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A&E sets airdate for “Accused: Guilty or Innocent?” docuseries

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A&E has set an April premiere date for the docuseries Accused: Guilty or Innocent?, which was first announced as part of A&E’s slate of non-fiction series in March 2018.

Accused: Guilty or Innocent? offers an “intimate account” of what happens when someone is formally charged with a crime and sent to trial — all from the perspective of the accused, their legal team and family members.

Each episode follows the accused person’s journey through the planning of their legal defense, the trail and, ultimately, the verdict.

Accused: Guilty or Innocent? is truly compelling,” Elaine Frontain Bryant, EVP and head of programming, A&E Network, said in a statement. “We have been granted unprecedented access to the accused’s legal defense preparation and to intimate moments with their families before, during and after the trial. The stories are incredibly dramatic, and as evidence is presented throughout the episode, viewers will continually debate if the accused is guilty or innocent.”

Accused: Guilty or Innocent? is produced by UK-based Brinkworth Productions. Malcolm Brinkworth and Xander Brinkwork are EPs. Bryant, Shelly Tatro and Brad Holcman are EPs for A&E.

The series premieres April 21 at 10 p.m. ET/PT.

Watch the trailer:

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Originally posted 2020-04-09 02:01:05.

Entertainment

Did This Norwegian Multimillionaire Invent a Cryptocurrency Ransom to Cover Up the Murder of His Wife?

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Tom Hagen’s wife Anne-Elisabeth disappeared in Norway in October 2018. Hagen cofounded the electric company Elkraft in 1992, and the case drew attention for his wealth—his net worth is reportedly about $200 million—as well as its mysterious circumstances. As the original story went, Anne-Elisabeth was kidnapped on October 31 that year; a ransom note demanding 9 million euros in the cryptocurrency Monero was left at the scene.

But on Tuesday, Norwegian police arrested Hagen. Investigators said they believe that the original version of events was false, a concoction to mislead police about Anne-Elisabeth’s murder.

“As the case initially appeared, our main theory was that Anne-Elisabeth Hagen had been abducted by someone with a financial motive. And in June 2019, we came to believe that she had most likely been killed,” Øst Police District said in a statement

“We now believe there was no abduction and there was never any genuine negotiations. In other words there was a clear and well-planned attempt at misleading the police,” it continued.

Hagen married Anne-Elisabeth in 1979, when he was 19. She had been a board member of his holding company (he is also a real estate investor), and the couple lived in Fjellhamar, a village about 12 miles outside of Oslo, CNN reported. Hagen has been described as media-shy in reports.

Hagen’s lawyer Svein Holden has denied the allegation and said Hagen had nothing to do with the disappearance or murder. “It is important to emphasize that although we have charged Tom Hagen, the case is still being investigated and there are several unanswered questions,” police said. They asked a court to keep Hagen in custody for four weeks, with no visits or outside communication allowed.

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Originally posted 2020-04-29 16:35:17.

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Sky to launch documentary, natural history channels in May

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Comcast-owned UK telco Sky has set a May launch date for two previously-announced factual channels focused on documentaries and natural history.

Sky Documentaries and Sky Nature will launch May 27 alongside Sky History, a co-branded venture between the company and A+E Networks.

The channels will include hundred of hours of factual programming, offering a mix of premium, original commissions and acquired content.

Sky Documentaries will feature HBO, Showtime and Hulu exclusives, as well as new original documentaries. The channel will include a mix of feature length documentaries and series and will house 100 on demand titles.

Tiles airing on the channel include: Hillary (June 11), a portrait of former Democratic presidential nominee, first lady and secretary of state Hillary Clinton; McMillions (May 27), about an ex-cop who swindled the McDonald’s Monopoly game promotion over the course of a decade; Ali Vs Cavett (May 29), which portrays the life of boxing legend Muhammad Ali through his appearances on the Dick Cavett Show; Wu-Tang Clan: Of Mics and Men (June 24), a look back on the group’s career; and The Plastic Nile (June 1), which explores the effect of plastic pollution on the world’s longest river.

Elsewhere, Sky Nature will feature landmark original series Wild Animal Babies (May 31), which follows Patrick Aryee and a cast of baby animal characters as they face their first days, weeks and months on planet Earth.

The channel will feature Sky’s existing David Attenborough collection and will be the home of Love Nature 4K’s programming in the UK, with shows including Gangs of Lemur Island (May 27), Africa’s Underwater Wonders (May 27) and Mysteries of the Mekong (May 28).

Finally, Sky History includes a mix of talent-led UK commissions, premium documentaries and franchise programming.

