US journalist James Foley appears in video soon before his execution
US journalist James Foley appears in video soon before his execution Screenshot

A documentary about American journalist James Foley, who was beheaded by the Islamic State (ISIS) extremist group in 2014, will make its world premiere this month, HBO said Tuesday.

The premium cable network, which has acquired TV rights in the United States to "Jim: The James Foley Story," said the documentary will premiere at the Sundance Film Festival before airing on HBO on February 6.

The 40-year-old freelance journalist was captured in Syria in 2012 and killed in August 2014. The video showing his brutal murder triggered worldwide outrage.

He had reported for GlobalPost, AFP and other outlets from Afghanistan, Libya and Syria.

Directed by Brian Oakes, the documentary tells of Foley's life, death and legacy, HBO said.

"Made with unparalleled access, 'Jim: The James Foley Story' is a harrowing chronicle of bravery, compassion and pain at the dawn of America's war with ISIS," the network added.

The film will debut in the U.S. documentary competition at Sundance, the film festival held in Park City, Utah that opens on January 21.

HBO described Oakes as a close childhood friend of Foley.

The film includes interviews with family, friends and fellow journalists and "never-before-heard details" of his captivity revealed by fellow hostages, the network said.

"I made this film to carry on the stories that Jim needed us to know," Oakes said in a statement released by HBO.

"It's important that we understand the significant role of today's conflict journalists and why they risk their lives to tell the world how bad it can be."

Press watchdog Reporters Without Borders said 110 journalists were killed around the world in 2015, including 10 in Syria.

The video in which Foley was beheaded was the first of many similar ISIS videos in which “Jihadi John”, later identified as British citizen Mohammed Emwazi.

Emwazi was eliminated in a drone strike in Syria in November.

AFP contributed to this report.

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