or


[02/21/17 - 10:12 AM]
"Cries from Syria," An Unforgettable Account of the Five-Year Syrian Civil War from the Inside, Debuts March 13 on HBO
This harrowing film tells the story of a people who, despite great suffering, have never lost hope for a better tomorrow.

[via press release from HBO]

"CRIES FROM SYRIA," AN UNFORGETTABLE ACCOUNT OF THE FIVE-YEAR SYRIAN CIVIL WAR FROM THE INSIDE, DEBUTS MARCH 13 ON HBO

CRIES FROM SYRIA is a searing account of the humanitarian crisis in Syria and the devastating civil war that has defined the country over the past five years. Drawing on hundreds of hours of war footage from activists and citizen journalists, as well as shattering images and testimony from protestors, revolution leaders, ordinary citizens and children, many of them witnesses to unspeakable atrocities, this harrowing film tells the story of a people who, despite great suffering, have never lost hope for a better tomorrow.

Directed by Oscar(R) nominee Evgeny Afineevsky ("Winter on Fire: Ukraine's Fight for Freedom"), the documentary debuts MONDAY, MARCH 13 (10:00 p.m.-midnight ET/PT) on HBO, coinciding with the sixth anniversary of the Syrian uprising. Helen Mirren narrates.

The film will also be available on HBO NOW, HBO GO, HBO On Demand and affiliate portals.

CRIES FROM SYRIA takes the audience on a unique journey, from Syria to Turkey, through Jordan, Lebanon and Europe. In many instances, Afineevsky filmed in war-torn areas at great personal risk.

The documentary reveals how efforts to demand basic freedoms and civil liberties from President Bashar al-Assad led to unexpectedly widespread acts of carnage, not only by his brutal Republican Army, but later by his Russian allies (who indiscriminately bombed and killed innocent civilians in cities like Aleppo) and by ISIS (who took advantage of the vacuum of power when the Free Syrian Army advanced against Assad's forces to gain a stronghold in the country), sparking one of the worst humanitarian crises of recent times.

In March 2011, on a school wall in the city of Daraa, a group of boys spray-painted "It's your turn, Doctor," a reference to Assad's training in England as a physician. Their subsequent arrest, torture and, in some cases, murder became the catalyst for enormous demonstrations against the government. When thousands of peaceful protestors were then met with violence, it sparked the call for revolution. "We demonstrated holding roses and bottles of water and he [Assad] called us terrorists?" says activist Kholoud Helmi.

Leaders emerged, including famous soccer player Abdul Baset Al-Sarout and peaceful activist Ghiath Matar, "a young Gandhi," whose death at the hands of the regime created an international stir. Horrified by the regime's use of violence against the opposition, a number of high-ranking officers and soldiers defected to form the Free Syrian Army, aimed at overthrowing Assad. Hadi Al Abdullah, a journalist reporting on the war, says, "Some of the soldiers from Assad's army simply left because they are honest and free people. They refused to obey the orders and be part of the regime's crimes."

The government responded by launching military attacks across the country. Tanks rampaged through Daraa and other major cities, blocking supplies and causing starvation, extreme malnutrition and death from hunger among civilians. Ro'A, a young child caught in the conflict says, "Some people died of hunger. And some people slept without eating, and some people slept and didn't wake up."

Aleppo was split between the Free Army and Assad's army. The regime soon started targeting homes and schools and using chemical weapons. After the 2013 attack on Ghouta, in which sarin gas killed and injured thousands of civilians, the international community demanded Assad hand over all chemical weapons, but inspectors were allowed into just a handful of storage locations. The attacks continued with chlorine weapons instead.

When a number of cities were liberated by the Free Syrian Army, Assad sought outside help from Hezbollah and sectarian Iraqi, Iranian and Afghani militias. To further instability, he also released Islamic fundamentalists from Syrian prisons. In the escalating chaos that followed, Islamic groups like Jabhat al-Nusra entered the fray, but quickly clashed with the objectives of the revolution.

Soon, ISIS gained a stronghold in the Eastern city of Raqqa and began a brutal reign of terror, beating women who failed to cover themselves completely, luring and forcing young men into their ranks and terrifying locals with public beheadings. Ordinary citizens found themselves trapped between two deadly opposing forces.

Russia's involvement on Assad's behalf brought the conflict to disastrous new levels, maximizing damage with cluster and phosphorous bombs. The "White Helmets," an unaffiliated "civil defense" group of teachers, doctors, carpenters and other civilians, whose mission is to save as many lives as possible from under the rubles, was the only chance to survive.

Stranded and suffering, hundreds of thousands of Syrians have been killed, seven million have been internally displaced and more than five million have desperately tried to survive by fleeing the country. Two-thirds of those who have fled to date are women and children. Those who have been lucky enough to escape still dream of going home and rebuilding in a free society, but as the situation grows increasingly worse, keeping hope alive is a struggle.

Kholoud Helmi notes, "We are not terrorists, we are not aslyum seekers, we are people like everyone in this world, with kids, with lovers, with husbands, wives, and we still have dreams like anyone else in the world. In five years, my dream was to bring the change that we all desire to my country, but now I actually don't know what my dream is."

