HBO AND PBS ANNOUNCE UNPRECEDENTED PARTNERSHIP TO AIR THREE ORIGINAL HBO PRODUCTIONS ON NUCLEAR TERRORISM, GENOCIDE AND AIDS
-------- Presentations On PBS To Be Followed By Panel Discussions With Experts Co-Produced By HBO And WETA Washington, D.C. --------
LOS ANGELES, Jan. 13, 2005 -- In an unprecedented arrangement, three
provocative films from Home Box Office will be distributed through PBS
for broadcast television following their HBO premiere, announced
jointly today by Chris Albrecht, chairman and CEO, Home Box Office,
and Pat Mitchell, president and CEO, PBS. In addition, HBO and PBS
member station WETA Washington, D.C., will co-produce, along with the
Council on Foreign Relations, related panel discussions to follow each
film on PBS, featuring leading experts and moderated by noted
journalist Jeff Greenfield, to follow each film on PBS.
"These movies address three of the most important issues of the 21st
century, including nuclear terrorism, global AIDS and genocide in
Africa," said Albrecht. "We are pleased to expand the audience for
these extraordinary films by offering them to PBS viewers, and we're
proud to help illuminate each subject with discussions by leading
experts in those fields."
Noted Mitchell, "PBS' mandate is to foster an engaged, informed
citizenry through content that offers insight and sparks meaningful
dialogue. These films do just that, and we are pleased to partner
with HBO to extend the value of the films through televised panel
discussions of these critical global issues. As the nation's largest
public service broadcaster, reaching nearly every household in
America, we're proud to present these important films on PBS and allow
them to reach an even wider audience."
Colin Callender, president of HBO Films, added, "We are always looking
for innovative ways to bring HBO Films to a wider audience. Along
with our successful ventures into theatrical release, this partnership
with PBS is a bold and exciting way of doing that."
The first film, DIRTY WAR, tells the fictional story of a radiological
"dirty bomb" attack on central London and debuts MONDAY, JAN. 24 at
9:00 p.m. (ET/PT), on HBO. DIRTY WAR is scheduled for Wednesday, Feb.
23 at 9:00 p.m. (check local listings) on PBS. Directed by Dan
Percival who wrote the screenplay with Lizzie Mickery, this HBO
Films/BBC Films production is based on extensive research by the BBC
factual department and asks the questions: Are our emergency services
fully prepared for a nuclear attack? How much does the public have a
right to know?
The PBS presentation of DIRTY WAR in February will be followed by a
half-hour panel discussion with experts in homeland security,
emergency preparedness, nuclear weapons and terrorism.
The second film, SOMETIMES IN APRIL, is the first large-scale movie
about the 1994 Rwandan genocide to be shot in Rwanda where the
real-life events transpired. Written, directed and executive produced
by acclaimed director Raoul Peck (HBO's "Lumumba"), this epic tale
show follows a Hutu family as they are torn apart by the realities of
ethnic cleansing; the film also explores the response of the First
World to the atrocities, as well as the Truth and Reconciliation
Hearings that followed ten years later. Starring Idris Elba (HBO's
"The Wire") and Debra Winger (Oscar(r) nominee for "Shadowlands,"
"Terms of Endearment" and "An Officer and a Gentleman"), the film will
debut on HBO in March and be seen on PBS stations in April.
The third film, YESTERDAY, is a story of courage, compassion and hope,
set in contemporary South Africa, that puts a human face on the
politics and statistics of the AIDS crisis, following the struggles of
a young mother who has been diagnosed with AIDS. Written and directed
by Darrell Roodt ("Sarafina!," "Cry, the Beloved Country") and
executive produced by Anant Singh, it has been submitted by South
Africa as the country's entry for the outstanding foreign film
category in this year's Oscars(r). YESTERDAY will be scheduled later
in the year.
Producing a broad slate of projects that runs the gamut from
low-budget independents to big-event movies, HBO Films productions
inspire critical praise and numerous honors. At last September's
Primetime Emmys(r), HBO Films presentations received 44 nominations,
and won 15 awards. "Angels in America" topped HBO's list of wins with
11 Emmys(r), the most of any show on TV last season, while "Something
the Lord Made" led all made-for-TV-movies with three Emmys(r),
including Made for Television Movie. In the recent Golden Globe
nominations, HBO Films received nine nominations, including four for
"The Life and Death of Peter Sellers" and three for "Iron Jawed
Released theatrically in 2004, HBO Films' "Maria Full of Grace" has
been named to more than 100 critics' Top Ten lists for the year and
previously captured the 2004 Sundance Audience Award - the third year
in a row that HBO Films has received a top award at the festival.
Another HBO Films theatrical release, Gus Van Sant's "Elephant," won
the 2003 Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival.
PBS is a private, nonprofit media enterprise that serves the nation's
349 public noncommercial television stations, reaching nearly 90
million people each week through on-air and online content. Bringing
diverse viewpoints to television and the Internet, PBS provides
high-quality documentary and dramatic entertainment, and consistently
dominates the most prestigious award competitions. PBS is the leading
provider of educational materials for K-12 teachers, and offers a
broad array of educational services for adult learners. PBS' premier
kids' TV programming and Web site, PBS KIDS Online (pbskids.org),
continue to be parents' and teachers' most trusted learning
environments for children. More information about PBS is available at
pbs.org, one of the leading dot-org Web sites on the Internet,
averaging more than 30 million unique visits and 380 million page
views per month in 2004. PBS is headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia.
WETA is the third-largest producing station in the PBS system and the
flagship public broadcaster in the nation's capital. Among WETA's
productions and co-productions are "The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer" and
"Washington Week." For more than 20 years WETA has been the
production partner of filmmaker Ken Burns, a collaboration that has
produced such documentaries as "The Civil War," "Jazz" and, coming to
PBS Jan. 17, "Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack
Johnson." Sharon Percy Rockefeller is president and CEO of WETA. For
more information on WETA and its programs, visit weta.org.