America to Me, a documentary series from filmmaker Steve James (Hoop Dreams) and Participant Media, has been acquired by premium cable channel Starz in the U.S.
America to Me follows students, teachers and administrators in a suburban Chicago high school over the course of the year as they deal with racial and educational inequalities, among other challenges. The 10×60-minute show is produced by Participant Media and Kartemquin Films. It will premiere on Starz and the Starz app in fall 2018.
Starz holds all domestic multiplatform pay-TV and SVOD rights for America to Me. Lionsgate will handle all international and domestic distribution and home entertainment rights for the series as well.
“We are thrilled to acquire this compelling docuseries from Participant Media and Steve James who, as a filmmaker, is truly one of the best,” said Carmi Zlotnik, the president of programming for Starz. “America to Me is extremely socially relevant and timely, which exemplifies our diversity strategy. Steve’s ability to bring the real and honest portrait of these students and the complex and compelling issues they face through this series is admirable.”
Participant CEO David Linde noted: “As Participant continues to expand its global footprint with exciting new content opportunities, we are thrilled to announce this distribution partnership with Starz bringing America to Me, our first documentary television series, to audiences everywhere.”
James stated: “In creating America to Me, we were encouraged every day by the kids and their families, some truly dedicated teachers, and so many others featured in the series. Their passion and insights inspired us and we believe their stories will resonate with people everywhere. I am so excited to have found a distribution partner in Starz that shares the same dedication we have for this series and will help it find its way into the world.”
“Steve and his incredible team of field directors have created a series with extraordinary intimacy that shows the complexities and nuances of being a teenager in an American high school,” added Diane Weyermann, the president of documentary film and television for Participant Media. “We are thrilled to partner with Starz and look forward to audiences falling in love with America to Me just as we have.”