Acorn Debuts Documentary Line Athena16 Mar, 2009 By: Chris Tribbey
Expanding beyond its fitness (Acacia) and British TV (Acorn) brands, Acorn Media Group debuts a third DVD product line this summer, one dedicated solely to highbrow documentaries.
The Athena line will launch June 2 (prebook May 5) with four releases: The Adventure of English, Playing Shakespeare, Every Picture Tells a Story and The People’s Republic of Capitalism. The last one will also come out day-and-date on Blu-ray Disc, marking Acorn Media’s second Blu-ray release.
“What sets [Athena] apart from other documentary lines is how in depth the focus on the content is,” said Mark Stevens, domestic president of Acorn Media. “We’ve identified content out there that’s longer in length and deeper in terms of content.”
The Adventure of English ($79.99) is an eight-episode biography of the evolution of the English language; the miniseries release Playing Shakespeare ($79.99) offers a workshop for performing in Shakespeare plays; Every Picture Tells a Story ($39.99) is an eight-episode series scrutinizing the origins and influence of famous pieces of art; and The People’s Republic of Capitalism (DVD $39.99/BD $49.99) is journalist Ted Koppel’s four-part documentary examining China’s economic and cultural growth.
Stevens added Acorn Media plans on six more Athena releases in 2009.
Each release will include a 16- to 20-page viewer’s guide to serve as a companion to the documentary. Stevens said the booklets will summarize major ideas in each program and are ideal for group discussions. Each DVD will also direct viewers to more content online at athenalearning.com.
“It’s a tool meant to expand the learning experience,” Stevens said of the booklets.