Catfish, Restrepo documentaries becoming reality series

Two documentaries are becoming reality series: Catfish will become an MTV series that connects couples who’ve never met in person, while Restrepo will become a three-part series, and one of its directors will produce a documentary about the other, who died earlier this year.

First, MTV will air a series based on Catfish, the controversial but fascinating film about a man who goes to meet someone he only knows online; it may or may not be entirely true, and at the very least raised interesting ethical questions while being pretty suspenseful. (It’s on DVD if you missed it.)

The series, produced by RelativityREAL, will follow the film’s star, Nev Schulman, as he guides “a hopeful romantic partner [who] will go on an emotional trip to discover the truth about their significant other,” MTV said in its press release, promising “emotional journeys [that] promise to be filled with mystery, surprises, and sometimes, even shocking revelations.”

Meanwhile, Restrepo director and journalist Sebastian Junger is producing a three-part series that uses footage he and Tim Hetherington shot in Afghanistan for the Oscar-nominated film—and he’s also producing an HBO documentary about Hetherington’s life. (Tim died in Libya earlier this year.)

The series’ “focus will be on the characters at [Outpost] Restrepo, rarther than the troops and the deployment. So it’s more about each of the individual soldiers’ stories. Tim and Sebastian were there on-and-off for 15 months, so we have close to 300 hours of footage. Basically, it will be all new footage,” executive producer Nick Quested told RealScreen. He said that the new documentary “film is about Tim — his life, his work and ultimately his death — but it’s really about his philosophy. Tim had this idea he was working on about youth in conflict, and how the stereotypes in America popular culture transcended to the front lines of conflict zones; how young men are driven to conflicts, and why they are driven to conflicts.”

The magazine reports that the documentary will debut on HBO “on April 20, 2012 — the first anniversary of Hetherington’s death,” and that producers “are presently in talks with an undisclosed U.S. broadcaster for the series.” Here’s the trailer for the documentary about Hetherington’s life:

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