The Voice of America launches a new documentary series on its OTT (over-the-top) streaming platform, VOA+. Titled “52 Documentary,” the series includes 52 short and long-form documentaries released once a week for an entire year, offering VOA’s global audience visually compelling human-interest stories only available on VOA+.
The short-form films will be VOA-original productions with total running times of 10 to 15 minutes. The long-form films will be acquired content ranging from 60 to 90 minutes. Captions will be provided in several languages including Russian, Persian, Mandarin, Urdu and English. After 30 days on VOA+, the films will be available through a special “52 Documentary” YouTube channel.
One of the initial offerings, a 13 and-a-half-minute short documentary titled “Breaking a Taboo,” relays the story of Shukria Bahmani, a Muay Thai (Thai kickboxing) fighter from Afghanistan. Her career and life are now in jeopardy as women battle new gender expectations in Afghanistan. In addition to English, this film is available in Burmese, Farsi, Indonesian, Korean, Spanish, Russian, Mandarin, and Urdu.
“VOA is always looking for new and engaging ways to bring thought-provoking stories to its global audience,” said Acting VOA Director Yolanda Lόpez. “This documentary series on VOA+, our OTT platform, will allow us to reach new audiences that are looking to consume compelling content on demand.”
VOA+ is Voice of America’s streaming application, currently available on Apple TV and Apple handheld devices, Android TV and Android handheld devices, Samsung TV, LG TV, and Amazon Fire. VOA+ allows viewers to watch VOA’s TV shows, documentaries, English lessons, and special live-streamed events at any time and from anywhere. The app is commercial-free and does not require a subscription. OTT is a means of providing television and film content over the internet upon request and to suit the requirements of an individual consumer.
Voice of America reaches a global weekly audience of more than 311.8 million people in 47 languages. VOA programs are delivered on satellite, cable, shortwave, FM, medium wave, streaming audio and video and more than 2,350 media outlets worldwide. It is funded by the U.S. Congress through USAGM.