Many of the courageous individuals spotlighted in CRIES FROM SYRIA remain in the country today, continuing to fight for freedom and human rights. Their collective stories are a desperate cry for attention, justice and help from a world that little understands their reality or agrees on what to do about it.

Making its world premiere in the 2017 Sundance Film Festival Documentary Premieres section, CRIES FROM SYRIA includes the original song "Prayers for this World," written by Grammy and Emmy(R) winner and Oscar(R) nominee Diane Warren, and recorded by Cher along with The West Los Angeles Children's Choir.

HBO Documentary Films presents CRIES FROM SYRIA; directed and produced by Evgeny Afineevksy; produced by Den Tolmor, Aaron I. Butler; executive produced by David Dinerstein, Daniel Dubiecki, Lara Alameddine, Tomas Srovnal, Chamsy Sarkis, Bohdan Batruch; co-produced by Shahida Tulaganova, Sergei Zhuravsky, Jawad Sharbaji; edited by Aaron I. Butler; music by Martin Tillman. For HBO: senior producer, Nancy Abraham; executive producer, Sheila Nevins.





  [february 2017]  
S
M
T
W
T
F
S
   


· SHOWATCH
(series past and present)
· DEVWATCH
(series in development)
· MOVIEWATCH
(tv movies and mini-series)





[11/13/19 - 01:01 PM]
Showtime(R) Presents "Eddie Griffin: E-Niggma" - New Stand-Up Special from the Veteran Comedian Premieres Friday, December 6 at 11 PM ET/PT
The hour-long special is filmed at the restored, historic landmark Sahara Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, home to many iconic performers including Sammy Davis Jr., Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Peter Lawford and Lena Horne.

[11/13/19 - 12:15 PM]
Freeform Assembles the Cast for Pilot "Last Summer" from Bert V. Royal, Jessica Biel, Michelle Purple, Max Winkler and eOne
Chiara Aurelia, Mika Abdalla, Michael Landes, Froy Gutierrez, Harley Quinn Smith, Allius Barnes, Blake Lee, Nathaniel Ashton, and Brooklyn Sudano will star in the project.

[11/13/19 - 12:01 PM]
BBC America Announces Writers and Directors for All-New Season of "Doctor Who"
Three new writers have jumped on board the TARDIS for the upcoming season: Nina Metivier, Maxine Alderton and Charlene James.

[11/13/19 - 11:31 AM]
New Season of "The Bachelor" Takes Flight Monday, Jan. 6, on ABC
The show's 24th season will kick off with a special three-hour premiere event.

[11/13/19 - 10:03 AM]
The Wolfpack Welcomes New Additions and New Challenges in a Brand-New Season of "Alaskan Bush People" Premiering Wednesday, December 4
The Brown family's quest to achieve their dream of a fully self-contained village is on the line in a brand-new season.

[11/13/19 - 10:01 AM]
TBS Orders a Fifth Season of "Full Frontal with Samantha Bee"
Additionally, TBS has renewed its first look deal with Bee's production company, Swimsuit Competition, that focuses on developing amusing original content that is definitely worth spending a weekend bingeing.

[11/13/19 - 10:01 AM]
Showtime Networks and A24 Films Close Output Agreement for A24 Feature Film Titles
The deal will include up to 16 films annually produced by A24.

[11/13/19 - 09:46 AM]
HGTV Greenlights New Event Series "Home Town Rescue" Starring Ben and Erin Napier
The Napiers will mobilize members of one community to renovate multiple individual homes in the town and upgrade public spaces, such as parks, local diners and/or recreational centers.

[11/13/19 - 09:31 AM]
Travel Channel to Launch New Series "Trending Fear" with Adam Ellis - Internet and Twitter Author of #DearDavid Sensational Ghost Boy Stories
"Adam's extraordinary personal experience and harrowing tale that went viral in 'Dear David' makes him uniquely positioned to help those grappling with paranormal fear," said Matthew Butler, general manager, Travel Channel.

[11/13/19 - 09:06 AM]
Oxygen's "Homicide for the Holidays" Returns for Season Four On Saturday, December 7 at 7:30PM ET/PT
Season four unwraps four chilling stories of holidays taking a sweeping turn when a loved one is brutally killed by an unforeseen suspect and investigations unfold that stun everyone involved.

[11/13/19 - 08:46 AM]
ABC Makes Waves with "Ultimate Surfer," A New Competition Series from 11-Time World Surf League Champion Kelly Slater
Production will begin in 2020 and an airdate will be announced later this season.

[11/13/19 - 08:31 AM]
NBC Announces the 10 Makers Competing to Become the Next "Master Maker" on Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman's "Making It"
This season brings together a diverse group of makers from woodworkers to balloon artists and calligraphists to costume makers.

[11/13/19 - 08:13 AM]
Tuesday's Broadcast Ratings: "The Voice," "This Is Us" Top Demos for NBC
The Peacock wins the night among adults 18-49 while CBS is the most-watched network overall.

[11/13/19 - 07:47 AM]
BET Networks Announces Second Season Pick up for Its Bold and Sexy Scripted Series "Games People Play"
Season two cast members will be announced at a later date.

[11/13/19 - 07:01 AM]
Netflix and Nickelodeon Form Multi-Year Output Deal to Produce Original Animated Films and Series for Kids & Families Around the World
Forthcoming are specials based on "The Loud House" and "Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles."