There are a plethora of movies coming your way this month and Paste Movies will, of course, be covering the long-awaited premiere of Zack Snyder’s Justice League (March 18 on HBO Max), Amy Poehler’s sophomore film Moxie (March 3 on Netflix) and Coming 2 America (March 5 on Amazon Prime). But there’re plenty more movies out there—across the plethora of streaming services and traditional channels—that you should keep an eye on. Movies continue to be available right in our living room as movie theaters are still inching their way back towards safety, but with so much content out there, it would be easy to miss some of this month’s most fascinating films. How do you shift through the monthly deluge of new content to figure out what you want to watch? We are here to help. Here are the five TV movies you can’t miss this month.
1. Biggie: I’ve Got a Story to Tell
Director: Emmett Malloy
Premiere Date: March 1 on Netflix
The world knew him as Biggie or Biggie Smalls or The Notorious B.I.G. But to his family and friends he was Christopher Wallace, an extraordinarily talented musician who died far too young on March 9, 1997. This documentary promises to take viewers behind the myth of the man. His mother, Voletta Wallace, serves as an executive producer on the film and offers insight into her son’s early formative years. The film, which also counts Sean Combs as one of its executive producers, includes footage filmed by Wallace’s best friend Damion “D-Roc” Butler. Last year, Biggie was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Next year he would have turned 50. It’s the perfect time for a film to shed more light on a life tragically cut short by violence.
2. OWN Spotlight: (In)visible Portraits
Director: Oge Egbuonu
Premiere Date: March 2 at 9 p.m. on OWN
First time director Oge Egbuonu describes this film as a “love letter to Black women and a re-education for everyone else.” The film, which was originally released on Vimeo on Demand on June 19, 2020 (Juneteenth), took nearly three years to make and features Black women telling their personal stories. Previously, Egbuonu produced films including Loving and Eye in the Sky. Among the women highlighted are Dr. Patricia Hill Collins, a professor of Sociology at the University of Maryland and the first Black woman to serve as President of the American Sociological Association, and Princeton University professor Dr. Ruha Benjamin, author of Race After Technology: Abolitionist Tools for the New Jim Code. The film is a continuation of the OWN spotlight series, that’s previous installments have included COVID-19: The Deadly Impact on Black America and Oprah and 100 Black Fathers, and focuses on bringing the issues and concerns of Black lives to the forefront.
3. Own the Room
Director: Cristina Costantini and Darren Foster
Premiere Date: March 12 on Disney+
From the team that brought you Science Fair comes this documentary about the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards. The film follows five students from all over the world as they compete for the grand prize: $100,000 and the opportunity to turn a business idea into a reality. Among the contestants are Venezuelan immigrant Daniela Blanco, who is a chemical engineer working from her lab at NYU; Henry Onyango, from Nairobi who uses his computer programming savvy to develop a way for students to find housing; and Jason Hadzikostas from Greece, who uses his marketing background to create a new way for parents and their infants to communicate.
4. V.C. Andrews’ The Landry Family Series
Director: Gail Harvey, David Bercovici-Artieda and Michael Robison
Premiere Date: March 20, 21, 27 and 28 at 8 PM on Lifetime
Escape with Lifetime to the melodramatic world of V.C. Andrews. The network, which bills itself as the exclusive home of movies inspired by the books by V.C. Andrews, is premiering not one, not two but four V.C. Andrews movies this month. In the first movie, Ruby, a young girl (Raechelle Banno) raised by her grandmother (Naomi Judd) in the Louisiana bayou searches for her father (Gil Bellows), one of the wealthiest men in New Orleans. In Pearls in the Mist, Ruby and her sister Giselle (Karina Banno) are sent away to an exclusive girls boarding school run by a cruel headmistress (Marilu Henner). In All That Glitters, Ruby gives birth to a baby girl named Pearl and in the final installment, Hidden Jewel, a now-grown Pearl (Jennifer Laporte) is studying to become a doctor but still haunted by her mother’s past.
Director: Evgeny Afineevsky
Premiere Date: March 28 on Discovery+
Director Evgeny Afineevsky, an Oscar nominee for his 2015 documentary Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom, received unlimited access from the Vatican to His Holiness Pope Francis for this intimate documentary about the leader of the Catholic Church. Pope Francis stands apart for his pledge to rid the Church of sexual abuse, his compassion and acknowledgement of the victims of sexual abuse and his statements of support for the LGBTQ community. Those interviewed include Sister Norma Pimentel, the Executive Director of Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley, who works with refugees along the Texas border and Juan Carlos Cruz, an activist for sexual abuse survivors. “This is a man that recognizes his mistakes, and a man that is not ashamed to recognize an error and to mend it, and to admit that he has made a mistake and fix it,” Cruz says. The documentary, which begins streaming at the beginning of Holy Week and first premiered at the Rome Film Festival last October, also shows how Pope Francis responds to the multiple crises facing the world from the global pandemic to the immigration.
Amy Amatangelo, the TV Gal®, is a Boston-based freelance writer, a member of the Television Critics Association and the Assistant TV Editor for Paste. She wasn’t allowed to watch much TV as a child and now her parents have to live with this as her career. You can follow her on Twitter (@AmyTVGal).