ITN Productions’ first feature-length scripted film, Girl in the Video, will premiere on Lifetime in the US on 13th January 2024.

The film is the latest in the channel’s ‘Girl In’ franchise that forms part of its ‘Ripped from the Headlines’ film slate. Starring Cush Jumbo (The Good Fight, Criminal Record), the film is inspired by real events in the dark world of catfishing and exploitive videos on the dark web.

Girl in the Video follows the story of mother Mo (Cush Jumbo) who is parenting her two teens alone following the death of their dad, her husband.  Mo’s daughter, Krissy, (Tia May Watts, The Chelsea Detective) has begun secretly chatting online with Toby, who presents in his messages as a cute, high school senior. Against her mum’s wishes, Krissy sneaks out to meet Toby one night, but when she arrives at the rendez-vous, it’s clear he is far from the person he seemed to be online. The next morning, Mo discovers her daughter is missing and, together with her son Robbie, alerts local detectives and starts an all-out search for Krissy.  As the case attracts media attention, an anonymous tip reveals Krissy is being held captive and exploited in sexually abusive live-streams for money on the dark web. Racing to find Krissy before she is murdered, Mo and Robbie track down every clue they can to try to bring Krissy home.

Ian Russell, ITN’s Head of International Programmes, is the film’s executive producer. He says: “Producing Girl in the Video has been a wonderful opportunity to use the high production values ITN Productions is known for, in our premium fast-turnaround US specials, and apply them to this scripted feature-length film. We were thrilled to bring the talented Cush Jumbo to this project as part of an amazing cast and use our expertise in authentic storytelling in the true-crime genre to create this dark tale in a feature length format. The film is an important reminder of the dangers we face when interacting online.”

The film was written by Matthew Broughton and directed by Neil Rawles, and filmed in Norfolk, England, with post-production managed in-house at ITN by Ed Bengoa.

Ed Bengoa, Director of Post Production, ITN Post, says: “It was an absolute treat to work on our first scripted drama with our colleagues in ITN Productions. We’ve worked on many premium content projects with them and this one really showcases the breadth of our facilities in ITN Post. It was beautifully shot with the ARRI Alexa Mini camera, colour graded in Da Vinci Resolve and audio mixed in Protools.”

ITN Productions International team had a hit with Ancient Apocalypse on Netflix at the end of last year. This year, productions include “Cocaine Bear: The True Story”, one of Peacock’s highest-rated specials, and the team is currently in production on two major series for leading streamers which will be announced in 2024.

Ian Rumsey, Managing Director of Content at ITN, says: “ITN has a formidable reputation for producing award-winning content in the true crime space. Girl in the Video is a natural progression from our true crime documentaries and drama-docs through to scripted drama; telling high-stakes, compelling stories with emotionally complex characters that audiences can relate to is our USP and we were delighted to work with Lifetime on this narrative project.”

Jon Creamer

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