Throughout the month of August, Foxtel will showcase four powerful HBO documentaries each Wednesday.
Showbiz Kids (Wednesday August 5, 8:30pm)
This documentary offers an unvarnished look at the high-risk, high-reward business of working as a child actor in the entertainment industry. Written and directed by former child actor Alex Winter (Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, The Panama Papers), the film chronicles the shared experiences of prominent former child stars and the personal and professional price of fame and failure on a child.
The film features a wealth of intimate, revealing interviews with successful child actors such as Henry Thomas, who starred in E.T. at the age of 11; Mara Wilson, who first appeared in Mrs. Doubtfire at the age of 6; Todd Bridges, who was on TV’s Diff’rent Strokes beginning at age 13; the late Cameron Boyce, star of Disney TV’s Jessie at age 12; Milla Jovovich; Evan Rachel Wood; Jada Pinkett Smith; Wil Wheaton and more.
The film also follows two aspiring young hopefuls and their parents as they unpack their own complicated experiences and reconcile the sacrifices they’ve made on their way to finding success in show business while maintaining a healthy childhood with friends and family.
Also airing throughout August as part of FOX SHOWCASE’s Wednesday Night Feature Documentaries:
Bully. Coward. Victim. The Story of Roy Cohn (Wednesday August 12, 8:30pm)
An unflinching look at the infamous attorney who prosecuted Ivy Meeropol’s grandparents, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, and later argued persuasively for their execution in what became known as the “atomic spies” case. Directed by Ivy Meeropol, the film examines Cohn’s life as chief counsel to Senator Joseph McCarthy in the late 1950s and then through the 1980s when he became a darling of the Reagan White House, a rabid anti-homosexuality activist and political mentor to Donald J. Trump before dying from AIDS in 1986. The film draws from extensive, newly unearthed archival material, recorded at the height of Cohn’s career as a power broker in the rough and tumble world of New York City business and politics.
We Are the Dream: The Kids of the Oakland MLK Oratorical Fest (Wednesday August 19, 8:30pm)
Every year, hundreds of children in pre-K through 12th grade participate in the Oakland MLK Oratorical Festival, a stirring public speaking competition where they perform poetry and speeches inspired by the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Directed and produced by Emmy-winner Amy Schatz (In the Shadow of the Towers, Song of Parkland) and executive produced by Academy Award-winner Mahershala Ali (True Detective), this is an uplifting documentary about young people finding their voices and the community that celebrates and supports their passion. Focusing on one of many oratorical competitions that take place across the country, the documentary follows students from schools across the city in the months leading up to the 40th annual festival as they hone their speeches, hoping for a coveted spot in the finals.
Stockton on My Mind (Wednesday August 26, 8:30pm)
At age 26, on the same day Donald Trump was elected in 2016, Michael Tubbs became the first African American mayor of his beleaguered hometown of Stockton, California, as well as the youngest mayor of a major American city. Stockton On My Mind follows Tubbs’ personal and political journey, exploring how growing up amid poverty and violence shaped his vision for innovative change. Now, Tubbs is launching some of the boldest social and economic policy experiments in the country in an effort to lift up his city of 300,000 residents, and turning it into a kind of social policy incubator. The Marc Levin produced film weaves the Mayor’s story together with an extraordinary group of people living in Stockton, some of whose stories echo Tubbs’ own experience, and many of whom are working alongside him to reinvent the city. Yet, change is hard, and there are many headwinds to contend with.
The HBO documentaries listed are available to watch on FOX SHOWCASE and to stream for Foxtel subscribers On Demand via internet connected IQ boxes, on smartphones and tablets using the Foxtel GO app and via Foxtel NOW.