[05/06/11 - 08:33 AM]
"How to Die in Oregon," Intimate Documentary Exploring the State's Controversial Death With Dignity Act, Debuts May 26 on HBO
The project, from filmmaker Peter Richardson, won the Grand Jury Prize for documentaries at the Sundance Film Festival.

[via press release from HBO]


Film Won Grand Jury Prize For Documentaries At 2011 Sundance Film Festival

In 1994, Oregon became the first state in the U.S. to legalize physician aid-in-dying. At the time, only two countries (Switzerland and the Netherlands) permitted the practice, but more than 500 Oregonians have since ended their life using the law.

The intimate Sundance Award-winning documentary HOW TO DIE IN OREGON is a powerful, compassionate exploration of Oregon's historic and controversial Death with Dignity Act, which legalizes physician aid-in-dying for some terminally ill patients. The film tells the stories of people who died under the act, and follows the crusade of one woman who honors her husband by fighting for similar choices in the state of Washington, when it debuts THURSDAY, MAY 26 (8:00-10:00 p.m. ET/PT) on HBO.

Other HBO playdates: May 26 (3:50 a.m.) and 29 (11:00 a.m.), and June 4 (10:15 a.m.), 7 (2:30 p.m., midnight) and 13 (10:00 a.m.)

HBO2 playdates: May 31 (10:00 a.m.) and June 1 (8:00 p.m.) and 14 (noon)

At the heart of HOW TO DIE IN OREGON are the patients, families and friends who grapple with the state's legal option of physician aid-in-dying. Among the stories the film tells is that of Cody Curtis, a 54-year-old wife and mother who suffers heroically through a roller coaster of emotions and on-again, off-again symptoms stemming from cancer of the liver, symptoms as debilitating as they are humiliating. After initial surgery seems successful, the cancer returns, prompting Curtis to legally obtain the lethal barbiturates to hold "in reserve" as a final option. "It's very comforting to know they are here," she says. "It's my choice when to take them and whether to take them."

Given six months to live, Curtis chooses a date when she will end her life, in the meantime trying to enjoy the remaining time to the fullest. But she abandons that plan when she passes the deadline and starts feeling - to her surprise and confusion - much more like her old self. Daring to believe she might live another 20 years after all, Curtis begins to wonder if she gave her jewelry to her daughter, Jill, too soon.

The film features frank interviews with Curtis and husband Stan, son Thomas "T" and daughter Jill, as well as her surgical oncologist, Dr. Katherine Morris. The camera also goes behind closed doors to capture candid conversations between Curtis and her trusted inner circle. Dr. Morris explains that she struggled with her own beliefs when it came to prescribing medication that would ultimately end the life of Curtis, who is a friend as well as a patient. She says she was "shocked" by the contrast between "thinking about it in the intellectual realm of 'This is a law that supports my values,' versus, 'I'm actually going to take a pen and write a prescription for something that will end someone's life.' "

In addition, the documentary profiles Randy Stroup, a 53-year-old uninsured Oregonian with prostate cancer, who is outraged when he is denied health care by the state and offered doctor-assisted suicide instead. Ultimately, the state reverses its position when Stroup goes public with his story, but the chemotherapy treatment does not save his life. Also spotlighted is former TV broadcaster Ray Carnay, 84, whose magnificent baritone belies his throat cancer as he records a eulogy for his impending funeral.

HOW TO DIE IN OREGON explores the complexities of the aid-in-dying debate, interviewing doctors on both sides of the issue, as well as activists, patients' families and opinion-makers such as journalist and author Derek Humphry, who wrote the bestselling suicide handbook "Final Exit" and founded the Hemlock Society USA, which aims to decriminalize voluntary euthanasia nationwide. The film also travels to Washington state, where Seattle activist Nancy Niedzielski campaigns for that state's Death with Dignity Act following her husband's slow and painful death from brain cancer. Washington voters passed the law in 2008.

HOW TO DIE IN OREGON is Portland, Ore. filmmaker Peter Richardson's second feature documentary. He also directed, produced, edited and co-photographed "Clear Cut: The Story Of Philomath, Oregon," his debut feature, which premiered at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival.

