[08/24/10 - 06:11 AM]
Global Film Darling 'Hachi: A Dog's Tale' Will Have Us TV Premiere Only on Hallmark Channel, September 26
Richard Gere, Joan Allen and Jason Alexander co-star in the project, which was directed by Lasse Hallstrom.

[via press release from The Hallmark Channel]



Based on the True Story of Hachiko, the Faithful Akita from Shibuya

Hallmark Channel has acquired exclusive TV rights to the much sought after film that has become a global theatrical sensation, "Hachi: A Dog's Tale," and announces the film's US Television Premiere will be seen only on Hallmark Channel, Sunday, September 26 @ 9 p.m. ET/PT, 8c. Based on a true story, and starring three-time Emmy(R) Award nominee and Golden Globe winner Richard Gere, three-time Oscar(R) nominee Joan Allen, seven-time Emmy(R) Award nominee Jason Alexander, and directed by three-time Oscar(R) nominee Lasse Hallstr�m, the remarkable film chronicles the life of a dog who faithfully returns for his master every day for 10 years after the man has died.

Richard Gere has no explanation as to why the critically acclaimed film did not get a US theatrical window, but he says in this statement, "I can tell you this: we're all really thrilled that Hallmark Channel stepped up to put this movie on television so it can finally be seen by everyone."

Michelle Vicary, Senior Vice President, Scheduling & Acquisitions, Hallmark Channels said, "I saw this film at the LA Film Festival and was immediately drawn in. Richard Gere, Joan Allen, Jason Alexander and Lasse Hallstr�m are such gifted, talented artists and filmmakers. "Hachi: A Dog's Tale" is a perfect fit with the Hallmark brand, and we expect audiences will be tremendously moved by Hachi's story."

In "Hachi: A Dog's Tale," Richard Gere ("Chicago," "And the Band Played On") stars as Professor Parker Wilson, a distinguished scholar who discovers a lost Akita puppy on his way home from work. Despite initial objections from Wilson's wife, Cate (Joan Allen, "Georgia O'Keefe," "Nixon"), Hachi endears himself to the Wilson family and grows to be Parker's loyal companion.

One day, as the Professor heads to the train station to go to work, Hachi follows. Wilson orders the dog home, but is astonished to find him waiting at the train that evening. This becomes de rigueur for Professor Wilson and Hachi.

As their bond grows deeper, a spirited relationship unfolds that extends and develops beyond life's unexpected tragedies: Like the day Parker Wilson has a sudden heart attack and dies. Devastated, Cate and the children sell the home and move away.

Hachi, unaware his master has died, devotedly and stubbornly follows the routine dog and master have become accustomed to � he goes to the train station every single evening. Hachi's devotion inspires the small New England community, including station master Andy (Jason Alexander, "The Fairly Odd Parents," "Seinfeld) who feeds and cares for him. As Hachi continues his increasingly grim journey to the train station, a one year vigil turns into 10, until Hachi also dies. The film's touching parable is as much about the emotional fallout of death as it is Hachi's remarkable devotion.

"Hachi: A Dog's Tale" is an Inferno Production and Grand Army Entertainment in association with Opperman Viner Chrystyn Productions. Jeff Abberly and Julia Blackman are Executive Producers. Sam Frankel and Tom Lusa are Co-Executive Producers. The screenplay is by Stephen P. Lindsey. The film is based on the motion picture Hachiko Monogatari which was written by Kaneto Shindo. The film is directed by Oscar nominee Lasse Hallstr�m ("The Cider House Rules," "My Life As A Dog").

About Hachi

His name is ?? ???, Hachi with the "ko" placed on the end as a form of endearment, and his story is true. Hachiko, an Akita Inu, was born in 1923 in Odate, Akita Prefecture Japan. The puppy was given to Professor Hidesaburo Ueno who began taking Hachi to the Shibuya Station every day when he went to work at Tokyo Imperial University. A year later, Professor Ueno died suddenly and Hachiko's life dramatically changed. Hachiko was given to a family in the Asakusa district but he often fled to Ueno's house in Shibuya to look for him. Finally, he was given to a breeder in Shibuya where Hachi resumed his daily routine of waiting at the entrance to Shibuya Station for Ueno � a task he dutifully performed every day for 10 years until the end of his own life.

Hachiko became famous in 1932 when a newspaper reported his story with this headline: Story of Beloved Old Dog, Several Years Awaiting Return of his Now Deceased Master. A statue to honor Hachiko was erected in 1934 (he was present for the dedication), but it was melted down in 1943 as Japan sought all available metals for WWII. In 1948, a new statue was erected at the Shibuya Station entrance where Hachiko waited so devotedly for Professor Ueno. The front legs, ears and tail of the bronze memorial have become yellow-tinged and shiny from people touching it, a reminder the Japenese say of how much the dog is revered as a symbol of peace, love and devotion.

In 1935, loyal Hachiko died on a street in Shibuya. He will never be forgotten.

Hallmark Channel, owned and operated by Crown Media Holdings, Inc., is a 24-hour basic cable network that provides a diverse slate of high-quality entertainment programming available in high definition (HD) and standard definition (SD) to a national audience of 90 million subscribers. The top tier program service is distributed through more than 5,450 cable systems and communities as well as direct-to-home satellite services across the country. Hallmark Channel is the nation's leading network in providing quality family programming with an ambitious slate of original TV movies, general entertainment and home and lifestyle content. Hallmark Channel's sibling network is Hallmark Movie Channel, also available in HD and SD, which focuses on family-friendly movies with a mix of classic theatrical films, presentations from the acclaimed Hallmark Hall of Fame library, original Hallmark Channel movies and special events.

  [august 2010]  

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