Los Angeles, CA — OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network will air the world television premiere of the highly anticipated Chaz Bono documentary, Becoming Chaz
, it was announced today by Lisa Erspamer, chief creative officer, OWN. In addition, Christy Turlington Burns' No Woman, No Cry
and Siskel/Jacobs Productions' Louder Than a Bomb
will also join OWN's Documentary Film Club, created to spotlight cinematic documentaries that inspire and entertain. One of the first Sundance documentary acquisitions this year, Becoming Chaz
, will premiere on OWN in May, along with No Woman, No Cry
. Louder Than a Bomb
will premiere later in the year.
"We are proud to present this heartfelt and honest portrayal of Chaz's personal transformation to our viewers," said Ms. Erspamer. "These courageous documentaries engage conversation and we are pleased to have them join OWN."
Making its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival 2011, Becoming Chaz
is the story of Chaz Bono's emotional and physical transition from a woman to a man, a journey of identity and self-discovery. Growing up, Chastity was a shy person who never felt comfortable in the spotlight as the only child of Sonny and Cher. She also felt uncomfortable as a woman and struggled with living inside a body that she knew wasn't truly hers. Deciding there was no choice but to undergo sex reassignment surgery, now legally a man, Chaz Bono documented his deeply personal transformation so that others can learn from his experience. Directed and produced by veteran Sundance filmmakers Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato, who along with their production company World of Wonder, have been the creative forces behind a long history of powerful, groundbreaking and innovative documentaries and features. The film is being distributed internationally by Passion Distribution.
"Chaz is someone who has risked everything to become himself. But whatever he might have lost, he has gained far more," said Mr. Barbato, director/producer, World of Wonder Productions. "It takes great courage and strength to go against other people's expectations of us in order to be true to ourselves," added Mr. Bailey, director/producer, World of Wonder Productions.
In her directorial debut, Christy Turlington Burns' No Woman, No Cry
is a gripping documentary that tells the personal stories of pregnant women and their caregivers in four countries as they try to avoid becoming maternal mortality statistics. Turlington puts audiences in the shoes of a young Maasai mother who has gone into labor and must walk five miles to the nearest clinic; a pregnant woman in the slums of Dhaka, Bangladesh, too ashamed to seek care; a pregnant obstetrician helping women who have no choice but to undergo illegal and dangerous abortions in Guatemala and a midwife in central Florida who serves pregnant women who are denied prenatal care because they are uninsured. This film is from Turly Pictures.
"No Woman, No Cry
captures the fragility of motherhood and illuminates the vulnerabilities of women at this critical juncture in their lives," said Ms. Turlington Burns. "We believe that OWN is the ideal network to air our film."
Louder Than a Bomb
tells the story of four Chicago high school poetry teams as they prepare for and compete in the world's largest youth slam poetry contest. The film captures the turbulent lives of these unforgettable teenagers; exploring how writing and performing shapes their world. This film is from Greg Jacobs and Jon Siskel, Siskel/Jacobs Productions.
"We are thrilled and honored that Louder Than a Bomb
has been chosen for the OWN Documentary Club. OWN's respect for stories that are at once entertaining and inspiring makes the Documentary Club the perfect home for our film," said Greg Jacobs and Jon Siskel, co-director/producers, Louder Than a Bomb
These join the slate of previously announced original and acquired documentaries that comprise the OWN Documentary Film Club. Original documentaries include Extraordinary Moms
, One Last Shot
, Seven Suicides
and Tent City, USA
. Acquired documentaries include 65 Red Roses
, Family Affair
, Life 2.0
, Most Valuable Players
, One Lucky Elephant
and Sons of Perdition
About OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network
A joint venture between Harpo, Inc. and Discovery Communications, OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network is a multi-platform media company designed to entertain, inform, and inspire people to live their best lives. OWN debuted on January 1, 2011, in approximately 85 million homes on what was the Discovery Health Channel. The venture also includes the award-winning digital platform, Oprah.com
. For more information, please visit www.oprah.com/own