Media Release

HBO Max to Release First Documentary Film in Collaboration with CNN Films, ON THE TRAIL: INSIDE THE 2020 PRIMARIES on Thursday, August 6

Documentary Feature Produced by CNN Films Exclusively for HBO Max Follows Powerhouse Female Journalists Against the Backdrop of One of the Wildest Elections in American History

Photo Courtesy of WarnerMedia

Photo Courtesy of WarnerMedia

LOS ANGELES – JULY 20, 2020 – As the American presidential campaign intensifies, HBO Max and CNN Films will take viewers on a journey following a team of female journalists as they report on the presidential election that will define a generation.  ON THE TRAIL: INSIDE THE 2020 PRIMARIES will premiere Thursday, August 6.

The cinema verité feature reveals the lives and personal grit of veteran journalists and intrepid first-timers, Dana Bash, Kaitlan Collins, Jessica Dean, Daniella Diaz, Annie Grayer, Kyung Lah, MJ Lee, Abby Phillip, Arlette Saenz, and Jasmine Wright, against the backdrop of the volatile 2020 race.  Beginning just days prior to the Iowa caucuses, viewers see the journalists pack up and leave their families to fan out across the country, to report on the president and his would-be rivals, as the candidates launch (and end) campaigns, and contend for voters.  The film is punctuated with intimate interviews with these journalists, detailing the lives they put on pause back home.  They bring their training and life perspectives to the job, while demonstrating what it takes to be a top political reporter in the arena. 

“We are incredibly proud to partner with CNN Films to showcase these fearless and impressive female journalists as they navigate the unpredictability of life on the road during the unprecedented 2020 Presidential Primary,” said Sarah Aubrey, head of original content, HBO Max. “This is our first CNN Films documentary on the platform and a powerful representation of our commitment to create thought-provoking and deeply meaningful content together.”

“From the beginning, the content teams of HBO Max and CNN Films came together with a strong sense of shared mission,” said Amy Entelis, executive vice president for talent and content development for CNN Worldwide.  “Katie Hinman and Toby Oppenheimer have made a remarkable film that offers a unique and compelling experience for the viewer, delivering on our goal to make high quality documentaries for HBO Max.”

With exclusive access to CNN’s political correspondents and embedded campaign journalists, the film reveals a 360⁰, rare view of the intensity and determination essential to pushing through challenges on the road, and manage demands at home.  And despite a political season unlike any other, ultimately capped off with a pandemic, these 10 women get the job done.   

ON THE TRAIL: INSIDE THE 2020 PRIMARIES is an HBO Max original documentary produced by CNN Films and executive produced by Amy Entelis, Katie Hinman, Toby Oppenheimer, and Courtney Sexton.

About HBO Max
 is WarnerMedia’s direct-to-consumer offering, which debuted May 27, 2020. With 10,000 hours of curated premium content, HBO Max offers powerhouse programming for everyone in the home, bringing together HBO, a robust slate of new original series, key third-party licensed programs and movies, and fan favorites from WarnerMedia’s rich library including motion picture and TV series from Warner Bros., highlights from New Line, and catalog titles from DC, CNN, TNT, TBS, truTV, Turner Classic Movies, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Crunchyroll, Rooster Teeth, Looney Tunes and more. Website:

About CNN Films
CNN Films produces and acquires documentary feature and short films for theatrical and festival exhibition and distribution across CNN’s multiple platforms.  Amy Entelis, executive vice president of talent and content development, oversees the strategy for CNN Films; Courtney Sexton, senior vice president for CNN Films, works day-to-day with filmmakers to oversee projects.  For more information about CNN Films, please visit and follow @CNNFilms via Twitter.  Recent acclaimed CNN Films include the Academy Award®-nominated and Emmy® Award-winning RBG, directed by Betsy West and Julie Cohen; Emmy® Award-nominated LOVE, GILDA, directed by Lisa D’Apolito; the Emmy® Award-nominated Three Identical Strangers, directed by Tim Wardle; LINDA RONSTADT: The Sound of My Voice, directed by Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman; HALSTON, directed by Frédéric Tcheng; APOLLO 11 directed by Todd Douglas Miller, SCANDALOUS: The Untold Story of The National Enquirer, directed by Mark Landsman, and John Lewis: Good Trouble, directed by Dawn Porter.

HBO Max Publicity Contact
Ashley Mokma

CNN Films Publicity Contact 
Jennifer Dargan