HBO Acquires ‘James Foley Story’ Documentary About Journalist Murdered by ISIS


HBO Documentary Films has acquired Jim: The James Foley Story, a documentary about the kidnapped American journalist’s infamous murder at the hands of ISIS in 2014, the network announced Tuesday.

The film, helmed by Foley’s childhood friend Brian Oakes, is set to premiere in competition at the Sundance Film Festival this month before debuting on the premium cable channel on February 6.

Jim tells the true story of Foley, who was kidnapped on Thanksgiving Day while working as an independent journalist in Syria in 2012. In August of 2014, ISIS uploaded a video of Foley being beheaded by a masked terrorist; the grisly video served as an introduction of ISIS’ atrocities to the world and sparked a massive international outcry.

The film will use exclusive interviews with family, friends and fellow journalists to tell the story of Foley’s life, while also providing interviews with Foley’s fellow hostages that could shed light on his time in captivity.

“I made this film to carry on the stories that Jim needed us to know,” director Brian Oakes said in a statement. “It’s important that we understand the significant role of today’s conflict journalists and why they risk their lives to tell the world how bad it can be.”

“James Foley is America’s son,” added HBO Documentary Films president Sheila Nevins. “If this story doesn’t move you, nothing can.”

Jim is produced by Eva Lipman, George Kunhardt and Teddy Kunhardt. Peter Kunhardt of Kunhardt Films served as executive producer. The documentary marks Kunhardt Films’ tenth collaboration with HBO.

“This film is the work of a talented team of young filmmakers,” Peter Kunhardt said in a statement. “I am very proud of it, and pleased that HBO is once again our partner.”


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