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HBO preps scientology, Cobain and Sinatra docs

HBO has unveiled a slate of high-end docs including new projects from Alex Gibney and Nick Broomfield.

The twelve-strong slate includes Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief. The one-off doc from Alex Gibney (Taxi to the Dark Side) follows former Scientology members as they reveal how the church attracts and retains members.

HBO also has another Alex Gibney project, Sinatra: All or Nothing at All. The doc, about Frank Sinatra, will bow later this year to commemorate what would have been the iconic entertainer’s 100th birthday. It will run for four hours, over two nights. Jigsaw Production, Alcon Television and Kennedy Marshall Productions are making the doc series.

Tales from the Grim Sleeper from Nick Broomfield (Biggie and Tupac) examines the case of an alleged serial killer who is thought to have claimed over 100 victims over 25 years while escaping the attention of the LA police.

Biopic projects include profiles of Nirvana singer Kurt Cobain and US comedian Rosie O’Donnell. Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck is billed as the first fully-authorised doc about the life of the Nirvana frontman and is directed by Brett Morgen (Crossfire Hurricane) and exec produced by Cobain’s daughter, Frances Bean Cobain.

Rosie O’Donnell: A Heartfelt Standup follows the comedian as she performs and talks about her life and recent near-fatal heart attack.

Looking at the exchange of documents between Edward Snowden and journalist Glenn Greenwald, CitizenFour closely follows the Snowden affair.

Other HBO docs on the new slate include It’s Me, Hilary: The Man Who Drew Eloise, about the illustrator of the Eloise books and Living with Lincoln, about a modern family’s emotional connection to US president Abraham Lincoln.

There is also The Jinx: The Life and Death of Robert Durst, which comes from Andrew Jarecki (Capturing the Friedmans) and looks at Robert Durst, the son of a noted billionaire New York real estate family, who has been accused of three murders over the past 30 years, but never convicted.

Southern Rites, meanwhile, follows photographer Gillian Laub as she documents the case of a white man accused of killing a black man in the US southern state of Georgia.

All of the docs, aside from the Sinatra project, will bow in the first half of 2015.