Titles headed to the channel include: The UnXplained (June 9), a series about stories that have “mystified mankind for centuries,” hosed by William Shatner; Ancient Superstructures (June 1), which explores the engineering “mysteries” behind ancient monuments; Secret Wars Uncovered (June 19), which “reveals the facts behind battles that were shrouded in corruption and misinformation”; and Washington (July 4), produced by historian Doris Kearns Godwin and narrated by actor Jeff Daniels, chips away at the image of America’s first president.

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Originally posted 2020-04-29 16:33:17.

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‘Anne at 13,000 Ft.’: Film Review

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Rising Canadian star Deragh Campbell plays a troubled young woman trying to navigate daily life in director Kazik Radwanski’s character study.

Young Deragh Campbell is a hard actress to forget, even in offbeat roles like an obsessed researcher of family history in MS Slavic 7 or its docudrama precursor Never Eat Alone, both by filmmaker Sofia Bohdanowicz. Kazik Radwanski’s Anne at 13,000 Ft. gives Campbell’s talents breadth and scope in the much more demanding part of a dangerously fragile young woman who gingerly manages latent mental health issues while she navigates a job, an anxious mother, a new apartment and a relationship. The character she creates, Anne, won Campbell the nod as best Canadian actress last year from the Vancouver Film Critics Circle.

This delicate character study is constructed with engrossing naturalism in a film that cares less about telling a story than following nuances of mood. Using a fast-moving camera and big close-ups, as well as a free-wheeling timeline that ends up deconstructing the story for the viewer, Radwanski and Campbell capture Anne’s kaleidoscopic mind as it runs head-on into a gray world of normality. The pic is scheduled for release in the U.S. later this year by Cinema Guild after some high-level fest play, including Toronto’s Platform competition (special mention) and a bow in the Berlin Forum.

Deliberately disorienting the viewer from the start, the story opens on Anne greeting women friends at a local airfield where she thrills to her first tandem skydive, grinning like a 5-year-old. Parachuting scenes recur throughout the film — Anne suiting up, the camaraderie with the instructors, the plane taking off, the dive — as she works toward the achievement of a solo dive. The contours of the action are blurred, which makes it poetically impressionistic if somewhat frustrating to decipher, allowing only the emotional import of the experience to come through. For Anne, skydiving seems to open a window on some hidden wild side in her.

But there’s a dark side, too, chafing to come out. When she proudly moves into her own apartment, her mother’s cautious inquiries about how she feels and Anne’s testy replies suggest she has a history of mental unbalance and is on some kind of probation, trying to hold down a job and fit into society. Certainly, any kind of coercion or authority puts her on edge. We wait apprehensively for her brittle mind to crack.

Anne has found a part-time job working in a daycare center and her rapport with small kids is amazing — she crawls into their tents to play, tells stories in their idiom and behaves like she’s one of them. The kids adore her, but the other teachers see her giggly behavior as simply immature. When upbraided by her co-worker, she throws an empty paper cup at her, which leads to a disciplinary scene.

At the wedding for her best friend Sarah (Dorothea Paas), Anne meets Matt (Matt Johnson), an ingratiating heel ready to take advantage of her playful high spirits. He gets her drunk and, panting heavily, drapes her on the bed in her hotel room while she is practically passed out. Despite the ambiguity of that scene, their relationship proceeds. She brings him home to introduce to her mother and family as her fiance. Typically, the camera is kept on Anne as she upstages and disconcerts everybody, even the self-centered Matt.

You can’t help but like Anne, even as you fear for her. With the camera staying close to her scrubbed face, Campbell’s edgy, up-close performance is so natural that the dialogue seems improvised.

On his third feature after Tower and How Heavy This Hammer, Radwanski hits his quiet stride here, and the directing matches Campbell’s intuitive approach. Ajla Odobasic’s delicate, fast-moving editing reflects Anne’s uncertain hold on reality, while the open ending lets the viewer decide whether Anne or reality wins in the end.

Production companies: Film Maudit in association with MDFF
Cast: Deragh Campbell, Lawrene Denkers, Matt Johnson, Michael Kuthe, Dorothea Paas
Director-screenwriter: Kazik Radwanski
Producers: Daniel Montgomery, Kazik Radwanski
Executive producers: Nathan Silver, C. Mason Wells
Director of photography: Nikolay Michaylov
Production designer: Zoe Koke
Costume designer: Kendra Martyn
Editor: Ajla Odobasic
World sales: Cercamon

74 minutes

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Originally posted 2020-03-30 16:43:24.

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