LOS ANGELES, July 26 — OWN: THE OPRAH WINFREY NETWORK is producing five OWN original two-hour documentaries with Julia Roberts, Forest Whitaker, Goldie Hawn, Gabriel Byrne and Mariel Hemingway, OWN announced today.
The films will be presented as part of OWN’s monthly documentary film club, along with the original acquisitions LIFE 2.0 and SONS OF PERDITION. The documentary club will spotlight these films and the previously announced FAMILY AFFAIR, focusing on cinematic documentaries that encourage emerging creative voices to bring their stories to a mainstream television audience on OWN.
“All of these documentaries fundamentally explore human interaction, relationships and emotions,” said Lisa Erspamer, chief creative officer, OWN.
Presented and executive produced by Julia Roberts’ Red Om Films, EXTRAORDINARY MOMS explores the power of mothers, featuring courageous, brilliant and awe-inspiring women who share a powerful connection: the love they have for their children combined with a fierce desire to protect the future of all children. The film is produced by Creative Visions Productions and Red Om Films, with executive producers Kathy Eldon, Lisa Gillan and Philip Rose and producers Jacoba Atlas and Kyra Thompson.
Narrated and executive produced by Forest Whitaker, ONE LAST SHOT takes viewers inside Louisiana’s maximum security prison at Angola, where the average sentence is more than 90 years. The prisoners within its walls are the worst of the worst – rapists, kidnappers and murderers. With prison sentences so long, 85 percent will never again live in the outside world. Instead, they will grow old and die in Angola. ONE LAST SHOT documents an extraordinary hospice program where hardened criminals care for their dying fellow inmates. “One last shot reveals the humanity that exists inside each and every one of us,” said Whitaker. “In the Angola prison’s hospice, we meet inmates who decide to take an opportunity for redemption, reminding us of the connection that exists between each and every human being.” This film is produced by Lightworks Pictures in association with KPI. Executive producers are Nick Stuart and Molly Fowler. The film is produced and directed by Lisa R. Cohen.
Goldie Hawn executive produces, hosts and narrates SEARCHING FOR HAPPINESS, a documentary that examines the age-old quest that has motivated civilization and technological progress: the pursuit of happiness. This film shines a light on the revolutionary field of positive psychology, which proves we have the power within us to choose happiness. “My curiosity on the subject of happiness and optimism started in adolescence, when the main goal in my life was to be and stay happy,” says Hawn. Hawn will executive produce along with Mark Ford and Kevin Lopez of Creature Films.
Executive producers Gabriel Byrne and Leora Rosenberg, producer/director Steven Cantor and Stick Figure Productions present TENT CITY, a documentary exploring homelessness in Nashville, Tenn. TENT CITY explores a community of nearly 100 homeless people who live under a downtown bridge. They work to stay together after a devastating flood destroys their land and forces them to evacuate. As a result of the disaster, for the first time in Nashville history, the municipally run Homeless Commission has opened one seat on its council to a resident of Tent City. TENT CITY will follow the four candidates as they vie for election and the process of moving the camp and keeping the community together. “Shelter and home are the most basic human and fundamental human rights, yet increasingly in one of the world’s wealthiest societies, more and more of us are losing our homes,” says executive producer Gabriel Byrne.
SEVEN SUICIDES is an original documentary following Mariel Hemingway, granddaughter of Ernest Hemingway, as she explores the legacy of suicide and depression in one of America’s foremost literary families. Mariel lost her sister Margaux to suicide, and her other sister, Muffet, has moved in and out of mental institutions since the age of 16. Mariel revisits painful moments from her past, and takes a difficult journey to reconnect with her one surviving sister, Muffet.
In addition, three films LIFE 2.0, SONS OF PERDITION, and FAMILY AFFAIR have been acquired through OWN’s partnership with ro*co films international, a leader in the national and international documentary distribution world.
LIFE 2.0 explores the lives of several Second Life residents, whose real lives have been drastically transformed by the new lives they lead in cyberspace. Mixing high drama and humor, LIFE 2.0 uniquely explores the promise, perils and implications of virtual worlds for society at large. An Andrew Lauren Productions and PalmStar Entertainment presentation, LIFE 2.0 is produced, directed and edited by Jason Spingarn-Koff; and produced by Andrew Lauren and Stephan Paternot.
SONS OF PERDITION takes viewers inside the lives of three teenage boys after they escape from the Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints compound on the Utah/Arizona border, the oldest polygamist community in the United States. Impact Partners and BBC Storyville present A Left Turn Films production in association with Motto Pictures and Cactus Three. The film is directed by Tyler Measom and Jennilyn Merten and produced by Julie Goldman, Tyler Measom and Jennilyn Merten.
The previously announced FAMILY AFFAIR, an independent feature-length documentary film written and produced by Chico David Colvard, is an intensely personal documentary that examines Colvard’s compelling family history.