“OWN seeks to entertain, inspire and inform,” said Lisa Erspamer, chief creative officer, OWN. “What better way to further that mission than to provide a mainstream platform for emerging and established documentary filmmakers to present different stories that move the viewer, and then to encourage a dialogue and exchange of ideas.”
Ten years in the making, One Lucky Elephant follows circus producer David Balding as he struggles to find a nurturing permanent home for Flora, the orphaned baby African elephant he lovingly raised as a “daughter” and made the star of his circus. As Flora approaches adulthood, David realizes that she is no longer happy performing and needs to be with other elephants. The road to Floras retirement, however, is a difficult and emotional journey that tests their bond in unexpected ways. The film is both a touching account of a man’s incredible love for a wild animal and a poignant exploration of the critical issues about the future of elephants in captivity and how these issues have affected the life of one very lucky elephant. Written and produced by Cristina Colissimo and Jodana Glick-Franzheim, One Lucky Elephant is directed by Lisa Leeman and executive produced by Sandbar Pictures.
The award-winning 65_RedRoses tells the story of 23-year-old Eva Markvoort, a Canadian woman suffering from the fatal genetic disease cystic fibrosis and awaiting a double lung transplant. The film captures Markvoort’s unstoppable spirit and amazing will to live as she battles her disease and blogs about her experience, using the online identity 65_RedRoses. While sharing her story on the Web, Markvoort meets two other cystic fibrosis sufferers, neither of whom she can meet in person because of the threat of the possible spread of infection. The three women become one another’s lifelines and sources of support, as their lives and struggles become inextricably linked. At critical junctures in their lives, the film travels the distance the friends cannot go themselves, capturing the compelling and often heartbreaking realities they face. 65_RedRoses is directed by Nimisha Mukerji and Philip Lyall and produced by Force Four Entertainment in association with CBC Newsworld and Dualogue Productions.
Most Valuable Players is a 2010 documentary film about the Freddy Awards, a live television event honoring outstanding high school musical theater in New Jersey and the Lehigh Valley region of Pennsylvania. Demonstrating that arts education encourages the same teamwork, camaraderie and confidence as sports, Most Valuable Players follows three theater troupes on their creative journey to the elaborate award ceremony—the Tony Awards for high school musicals. A Canyonback Films production, Most Valuable Players is directed and produced by Matthew D. Kallis and written and produced by Christopher Lockhart.
About OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network
A joint venture between Harpo, Inc. and Discovery Communications, About OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network is a multi-platform media company designed to entertain, inform, and inspire people to live their best lives. OWN will debut on January 1, 2011, in approximately 80 million homes on what is currently the Discovery Health Channel. The venture also will include the award-winning digital platform, Oprah.com. For more information, please visit www.oprah.com/own.