CNN Films is developing a documentary titled “The Lost Sons,” a stranger-than-fiction account of a baby who was kidnapped from his mother’s hospital room.
The non-fiction film centers on a Michigan man named Paul Fronczak. At age 10, he unintentionally discovered newspaper clippings about his parents, who made headlines for grieving their kidnapped baby and celebrating two years later when an abandoned toddler was found. Fronczak was unsure if he was the kidnapped baby mentioned in the articles — or where he may have been for those missing years. And so began a decade-spanning investigation to find answers about his true identity.
“Nothing excites me more than a real storytelling challenge, and this is a mystery tale like no other,” said director Ursula Macfarlane. “The Fronczak story has twists and turns you won’t believe and explores profound themes to which we can all relate: the importance and meaning of identity and family.”
“The Lost Sons” will be told through reenactments, testimony of close family and first-hand witnesses, as well as news footage and family archives. CNN is distributing the documentary in collaboration with Raw, All3Media company. The companies previously partnered on the acclaimed doc “Three Identical Strangers,” another true story that’s too crazy to be made up.
“When we first came across Paul’s story, we were immediately gripped,” Evans said. “Not only is it an extraordinary real-life thriller, but it also poses profound questions about identity and belonging. We were delighted that Ursula came on board as director. The film she has made is deeply moving and will have the audience on the edge of their seats.”
Amy Entelis, executive VP of talent and content development for CNN Worldwide and Courtney Sexton, senior VP for CNN Films are executing producing the film with creative director of U.K. Factual at Raw Liesel Evans and Campfire founder and CEO Ross Dinerstein.
“Viewers will find ‘The Lost Sons’ wholly unpredictable and riveting,” Entelis said.
Macfarlane’s credits include “Untouchable,” “Charlie Hebdo: Three Days That Shook Paris” and “One Deadly Weekend in America.”
The original production deal was negotiated by Piers Vellacott, managing director of Raw, on behalf of the filmmakers and Campfire; and by Stacey Wolf, senior VP of business affairs and Kelly MacLanahan, assistant general counsel, both of CNN Worldwide on behalf of CNN Films.