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Directed And Executive Produced By Oscar® Nominee Matthew Heineman,

Five-Part Program Explores Multiple Sides Of The Opioid Crisis


Photo: Showtime/ Our Time Projects

LOS ANGELES – December 8, 2018  The timely five-episode SHOWTIME docuseries THE TRADE has won the prestigious 2018 International Documentary Association (IDA) award for top Episodic Series. Directed and executive produced by Oscar nominee and Emmy® winner Matthew Heineman (A Private War, Cartel Land), who was honored with fellow executive producer Pagan Harleman, THE TRADE is a continuation of his searing examination of the border drug trade. THE TRADE made its world premiere earlier this year at the 2018 Sundance Film and debuted on SHOWTIME in February.

“We’re so pleased that the IDA has recognized THE TRADE, not only for the extraordinarily diligent and often perilous efforts of Matt Heineman and his team in confronting this difficult subject matter at its source, but also the artistry of the series itself,” said Vinnie Malhotra, SHOWTIME Senior Vice President, Documentaries, Unscripted and Sports Programming. “THE TRADE is a searing look into one of the most serious crises in this country, and we’re lucky to have a filmmaker of Matt’s caliber shed much-needed light on it for us.”

"More than 72,000 people died from overdoses in 2017 while we were making THE TRADE," Heineman said. "With the show, we hoped to go beyond these devastating stats to convey the humanity of those hopelessly caught in the middle of it all.  While we are so honored to receive this incredible award from the IDA, we ultimately share this award with all the families, addicts, growers and cops that opened up their lives to us in an effort to bring this deadly epidemic out of the shadows."

From Columbus, Ohio to Guerrero, Mexico and countless cities in between, the opioid epidemic has ravaged communities on both sides of the border. But what about the lives behind the headlines and statistics? THE TRADE spotlights the crisis through the eyes of those most affected: the growers, addicts, cartel bosses and law enforcement hopelessly caught in its web. The character-driven verité-style docu-series crisscrosses North America to explore the opioid epidemic from the intimate perspective of growers, addicts and law enforcement on both sides of the border. The interwoven narrative transcends the headlines to convey with humanity and nuance the scope and gravity of the crisis. THE TRADE seeks to break through the simplistic and often erroneously counterproductive assumptions surrounding the opioid phenomenon by spotlighting those caught in the crisis: friends and neighbors, sisters and brothers.

Previously, Heineman’s critically acclaimed 2015 documentary Cartel Land earned the Courage Under Fire Award from the International Documentary Association, in addition to an Academy Award nomination for Best Documentary Feature and three Emmy Awards, Best Documentary from the Director’s Guild of America, among other recognitions.

THE TRADE is a production of Heineman’s Our Time Projects.

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Morgan Fouch

Jamie Kekejian