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[05/02/05 - 12:00 AM]
Showtime Unveils Battleground: 21 Days on the Empire's Edge -- a Riveting Chronicle of an American Filmmaker's Three Week Odyssey Through War Torn Iraq

[via press release from Showtime]

SHOWTIME UNVEILS BATTLEGROUND: 21 DAYS ON THE EMPIRE'S EDGE -- A RIVETING CHRONICLE OF AN AMERICAN FILMMAKER'S THREE WEEK ODYSSEY THROUGH WAR TORN IRAQ

AWARD WINNING DOCUMENTARY DEBUTS ON THE EVE OF MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND THURSDAY, MAY 26th AT 9:00 PM ET/PT

LOS ANGELES, May 2, 2005 � BATTLEGROUND: 21 DAYS ON THE EMPIRE'S EDGE, an award-winning documentary chronicling an American filmmaker's riveting three week odyssey through war torn Iraq in late 2003 will premiere on Showtime, on the eve of Memorial Day weekend, Thursday, May 26 at 9:00 PM ET/PT. Winner of the Silver Hugo Award for documentaries at the 2004 Chicago International Film Festival, BATTLEGROUND: 21 DAYS ON THE EMPIRE'S EDGE will air on the eve of Memorial Day weekend as Americans prepare to officially remember the sacrifice of their soldiers as well as reflect on the continuing conflict in Iraq. The film is part of the SHOWTIME EXPOSURE series, the network's monthly offering of exclusive and provocative documentary programming.

Filmmaker and author Stephen Marshall was on his way to Iraq in the fall of 2003 to research a book when a series of random and fortuitous encounters lead him to visually chronicle his three week journey through war torn Iraq. His impromptu documentary took seed on a Royal Jordanian flight to Amman, Jordan where he met Frank al Bayati, a young Iraqi man who had been living in exile in the United States since the end of the first Gulf War.

Frank, a former Shiite rebel who fought against Saddam Hussein, was returning to Iraq to find his family who he hadn't seen in over a decade. The documentary evolves into a revealing and balanced expos� into the realities and untold stories of what has become the world's most covered and misunderstood conflict.

BATTLEGROUND is an emotionally intense journey that will challenge the orthodoxies of the Left and Right and highlight the humanity of all sides of the conflict. The film effectively juxtaposes the unique stories of American soldiers assigned to carry out their missions and Iraqi citizens struggling to make sense of the American occupation and the uncertain future of their country. The Chicago Tribune said of BATTLEGROUND: 21 DAYS ON THE EMPIRE'S EDGE, "historically, it's essential viewing."

The acquisition of BATTLEGROUND: 21 DAYS ON THE EMPIRE'S EDGE continues Showtime's successful relationship with Cinetic Media after their previous collaboration on the 2005 Academy Award�-nominated, "Super Size Me." Other documentary projects from Cinetic Media include the Academy Award-winning The Fog of War and the critically-acclaimed Capturing the Friedmans. The deal was negotiated by Liesl Copeland on behalf of Cinetic Media and Larry Greenberg on behalf of Showtime.

Stephen Marshall is an author and feature film director living in New York City. He is also the internationally-known creator of Channel Zero, the world's first global VHS newsmagazine. Widely distributed in such outlets as Tower, Virgin and HMV, Channel Zero became an underground hit and one of the first successes of the small-format video revolution.

Additionally, Marshall co-founded Guerrilla News Network (GNN) and has directed more than 15 NewsVideos, including the Sundance Award-winning Crack the CIA as well as controversial music videos for the Beastie Boys, Eminem and 50 Cent. This Revolution, his first narrative feature starring Rosario Dawson, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2005.





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