NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC HONORS PIONEERING PRIMATOLOGIST'S LEGACY IN "DIAN FOSSEY: SECRETS IN THE MIST," WITH JOURNAL ENTRIES READ BY SIGOURNEY WEAVER
Film Includes Access to over 40 Hours of Rare and Previously Unseen Archival Footage; In-Depth Interviews with Her Closest Colleagues and Friends; New Insight Into Her Brutal Murder; Executive Produced by Academy Award-Winner James Marsh, Dian Fossey: Secrets In The Mist Premieres Globally on National Geographic in late 2017
"The man who kills the animals today
is the man who kills the people who get in his way tomorrow."
-- Dian Fossey
(Los Angeles, CA / Washington, DC - July 25, 2017) - In 1967, Dian Fossey left her home in America to study gorillas in central Africa, where she then fell in love with the animals and dedicated her life to their survival. She became an international icon and renowned primatologist but, in Rwanda, she was waging a war. The fight ultimately cost Fossey her life, and her murder has yet to be solved. It has been over thirty years since her mysterious death in 1985, and now, National Geographic is honoring the life and legacy of Dian Fossey in the upcoming three-part special Dian Fossey: Secrets in the Mist. This is the story of one woman's extraordinary destiny, new insights into her murder and her battle to save the greatest primate on Earth. Dian Fossey: Secrets in the Mist is currently in production and will air globally on National Geographic in 171 countries and 45 languages later in 2017. For more information, visit natgeotvpressroom.com.
Taking excerpts from Fossey's writings, the series allows the largely self-taught pioneer researcher to narrate her own tale, with Sigourney Weaver giving voice to these observations. Nominated for an Academy Award and winning the Golden Globe for her portrayal of Fossey in the 1988 film "Gorillas in the Mist," Weaver is uniquely placed to recount Fossey's firsthand thoughts and feelings. The global mini-series event also features exclusive access to over 40 hours of rare and previously unseen film footage of Fossey in her daily habituations and up-close study of gorillas, as well as new interviews with close colleagues and friends, including her research assistant Wayne McGuire, and friend Sir David Attenborough.
Dian Fossey: Secrets in the Mist tells Fossey's life story from her lonely childhood, through to her work in Rwanda, where she founded the Karisoke Research Center in September 1967 and spent 18 years studying and protecting the mountain gorilla population. The series details her close friendship with the young gorilla Digit, whose merciless mutilation and decapitation by poachers would deeply affect Fossey, as well as the people who worked by her side, including National Geographic photographer Bob Campbell, with whom she fell in love but who would leave her heartbroken when he returned to civilization and his wife.
Brutally slain in her remote mountain cabin in 1985, the series explores the investigation around Fossey's murder and the subsequent trial of Wayne McGuire, who was found guilty in absentia by Rwandan courts. McGuire's conviction has long been contested by US officials and others familiar with the circumstances, and now - with exclusive access to Fossey's belongings and personal effects, including objects from the scene of her murder as well as a rare interview with McGuire himself - his claims of innocence are given new credence.
Fast-forwarding to today, Dian Fossey: Secrets in the Mist also joins the Pablo troop of gorillas, including Cantsbee, whom Fossey named as a newborn. Cantsbee was feared dead when he disappeared for several month before rejoining his gorilla group in January this year. He is the oldest silverback gorilla on the mountain and the most prolific father in the area. His surviving the worst years of poaching and threats to his habitat is due in no small part to Fossey and her work in protecting Rwanda's mountain gorilla population.
Academy Award-winning Executive Producer James Marsh ("Man on Wire," "Theory of Everything") and Tigress Productions tap into extensive archival footage, still photos, dozens of Fossey's letters and personal correspondence, collaboration with the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund and interviews with the people who knew her best to tell her story. Along the way, the series highlights the startling findings and observations she uncovered over the course of her life about the intimate lives of gorillas and their social structures.
Dian Fossey: Secrets in the Mist is produced by Tigress, part of Endemol Shine Group, for National Geographic. For Tigress Productions, the executive producer is Dick Colthurst, director is Zara Hayes and showrunner is Sarah Peat.
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