[07/05/12 - 09:32 AM]
Oscar(R) Nominee "The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom" Captures a Nation's Resilience in the Wake of Tragedy When it Debuts July 16, Exclusively on HBO
The film debuts immediately after the debut of the SXSW Film Festival hit "Birders: The Central Park Effect."

[via press release from HBO]


On March 11, 2011, the Great East Japan Earthquake struck off the coast of Japan, leaving 15,372 people confirmed dead and 7,762 reported still missing. In the wake of the largest earthquake in the country's history, some people drew the courage to revive and rebuild from cherry-blossom season, which began within weeks of the tragedy.

Oscar(R)-nominated this year for Best Documentary Short Subject, THE TSUNAMI AND THE CHERRY BLOSSOM shows how nature can be a rejuvenating - as well as a destructive - force when it debuts MONDAY, JULY 16 (10:00-10:40 p.m. ET/PT), exclusively on HBO. Directed by Lucy Walker (the Oscar(R)-nominated documentary feature "Waste Land"), this poignant film debuts immediately after the debut of the SXSW Film Festival hit "Birders: The Central Park Effect," which offers a different look at how nature touches people.

Other HBO playdates: July 18 (12:15 p.m.), 24 (4:15 p.m.) and 28 (6:00 a.m., 3:15p.m.)

HBO2 playdate: July 18 (9:00 p.m.)

HBO Documentary Films presents another weekly series this summer, debuting provocative new specials every Monday through July 30. Other July films include: "Hard Times: Lost on Long Island" (July 9); "Birders: The Central Park Effect" (July 16); "Vito" (July 23); and "About Face: Supermodels Then and Now" (July 30).

THE TSUNAMI AND THE CHERRY BLOSSOM is a stunningvisual poem about the ephemeral nature of life, and the healing power of Japan's most beloved flower. The nation is transfixed by cherry blossom season, which runs from late March through April, with many people tracking the blossoms' short lifecycle and attending "hanami," or viewing parties, with family and friends.

Walker had originally planned to visit Japan to make a film about cherry-blossom season, but on March 11, 2011, while she was making final preparations for her trip, a magnitude 9.0 earthquake struck, triggering tsunami waves of up to 133 feet on Japan's northeastern coast. Initially unsure whether to continue, she flew to Tokyo with a small film crew and headed north to the Tohuku region, where she captured both the utter devastation and stoic resolve of survivors, many of whom had lost family members and friends.

THE TSUNAMI AND THE CHERRY BLOSSOM opens with harrowing home-video footage, shot from a hill, of a huge wave destroying the town below. A month later, a young woman stands on the same hill, remembering how she "watch[ed] people being consumed by the tsunami." An older man tells how he tried and failed to save his oldest friend, proclaiming, "I don't want a house. I don't want clothes. I don't want anything. I just want his life back."

Others tell their stories of survival, escaping in their slippers and seeing whole houses rush toward them on a wave of black water. One couple living at a community center returns to the ruins of their house, hoping to rebuild. Their town is within the 30km exclusion zone around the Fukushima power plant, and many people wear cotton masks as protection from radiation.

Amidst the despair in the days following the tsunami comes a glimmer of hope in "sakura" (cherry blossom), a harbinger of spring in Japan and a national symbol of renewal. One man explains how the cherry blossom reflects the Japanese character, saying, "Each flower is tiny, and you can't see one individually. But it's beautiful when you see lots of flowers together. Japanese people see themselves that way too."

Out of respect for the victims, many viewing parties were cancelled this year, but people still visit the blossoms and take pictures. A man who lost his house shows where new plant shoots have sprouted on the beach, commenting that if plants can hang in there, humans can too. A young woman looking at the cleanup and construction adds, "Every year that the trees bloom, they'll give us the courage to keep going."

In addition to its Oscar(R) nomination, THE TSUNAMI AND THE CHERRY BLOSSOM received the Jury Prize in Short Filmmaking at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and was an official selection at the Toronto International Film Festival, the Hamptons International Film Festival and BFI London.

