EXCLUSIVE: Toronto-based 108 Media is diving deeper into inspirational storytelling with the acquisition of worldwide rights to Passionate TV. The five-part docuseries tells the stories of a group of successful people who are trying to make the world a better place. That’s an intruiging concept right now, particularly given all the negativity flying around in other real-life stories. Produced by Auroris Media, the series will sit under the 108 Believe banner which was created in 2015 to deliver uplifting tales, and will debut this week at Mipcom. Check out a trailer below.
Among the folks profiled who are making a dent are Nancy Lublin, CEO of Crisis Text Line, the world’s first 24/7, free, text message-based support service; and Adam Braun, a New York Times bestselling author and the co-founder of Pencils of Promise — a global community helping people gain access to quality education. Also included in the first series are actor Scott Harrison, the founder and CEO of Charity Water; cinematographer Shane Hurlbut (Terminator Salvation) who created filmmaker mentoring program HurlbutVisuals; and Shiza Shahid, co-founder of the Malala Fund.
Lublin, who has been on Fortune’s list of World’s 50 Greatest Leaders, says she hopes that people who watch the series might become volunteers for Crisis Text Line. The service currently has about 2000 volunteers across the U.S. who respond to text messages from young people in distress where someone may be harming them, or they may be about to harm themselves. Crisis Text Line contacts EMTs who then turn up on the scene. On the day we spoke, Lublin told me there had been 10 “active rescues” the previous day. “That’s 10 families who would be having a different day today,” she said. Growth has been organic with plans to expand around the world.
Braun, a former Wall Street exec, learned about the challenges of obtaining a quality education for kids in the developing world during a Semester at Sea program. When he asked a young boy in India what he would want most and the answer was “a pencil,” he was inspired to co-found Pencils of Promise. He’s been motivated by a “sense of purpose: Why am I here? What am I positioned to do in my life to have a positive impact on the lives of others?”
Pencils of Promise is now in four different countries and sees Passionate TV as “a huge opportunity for the organization to expand our work to new audiences and individuals who would not maybe have heard. We’ve always grown by good people introducing us to good people.”
Maria Peek co-founder of Auroris Media, created and is exec producer of the series with Stephen Peek.