OSCAR(R)-WINNING FILMMAKERS FISHER STEVENS AND ROSS KAUFFMAN TREK THE GLOBE IN SEARCH OF THE DISAPPEARING TIGER IN DISCOVERY'S "TAKEN BY THE TIGER (w/t)"
Kahlil Hudson and Alex Jablonski Named 2018
Sundance Institute | Discovery Impact Fellows
(Park City, UT) - Rich Ross, Group President, Discovery Channel and Science Channel, announced Academy(R) Award-winners Fisher Stevens ("The Cove") and Ross Kauffman ("Born into Brothels") as the creative duo behind the network's upcoming documentary TAKEN BY THE TIGER (w/t) today at Discovery's annual reception during the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. Produced by Oscar(R)-winning studio RadicalMedia ("What Happened, Miss Simone?"), Kauffman will direct with Stevens producing, which marks his first collaboration with RadicalMedia since joining them last year as a Radical Artist in Residence. TAKEN BY THE TIGER (w/t) is tied to Discovery's Project C.A.T. initiative, part of a global effort to double the population of tigers living in the wild by 2022.
Filming for the feature-length documentary will span to remote areas in Asia where these majestic cats still roam freely. In addition to capturing the sheer splendor of these fierce felines in the wild, the crew will embed with the heroes saving these tigers from extinction, chronicling their valiant conservation efforts and the tremendous challenges they face.
"Telling the most important stories about our natural world and what we can do to protect it is core to who Discovery is as a purpose-driven company," said David Zaslav, President and Chief Executive of Discovery Communications. "We are proud to showcase this important documentary, work with these passionate filmmakers and continue our commitment to preserve wild tigers for future generations through Project C.A.T."
"With Fisher, Ross, and RadicalMedia on the front lines telling the stories of the heroic efforts to save the rapidly deteriorating populations of these magnificent animals, Discovery will once again highlight important issues for audiences around the world," states Ross.
"Our fascination with these mythic, even god-like, creatures is primal. A century ago, over 100,000 wild tigers roamed Asia, but today fewer than 4,000 live in the wild," says Stevens. "Many of the same behaviors that are damaging our planet have brought these tigers to the brink of extinction. It's our fault and our responsibility, and that is why we're making this film."
"Man's connection with the tiger is 1% scientific and 99% spiritual," says Kauffman. "Our film will tell the story of man's duality - on the one side, the childlike innocence we feel when we behold a tiger in the wild, and on the other side, the collective guilt we all bear for extinguishing that species' existence."
TAKEN BY THE TIGER (w/t) is part of the Project C.A.T. initiative, a larger global effort announced by Discovery in 2016 in association with World Wildlife Fund (WWF), where the media company pledged to fund and conserve nearly 2 million acres of tiger habitat in India and Bhutan. Since tigers need vast amounts of land to thrive, this initiative also protects vital forests, which in turn benefits local communities and the planet as a whole. Likewise, by protecting tigers and their habitat, this enterprise will also help to protect other at-risk animals that share the same habitat and important prey species.
TAKEN BY THE TIGER (w/t) is produced by RadicalMedia for Discovery Channel; directed by Ross Kauffman and produced by Fisher Stevens; Xan Parker, Zara Duffy, Dave Sirulnick and Justin Wilkes produce for RadicalMedia; John Hoffman and Jon Bardin executive produce for Discovery.
In addition, Sundance Institute and Discovery are proud to present the 3rd annual Sundance Institute Discovery Impact Fellowship to Kahlil Hudson and Alex Jablonski at the reception. Through telling personal stories of those being effected by the ever-changing natural world, the filmmaking duo craft honest and deft stories that ring with emotion.
"These talented filmmakers are telling the stories of real people and their communities as they grapple with the evolving environment," says Ross. "Discovery and our friends at the Sundance Institute are eager to see what new projects they will present through their distinctive lenses."
"Discovery and Sundance Institute are leaders in presenting stories to audiences around the world," state Hudson and Jablonski. "We are honored for their acknowledgment of our past body of work as storytellers and are thrilled to use the fellowship to fuel our work to come."
