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Introducing Documentaries on Hulu

March 19th, 2009 by Rebecca Harper Editor

Click through to Hulu’s Movies section today and you may notice a new addition to the grey menu bar near the top: a new link to Documentaries. In this new section on Hulu, you’ll find some of our most popular documentary films and shorts alongside a whole slew of new additions. We’ve also called out Forum Highlights from some of our documentary titles, where we’ll feature quotes from the filmmakers as well as comments from our users themselves. We love documentaries and are thrilled to provide another outlet for these great stories to reach new audiences.

The launch of this Documentaries section is in conjunction with the introduction of two new content partners on Hulu: Snag Films and Cinelan. Snag has provided a number of documentary titles in celebration of Fan Appreciation Week, including DiG!, a rock doc that won top prize at Sundance in 2004; Cracked Not Broken, a compelling, first-hand look at addiction; Keeper of the Kohn, the moving story of a longtime lacrosse field manager; and Impaler, the story of a self-professed vampire who made a run for Minnesota governor.

To help kick off Documentaries on Hulu, we’re featuring Morgan Spurlock’s Oscar-nominated Super Size Me. You can read our interview with the director directly from the video page, where he tells us why he subjected himself to the 30-day “McDiet.”

While we were at it, we also asked him about Cinelan, a new way for documentary filmmakers to share three-minute films with audiences. “Cinelan was the brainchild of David Wales, a fan of documentaries and documentary filmmakers,” he said. “His concept was to create a website where filmmakers could create short films and make them available for purchase and syndication. He saw it as a way for a documentary to make money forever, which is something documentary filmmakers never hear. I liked the idea of short, three-minute films. They’re great stories by great filmmakers and I hope they’ll live on forever.” You can check out one of Spurlock’s favorites, Wait for Me by filmmaker Ross Kauffmann (Born into Brothels) — and 29 other Cinelan Three-Minute Stories — right here on Hulu.

These join a selection of new nature titles from K2, educational content from National Geographic, and the Carl Sagan series Cosmos, as well as Before the Music Dies, an engaging look at the state of the current music industry, and Buena Vista Social Club, the critically acclaimed film about the musicians who collaborated on the Grammy-winning album of the same name.

This is just the first step for us in supporting a genre that should benefit disproportionately from the growth in online video. We’ll continue to introduce more titles and filmmaker Q&As this spring; visit the Documentaries page each week to see the latest. And if you’re on Twitter, follow us @hulu for the occasional update.

Rebecca (),

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