HOW TO DIE IN OREGON was directed, produced and photographed by Peter D. Richardson; executive producer, Melody Korenbrot; music, Max Richter; editors, Greg Snider and Peter D. Richardson. For HBO: consulting editor, Geof Bartz, A.C.E.; supervising producer, Jacqueline Glover; executive producer, Sheila Nevins.

  [may 2011]  

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

[10/06/15 - 03:31 PM]
E!'s Hit Series "Total Divas" Begins Production on Season Five
The Bella Twins (Nikki and Brie Bella), Natalya (Nattie), Eva Marie, Paige, Rosa Mendes and Alicia Fox are all due back in early 2016.

[10/06/15 - 03:30 PM]
Sanaa Lathan ("The Perfect Guy") to Star in New Event Series Being Developed by FOX
The project examines the dangerous aftermath of a police shooting when an African-American cop kills a white teen in Tennessee.

[10/06/15 - 01:44 PM]
National Geographic Channel and Mental Floss Celebrate the Intersection of Science and Medicine, Taking Viewers into a Cutting-Edge Operating Room to Perform "Brain Surgery Live"
The live two-hour special premieres in the U.S. on Sunday, October 25 at 9:00/8:00c.

[10/06/15 - 01:08 PM]
Thinkfactory Media Partners with Hip Hop Legend, Michel'le to Reveal Her Untold Story from the Streets of Compton
In addition to the scripted project, Thinkfactory Media and Michel'le are collaborating on a documentary detailing her life.

[10/06/15 - 11:53 AM]
Esquire Network Dives in Head First with the New Season of "Going Deep with David Rees" Beginning Wednesday November 11th
To promote the series, David will embark on an "analog" social media tour - where he drives cross-country from NYC to LA.

[10/06/15 - 11:14 AM]
Hulu and Viacom Expand Content Partnership In Robust, New Multi-Year Agreement
"Inside Amy Schumer," "Broad City," "Finding Carter," "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" and "Sanjay and Craig" are among the featured titles.

[10/06/15 - 11:00 AM]
truTV Greenlights "Super Into" Hosted by Kevin Pereira
Each half-hour asks our favorite celebrities to take us inside their private passions - from Rob Corddry and astronomy, including a ride on a zero gravity plane, to Diablo Cody and rollercoasters.

[10/06/15 - 10:33 AM]
New Art of Speedy from The CW's "Arrow"
The new season kicks off this Wednesday, October 7 at 8:00/7:00c.

[10/06/15 - 10:00 AM]
Timely Documentary "3 1/2 Minutes, Ten Bullets," Exploring the Deadly Impact of Racial Prejudice, Debuts Nov. 23, Exclusively on HBO
The documentary made its world premiere at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, where it won a Special Jury Award for Social Impact.

[10/06/15 - 10:00 AM]
ABC Family Becomes Freeform in January 2016
"Pretty Little Liars," "The Fosters," "Young and Hungry" and "Baby Daddy" will all return in early 2016 for their winter premieres alongside the world premieres of new original series "Shadowhunters" and "Recovery Road."

[10/06/15 - 09:32 AM]
MTV Announces Full Lineup for New York Comic Con - Releases Key Art for "The Shannara Chronicles"
Each can't-miss panel will feature cast and producers from the shows and the debut of exclusive New York Comic Con trailers.

[10/06/15 - 09:30 AM]
"Scorpion" Grows in Viewers, Adults 18-49 and Adults 25-54
CBS spins the numbers for Monday, October 5.

[10/06/15 - 09:07 AM]
ABC Is Set to Celebrate the Milestone 20th Anniversary of "Toy Story" - The Film That Started the Computer Generated Animation Revolution - In the Original Special, "Toy Story 20th Anniversary," To Air in December
The special will air along with a showing of "Toy Story" that same evening.

[10/06/15 - 09:03 AM]
"48 Hours: The Doctor's Daughter" Is Saturday's #1 Non-Sports Broadcast with Viewers
CBS spins the numbers for Saturday, October 3.

[10/06/15 - 09:01 AM]
New "Rocky Horror Show" Premieres Midnight Saturday, October 18 on BBC America
"I'm still in awe at the popularity of the show," said Richard O'Brien, creator and narrator.