For more information on the documentary, please visit: Facebook: facebook.com/hbodocs; and Twitter: @HBODocs #tsunamiblossom.

THE TSUNAMI AND THE CHERRY BLOSSOM was directed by Lucy Walker; executive producers, Tim Case and Charles V. Salice; producers, Kira Carstensen and Lucy Walker; director of photography, Aaron Phillips; editor, Aki Mizutani; music by Moby.

  [july 2012]  

(series past and present)
(series in development)
(tv movies and mini-series)

[10/03/15 - 09:18 AM]
"Dateline NBC" Grows Week to Week by 10% in Both 18-49 and Total Viewers
NBC spins the numbers for Friday, October 2.

[10/03/15 - 09:03 AM]
"Gotham" Week 2 Rises 63% in Nielsen Live + 3 Day, Outrating Season Premiere
FOX further spins the numbers for Monday, September 28.

[10/03/15 - 08:47 AM]
"Blindspot" Generates NBC's Biggest Live + 3 Day 18-49 Lift in Nearly a Year
NBC further spins the numbers for Monday, September 28.

[10/03/15 - 08:21 AM]
ABC Wins Its 2nd Straight Friday in Adults 18-49, Outdelivering Runner-Up CBS by 17%
ABC spins the numbers for Friday, October 2.

[10/02/15 - 03:33 PM]
ABC to Give "Quantico" Another Encore on Tuesday; "Beyond the Tank" Pushed Again
The newcomer's second episode, due this Sunday, will likewise rebroadcast on Tuesday, October 6 at 10:00/9:00c.

[10/02/15 - 02:25 PM]
ABC Family to Give Fans Access to Talent and Unique Photo Opportunities During New York Comic Con on October 8-11
"Pretty Little Liars," "Stitchers" and "Shadowhunters" are among the participating series.

[10/02/15 - 01:52 PM]
"Baring It All: Inside New York Fashion Week," a Special Programming Event, to Air October 14 on ABC Family
The two-hour documentary produced by Gennifer Gardiner and IMG's Will Staeger and Mike Antinoro showcases a fresh take on New York Fashion Week, following industry insiders who are changing the fashion landscape.

[10/02/15 - 01:09 PM]
VH1's Primetime Ratings for Third Quarter Surge Ahead 34% Over Prior Quarter Among Adults 18-49
VH1 spins the numbers for the third quarter of 2015.

[10/02/15 - 12:50 PM]
Investigation Discovery Tops All of Ad-Supported Cable for Delivery of W25-54 in September
Investigation Discovery spins the numbers for the month of September.

[10/02/15 - 12:44 PM]
Showtime(R) Debuts Critically-Acclaimed Documentary Film "Listen to Me Marlon" on Saturday, November 14th at 9 PM ET/PT
Directed by Stevan Riley, the film unlocks two-time Oscar(R) winner Marlon Brando's extensive never-before-heard personal audio archive.

[10/02/15 - 11:11 AM]
ABC Prime Posts the Biggest L+3 Lifts with 6 of the Top 10 Playback Gainers
ABC further spins the numbers for the week of September 21-27.

[10/02/15 - 11:00 AM]
More People Watch Portions of CBS News' Major News Programs During Premiere Week Than Any Other Broadcast Network's News Offerings
CBS News spins the numbers for the week of September 21-27.

[10/02/15 - 10:51 AM]
CBS Premiere Week Multi-Platform Snapshot
CBS further spins the numbers for the week of September 21-27.

[10/02/15 - 10:44 AM]
"The Big Bang Theory" Moves Ahead of "Sunday Night Football" as Premiere Week's Number One Program with L+3 Viewing
CBS further spins the numbers for the week of September 21-27.

[10/02/15 - 10:32 AM]
CBS Renews "Zoo," Summer's #1 Scripted Series, For Summer 2016
"'Zoo's' thrilling stories clicked with audiences each week during a very competitive summer," said Glenn Geller.