Established in 2016, the Sundance Institute Discovery | Impact Fellowship is given to a filmmaker who works to tell the stories that reflect the fragile and changing nature of our planet in the service of protecting it. The grant money is intended to help filmmakers sustain their commitment to environmental work and can be used at their discretion. Jeff Orlowski (Chasing Coral) was the first recipient of the fellowship in 2016 while Laura Nix (Inventing Tomorrow) took home the honor in 2017.
About Discovery Channel
Discovery Channel is dedicated to creating the highest quality non-fiction content that informs and entertains its consumers about the world in all its wonder, diversity and amazement. The network, which is distributed to 100.8 million U.S. homes, can be seen in 224 countries and territories, offering a signature mix of compelling, high-end production values and vivid cinematography across genres including, science and technology, exploration, adventure, history and in-depth, behind-the-scenes glimpses at the people, places and organizations that shape and share our world. For more information please visit www.discovery.com.
About Discovery Communications
Discovery Communications (Nasdaq: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK) satisfies curiosity and captivates superfans around the globe with a portfolio of premium nonfiction, lifestyle, sports and kids content brands including Discovery Channel, TLC, Investigation Discovery, Animal Planet, Science and Turbo/Velocity, as well as OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network in the U.S., Discovery Kids in Latin America, and Eurosport, the leading provider of locally relevant, premium sports and Home of the Olympic Games across Europe. Available in more than 220 countries and territories, Discovery's programming reaches 3 billion cumulative viewers, who together consume 54 billion hours of Discovery content each year. Discovery's offering extends beyond traditional TV to all screens, including TV Everywhere products such as the GO portfolio and Discovery Kids Play; over-the-top streaming services such as Eurosport Player; digital-first and social video from Group Nine Media; and virtual reality storytelling through Discovery VR. For more information, please visit www.discoverycommunications.com.
RadicalMedia is an Oscar, Emmy, Grammy and Peabody Award-winning studio whose work includes the Oscar-winning documentary, The Fog of War, Oscar-nominated and Emmy-winning Liz Garbus film, What Happened, Miss Simone?, Oscar-nominated, Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory, Metallica: Some Kind of Monster, Emmy-winning Under African Skies, Keith Richards: Under the Influence, Whitey: The US vs. James J. Bulger, Hamilton's America and the upcoming SXSW award-winning Judd Apatow/Michael Bonfiglio May It Last: A Portrait of the Avett Brothers. Television credits include Abstract: The Art of Design, Cold Blooded: The Clutter Family Murders, MARS, Stan Against Evil, American Divided, Iconoclasts, Oprah's Master Class and the new series My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman. See more at RadicalMedia.com and on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.
About Sundance Institute
Founded in 1981 by Robert Redford, Sundance Institute is a nonprofit organization that provides and preserves the space for artists in film, theatre, and new media to create and thrive. The Institute's signature Labs, granting, and mentorship programs, dedicated to developing new work, take place throughout the year in the U.S. and internationally. The Sundance Film Festival and other public programs connect audiences to artists in igniting new ideas, discovering original voices, and building a community dedicated to independent storytelling. Sundance Institute has supported such projects as Boyhood, Swiss Army Man, Manchester By the Sea, Brooklyn, Little Miss Sunshine, Life, Animated, Sonita, 20 Feet From Stardom, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Fruitvale Station, Sin Nombre, Spring Awakening, A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder and Fun Home. Join Sundance Institute on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.
About Kahlil Hudson and Alex Jablonski
Kahlil Hudson directed and Alex Jablonski produced and edited the SXSW premiering Low & Clear where it won the Emerging Visions Audience Award and was recently named one of Paste Magazine's "100 Best Documentaries of All Time." Jablonski and Hudson are co-directors on their most recent feature Young Men & Fire, which has received support from Sundance, The San Francisco Film Society, ITVS and MountainFilm, and follows a crew of wildland firefighters fighting forest fires over one fire season. Jablonski began his career in New York City as an assistant editor for Spike Lee before moving west to attend graduate school at UCLA. Hudson also received his MFA in Film Directing from UCLA and is a professor at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, NM where he teaches film production. In 2010, Jablonski created Sparrow Songs a new media documentary project in which he made and released one short documentary a month, every month for one year. Filmmaker Magazine called the films "poetic essays about love, truth, community and the ways we are choosing to live our lives" and named Jablonski to their list of The 25 New Faces of Independent Film. Jablonski is a professor at USC's School of Cinematic Arts and a certified wildland firefighter.