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AOL Launches ‘True Stories’ – a New Website Showcasing Documentary Films and Featuring Community Forum

Catalogue and Never-Before-Released Titles Available to Stream Free On Demand or Pay-Per-Download to Own

Catalogue and Never-Before-Released Titles Available to Stream Free On Demand or Pay-Per-Download to Own

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NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--AOL launched True Stories (http://movies.aol.com/truestories), a new website dedicated to documentary films, featuring both critically acclaimed independent titles, as well as new projects prior to theatrical release. The catalogue and never-before-released titles will be available to stream free on demand, with ads, or as pay-per-download to own. Generally, prices will range from $1.99 to $14.99.

Each month, True Stories will premiere up to two feature-length films. The first will be Danielson: A Family Movie, which will make its theatrical debut in major markets beginning this month. The film is about a family that performs as an indie rock band, dressing up as trees and wearing nurse uniforms to spread the “Good Word.” Danielson has been seen at film festivals such as SXSW and Oslo International Film Festival. The second film is Shadow Company, a look inside the world of private security firms in Iraq. Shadow Company has appeared at SXSW, Hot Docs Film Festival and Boston International Film Festival, among others, and is currently seeking distribution.

Through AOL’s suite of community tools, such as blogs, live chat, message boards, and UnCut Video, True Stories provides a forum where viewers can share their thoughts on each film, discuss the subject matter with others viewers, as well as learn ways to get involved. For filmmakers, this added community element can provide an opportunity to build an audience for sometimes controversial subject matter before the films hit theaters. Filmmakers will maintain personal blogs as a way to bring the film further to life, provide in-depth profiles of the featured subjects when possible, and an open channel of communication with the public. Select films will also feature bonus footage and interviews, including deleted scenes.

"In addition to presenting a groundbreaking platform for new films seeking distribution, True Stories will provide a forum for users to react, share their own stories, and connect with each other,” said Jordan Kurzweil, Vice President, Programming and Production for AOL. “The success of our earlier efforts with The Ground Truth, and The Breast Cancer Diaries support this model, and launching a platform primed for scale and growth is an exciting next step.”

At launch, True Stories will also feature the highly acclaimed Ground Truth (Focus Features, 2006), giving viewers an inside look at the challenges Iraq veterans face when re-assimilating back to civilian life, and Breast Cancer Diaries (Seventh Art Releasing, 2005), a first-person look at one woman’s courageous battle with the disease.

True Stories will also offer a catalogue of other documentary films, many critically acclaimed and award-winning entries from the world’s top film festivals, including:

August in the Empire State: a convergence of the poor, the Republican and the reporter at the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York City;
Generation Meds: an intimate one-person account about battling depression with and without medication;
Hooked: The Legend of Demetrius “Hook” Mitchell: a film about the best basketball player who never played in the NBA;
Horns and Halos: an inside look at a small publisher’s attempt to release the George W. Bush biography “Fortunate Son” which was ripped from the bookshelves when the biographer’s criminal past was revealed;
King of the Hill: the story of a fabled team in a fabled season, Chicago Cubs last season with pitching great Fergie Jenkins;
Making of a Martyr, a haunting look at child suicide bombers;
Occupational Dreamland (Full Frame Documentary Film Festival Winner): one of the most human and thoughtful portraits of American soldiers in Iraq, a gut-wrenching but hopeful story emerges as an American squad confronts the Iraqi people in Falluja during 2004;
Okie Noodling (SXSW Audience Choice Award): a look at how the Native American tradition of catching 60 pound fish with their bare hands has become a tradition of families in Oklahoma;
Reel Works: short films made by teens and supervised by professional filmmakers, including the acclaimed film Girl Like Me;
Waco: Rules of Engagement (1998 Academy Award Nominee): a controversial documentary about the stand-off between unorthodox Christian group, the Branch Davidians, and the FBI and ATF in Waco, Texas, during 1993; and
The World’s Best Prom: a film showing the most spectacular prom in the world which has become an annual spectacle in Racine, Wis.
True Stories and each individual documentary will also be accessible as part of the movie offerings on AOL Video (http://video.aol.com) and indexed as part of AOL Video Search. The films will be accessible in DVD quality AOL Hi-Q™ video format as an option for streaming videos and standard for all pay-per-download to own videos.

About AOL Video

AOL® Video (http://video.aol.com) is a one-stop online resource to find, watch and share millions of the best videos from across the Web, broadcast and cable television, and entertainment including movies, music videos, news, user-generated content and full-length TV shows. AOL Video features free streaming videos as well as the ability to purchase and download full-length content that can be viewed on multiple devices and PCs, online or offline. At the center of the AOL Video portal is one of the Web's first online interactive programming guides which brings together thousands of hours of video programming and organizes it into more than 50 branded video-on-demand channels. AOL Video also features video search powered by technology from Truveo™ and a video player that can go full screen without losing picture quality and that supports AOL's exclusive Hi-Q™ video format to watch up to DVD-quality videos online.

About AOL

AOL is a global Web services company that operates some of the most popular Web destinations, offers a comprehensive suite of free software and services, runs the country's largest Internet access business, and provides a full set of advertising solutions. A majority-owned subsidiary of Time Warner Inc., AOL LLC is based in Dulles, Virginia. AOL and its subsidiaries also have operations in Europe, Canada and Asia. Learn more at AOL.com.