HBO DOCUMENTARY FILMS ACQUIRES U.S. TV RIGHTS TO "BODY TEAM 12"
Film Won Grand Jury Award, Best Documentary Short, Tribeca Film Festival And
Is Nominated For An International Documentary Association Award
NEW YORK, Nov. 10, 2015 - HBO Documentary Films has acquired U.S. TV rights to BODY TEAM 12, winner of the Tribeca Film Festival award for best documentary short and recently nominated for an International Documentary Association award for best short. BODY TEAM 12 is directed by journalist-filmmaker and RYOT Co-Founder David Darg, who put his life at risk by embedding with a team of heroic Liberian Red Cross workers tasked with collecting the dead during the height of the Ebola outbreak. The film will debut on HBO in February 2016.
Executive produced by Paul G. Allen and Olivia Wilde, and produced by RYOT Co-Founder Bryn Mooser, BODY TEAM 12 lays bare the heartbreaking but lifesaving work of removing bodies from loved ones in order to halt the transmission of the disease. The filmmakers capture devasting and poignant images, shot on the ground in Monrovia, Liberia, that reveal the Ebola crisis through the story of Garmai Sumo, the sole female member of the body collection team.
Director David Darg states, "The bravery of these young Liberians was an astounding phenomenon to witness, as they risked their lives every day to save the lives of others, and to save their country from Ebola. BODY TEAM 12 is a tribute to those heroes, and it is our hope that a presentation on HBO will honor these body teams and lead to greater exposure of their determination and tireless efforts."
Producer Bryn Mooser adds, "Our partnership with Vulcan was a great support in sharing this story. While it was an extremely dangerous and risky documentary to make, it is a story that needed to be told. The film stands as a testament to the power of storytelling to move people to act."
The deal was negotiated by Allen's Vulcan Productions and HBO Documentary Films.
Carole Tomko, General Manager and Creative Director of Vulcan Productions, states, "We must apply the lessons learned from this Ebola outbreak to ensure that a health emergency like this never happens again for the same reasons. We hope this extraordinary work of journalism and filmmaking will help bring critical awareness to the importance of better diagnostics, proper infrastructure and adequate information in stopping the next outbreak from turning into the next epidemic. BODY TEAM 12 is a part of the ongoing commitment to ending Ebola and driving awareness around pandemic preparedness by our founder, Paul Allen, and it significantly augments our efforts on this front to have the vital information and storytelling of this film reach a national audience."
Executive producer Paul G. Allen has been a catalyst in the global response to the ongoing West African Ebola outbreak. He is the largest private donor in the effort to combat the disease, having committed at least $100 million to raise awareness and fund impactful work in the field. BODY TEAM 12 extends the media work of Allen's Vulcan Productions to help stop Ebola. Other media projects include the #ISurvivedEbola video campaign and funding of BBC Media Action on the ground in West Africa.
RYOT is the first breaking news site that links every story to an action. Using new narratives and technologies, including virtual reality, RYOT is changing how audiences engage with news stories and global issues, turning passive news viewers into active participants. RYOT founders and BODY TEAM 12 director-producers Darg and Mooser have spent the last decade as humanitarian aid workers, first responders and filmmakers covering some of the world's largest natural disasters and wars, bringing news and awareness to global audiences. They have received numerous awards for filmmaking and were hailed as Esquire magazine's 2012 "Americans of the Year" and as "Hollywood Mavericks" by Details magazine.
BODY TEAM 12 is an HBO Documentary Films presentation of a RYOT production in association with Paul G. Allen, Olivia Wilde, Martha Rogers and Gareth Seltzer.
ABOUT VULCAN PRODUCTIONS
Founded by philanthropist, entrepreneur and Microsoft co-founder Paul G. Allen and his sister Jody Allen, Vulcan Productions produces compelling feature films, television series, specials, digital content and outreach initiatives designed to inspire people to take action on the critical issues of our time. Vulcan Productions is committed to supporting projects of significance that ignite progress and motivate audiences to generate measurable impact on the world. As part of the organization's mission to protect oceans and wildlife, Vulcan Productions is launching an innovative outreach campaign for the documentary film Racing Extinction that drives awareness around carbon emissions, ocean health and mass species extinction. As part of a comprehensive relief campaign to stop the spread of Ebola, Vulcan Productions produced the #ISurvivedEbola, Unseen Enemy and Body Team 12, which won the Tribeca Film Festival award for Best Documentary Short. Together with Morgan Spurlock's Cinelan, Vulcan Productions produced We The Economy, a digital film series designed to deepen public understanding of the U.S. economy, which won the Webby Award. Other awards garnered by Vulcan Productions projects include the George Foster Peabody Award, the Emmy Award, the Grammy Award, Wildscreen Panda Award and the Sheffield Doc/Fest Green Award. Acclaimed films and series from the Vulcan Productions group also include Girl Rising, Success at the Core, Hard Candy and The Blues.
Home Box Office, Inc. is the premium television programming subsidiary of Time Warner Inc. and the world's most successful pay TV service, providing the two television services - HBO(R) and Cinemax(R) - to approximately 122 million subscribers worldwide. The services offer the popular subscription video-on-demand products HBO On Demand(R) and Cinemax On Demand(R), as well as HBO GO(R) and MAX GO(R), HD feeds and multiplex channels. HBO NOWSM, the network's internet only premium streaming service, provides audiences with instant access to HBO's acclaimed programming in the U.S. Internationally, HBO branded television networks, along with the subscription video-on-demand products HBO On Demand and HBO GO, bring HBO services to over 60 countries. HBO and Cinemax programming is sold into over 150 countries worldwide.
HBO Documentary Films offers a full spectrum of stellar, non-fiction programming by acclaimed documentary filmmakers. Its powerful, uncompromising, and critically acclaimed programming has won virtually every award within the documentary genre.
RYOT is a media company that uses next generation storytelling to inform, entertain, and activate. With the news, documentary films, and Virtual Reality experiences, RYOT connects every story with an action. Founded by Bryn Mooser and David Darg, RYOT is quickly becoming a major player in the Virtual Reality space as the go-to virtual reality studio for documentary-style VR films and VR news content. RYOT has partnered with aid workers, filmmakers, students and citizen journalists in 10 countries to create VR films in some of the most beautiful, the most protected and the most dangerous corners of the world, putting viewers on the ground in these areas for completely immersive experiences. From profiling Ebola health workers in Liberia to experimenting with virtual reality in the wake of the Nepal earthquake, their films profile countries in need, and bring new and innovative stories back to the stateside audience. RYOT Films' latest documentary, BODY TEAM 12, won Best Documentary Short at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival and MountainFilm Festival. For more information, visit www.ryot.org.