CNN Films & TIME Studios Align for Gabby Giffords Doc


CNN Films and TIME Studios have joined forces for Gabby Giffords Won’t Back Down, a documentary about former U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords’ perseverance following a 2011 assassination attempt.

From Academy Award-nominated and Emmy Award-winning filmmakers Betsy West and Julie Cohen (RBG, Julia, My Name is Pauli Murray), Gabby Giffords Won’t Back Down charts Giffords’ recovery from a gunshot to her head and her path to becoming one of America’s most effective advocates for gun violence prevention after being left with partial paralysis and aphasia.

The filmmakers also capture Giffords’ love story with husband Mark Kelly, who gave up his job as a NASA astronaut to support his wife’s recovery. Cameras follow Giffords on the 2020 campaign trail supporting Kelly’s successful run for the U.S. Senate for Arizona. Gabby Giffords Won’t Back Down features interviews with former President Barack Obama, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and U.S. Representative James Clyburn as well.

Production of Gabby Giffords Won’t Back Down is near completion.

Amy Entelis and Courtney Sexton of CNN Films are executive producers for Gabby Giffords Won’t Back Down, alongside Ian Orefice and Alexandra Johnes of TIME Studios and Oren Jacoby of Storyville Films. Cohen and West are also producing the film under their Storyville Films banner, along with Lisa Erspamer of Lisa Erspamer Entertainment and Sam Jinishian of Storyville Films.

Cohen and West said: “Within minutes of meeting Gabby Giffords, we knew we had to make a film about this phenomenal woman. The intelligence, humor and toughness she brings to every personal and political challenge that comes her way makes Gabby not only an ideal documentary subject but also a spectacular human being to spend time with.”

Entelis, executive VP for talent and content development for CNN Worldwide, said: “We are so pleased to collaborate again with Betsy and Julie to tell the story of a remarkable woman. They have beautifully showcased Gabrielle Giffords’ journey, one of strength and resilience in the face of tragedy.”

Orefice, president of TIME Studios, said: “Gabby Giffords Won’t Back Down is a triumphant portrayal of resilience, courage and the power of the human spirit. We could not be more thrilled to partner with the remarkable team of Betsy and Julie as they have created one of the most inspirational films of our time.”