Inspired by his class in filmmaking at UMass Amherst, Vinnie has gone on to produce some of today’s most important documentaries.
To be able to be at an institution that offers as much as UMass does was very important. A course that was very much influential in my career was Documentary Filmmaking. It was just an amazing opportunity to see how I could merge politics and news and film. That summer after my junior year in college, I went to New York and worked for ABC News. One of the interesting things that people don't understand is that these major breaking news situations, it amounts to about 4% of the year. The move to CNN was about looking at the other 96% and offering storytelling opportunities that you see in films like Blackfish and Whitey and Life Itself. You really have to travel to all these film festivals around the world to find exceptional documentaries and bring them in-house to develop and produce. There's a lot of work, but it's so fun. It was a natural pull to go to a school like UMass. It was a wonderful exchange of opinions and ideas, and for me, what was so important about my UMass education was the opportunity to be amongst a very diverse student body. Diversity not just in race, but geographical diversity, socioeconomic diversity. It's about finding people that can make an impact on your life. And that education, I think, is of great value. My name is Vinnie Malhotra. I'm the senior vice president for Development and Acquisitions at CNN. I stand for finding the truth through storytelling, and I stand for UMass.