Sky Atlantic has handed Nick Broomfield the first commission in its documentary feature film strand Footprints.

The Bafta-award winning documentary maker will work with Lafayette Films to produce The Grim Sleeper, a 90-minute film following the case of Lonnie Franklin Jr who is awaiting trial for a series of 10 murders over a 25 year period.

Franklin was handed his nickname after a 14-year hiatus in the killings, which began again in 2002.

The Grim Sleeper is the first in the series of up to 12 landmark feature docs which Sky Atlantic initially plans to order following it creation of a major new fund.

Sky’s head of factual Celia Taylor, who ordered the film said the strand offered documentary makers a great opportunity.

“Through Footprints I hope we can bring the best stories and ideas to the screen and provide valuable support to both the British and international documentary community,” she said.  

As part of the Footprints strand, Sky Atlantic has also acquired Al Weiwei: Never Sorry which profiles the famous Chinese dissident artist.

The Artifical Eye doc was directed by Alison Klayman who gained access to Weiwei during her time working as a journalist in the country.

Sky Atlantic’s acting channel director Naomi Gibney said the aim of Footprints was to assemble an “ambitious” line-up.

“What will unite these films is, at their heart, there will be a human story that will leave a mark on the viewer’s heart and mind. This strand is an important part of Sky Atlantic’s editorial direction and will reinforce our promise to be the home of iconic storytelling.”

This article was originally published in Broadcast