Once upon a time, a feature-length documentary that did well theatrically was the holy grail of nonfiction film. But in 2015, the nonfiction world began to change. That year, HBO
’s six-part series “The Jinx,” about murder suspect and real estate heir Robert Durst
, aired to great acclaim and became a pop-cultural phenomenon.
Just months after the widespread success of “The Jinx,” Netflix
’s true-crime 10-part series “Making a Murderer
” was released and that also became a pop-cultural phenomenon. Both series officially reinvigorated the long-form, true crime docuseries format and primed audiences for ESPN
’s “O.J.: Made in America.” That multi-parter premiered as a “special event” at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival and drew instant acclaim. The seven-hour, 47- minute opus screened at the Tribeca Film Festival, and had a theatrical run that qualified it for an Academy Award, before airing on ABC
and ESPN as part of ESPN’s “30 for 30” series.