Kabul – Follows the story of two orphaned girls whose music school was shut down after the Taliban took over Afghanistan who escape to Portugal to rebuild their lives and play music again.
- A Tattoo on my Brain – After leading Alzheimer’s neurologist Dan Gibbs is diagnosed with the disease, he captures his experiences while trying to slow the progression of his memory loss.
- Omoiyari: A Song Film – Follows violinist Kishi Bashi as he embarks on a six-year artistic project to learn about history and its relevance through interviews linking the Muslim ban and the immigration crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border with the incarceration of Japanese-Americans during WWII.