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Sundance Channel Acquires Eleven Documentaries to Premiere As Part Of The Green

Submitted by: Sundance Channel

Categories: Events, Environment

Posted: Dec 12, 2007 – 05:05 PM EST


Tea, Coal Mining, Peak Oil, Buildings Constructed of Garbage, and Gridlock Among Subjects Explored

Dec. 12 /CSRwire/ - NEW YORK, NY - December 12, 2007 - With topics ranging from the dangers of mountaintop coal-mining to a look at a segment of society that lives "off the grid" to a portrait of a maverick architect who creates dwellings out of garbage, eleven new documentary titles have been acquired by Sundance Channel programmers are slated to premiere in the second season of THE GREEN, the network's weekly primetime destination focusing on environmental topics. The films will begin to air on April 1st, 2008 when THE GREEN returns for a second season with each Tuesday night block leading with new episodes of the award winning-original series "Big Ideas for a Small Planet"(TM).

The films that have been recently acquired are: All in This Tea by Les Blank and Gina Leibrecht, Burning the Future: Coal in America by David Novack, Contested Streets: Breaking New York City Gridlock by Stefan Schaefer, Crude Impact by James Jandak Wood, Garbage Warrior by Oliver Hodge, The Great Warming by Michael Taylor, The Greening of Southie by Ian Cheney, Escape from Suburbia by Gregory Greene, Off the Grid: Life on the Mesa by Jeremy Stulberg and Randy Stulberg, Strait Through the Ice by Yves Billy and Weather Report directed by Brenda Longfellow. Previously announced, The Unforeseen by Laura Dunn and Manufactured Landscapes will also make their television debuts during this month.

"The collective power of this group of films is undeniable," says Laura Michalchyshyn, Executive Vice President and GM Programming and Creative Affairs. "Despite the variety of subjects, characters, and styles, these films all share an urgency to share a story and a message with audiences, Sundance Channel is proud to feature them as part of The Green."

The deals were negotiated for Sundance Channel by Senior Vice President Acquisitions, Program Planning and Scheduling, Christian Vesper and Director, Acquisitions and Programming Ian Bricke

All in This Tea - Directed by Les Blank and Gina Leibrecht. This documentary immerses viewers in the rich world of Chinese tea while profiling the affable Californian importer who has made it his mission to introduce Americans to the brew's many pleasures. David Lee Hoffman founded Silk Road Teas tea after spending much of 1970s living among the nomadic tribes and Buddhist monks of Asia, for whom tea is a way of life.

Burning the Future: Coal in America - Directed by David Novack. This timely documentary takes us to the Appalachian Mountains of southern West Virginia to explore the political, economic and environmental issues surrounding coal, the source of more than half of U.S. electricity. At particular issue is the controversial above-ground mining technique known as mountaintop removal, which is defended as safe by the coal industry but opposed by a growing number of residents who believe it is a threat their land, their health and their unique way of life.

Contested Streets: Breaking New York City Gridlock - Directed by Stefan Schaefer. Historians, urban planners and archival footage combine to tell the story of New York City’s chronic gridlock and its concurrent quest for safer, less crowded streets. Beginning its tale at the turn of the 20th Century, the film traces the dangers and developments, perspectives and personalities that have shaped the flow and flaws of Manhattan street traffic to the present day.

Crude Impact - Directed by James Jandak Wood. This award-winning film details the many ways that oil has shaped the world by enabling humankind to dominate virtually every other species living on the planet. The film spans over 150 years as it considers the past, present and future of human oil usage, exploring topics including the science of Peak Oil; the human and environmental toll exacted by oil dependency; and the role of oil in geopolitics.

Escape from Suburbia - Directed by Gregory Greene. Will the American lifestyle - epitomized by the single family home and two-car garage – remain tenable as we advance into an age of declining oil supplies and rising prices? Escape from Suburbia considers the possibilities as it examines the burgeoning grass-roots movement to "power down" from energy-intensive habits.

Garbage Warrior (Original Production) – Directed by Oliver Hodge. This inspiring film profiles maverick architect Michael Reynolds, who has spent thirty years developing radically original models of self-sustaining housing near Taos, New Mexico. Reynolds has channeled his unstoppable imagination into strange yet functional dwellings that are made from garbage like old tires and beer cans.

The Great Warming – Directed by Michael Taylor. Narrated by Alanis Morissette and Keanu Reeves, "The Great Warming" explores how a changing climate is affecting the lives of people around the world. The film taps into the growing groundswell of public interest in climate change to present both an emotional and an accurate picture of the future of our planet. It includes comments from scientists, opinion-makers, and the emerging voice of the American Evangelical community about America's lack of leadership in one of the most critical environmental issue of the 21st century.

The Greening of Southie - Directed by Ian Cheney. This documentary goes behind the scenes and onto the scaffolds to follow the construction of Boston's first green residential building, a luxury condominium complex called the Macallan. Located in the city's storied working-class neighborhood, South Boston (aka "Southie"), the Macallan was conceived with the ambitious goal of securing a Gold LEED rating from the U.S. Green Building Council.

Off the Grid: Life on the Mesa – Directed by Jeremy Stulberg and Randy Stulberg. Some 400 people make their home on a rugged 15-square mile stretch of New Mexico desert known as the Mesa. Devoid of basic amenities like running water, paved roads and power lines, the Mesa isn’t an easy place to live, but it does offer solitude and autonomy to those who need it, as well as an alternative to contemporary consumer society.

Strait Through the Ice - Directed by Yves Billy. The melting of Arctic polar ice has led to an unexpected and radical geographic development: the emergence of a new maritime route between the Atlantic and the Pacific that is far shorter than the Panama or Suez Canals. Industrialized nations are keen to exploit the commercial possibilities of the strait, which courses through one of the most vulnerable and biologically unique places on earth.

Weather Report - Directed by Brenda Longfellow. There are places in the world where climate change is not an abstract notion, but a factor in the daily weather report. Weather Report journeys to the frontlines of climate change in the U.S., Canada, Kenya, India and China, visiting ordinary people whose lives and livelihoods are being dramatically impacted by persistent droughts, high winter temperatures, dust storms, sudden monsoons and other extreme weather events.

Manufactured Landscapes - Directed by Jennifer Baichwal. Photographers like Ansel Adams took as their subject the majesty of the natural world; contemporary photographer Edward Burtynsky also portrays the landscape that surrounds us – only his subjects are the mines, quarries and other man-made vistas that also constitute our "natural" world. Manufactured Landscapes chronicles and expands on Burtynsky's latest project: documenting China’s epic transformation into an urbanized society.

The Unforeseen – Directed by Laura Dunn. Combining lyrical cinematography, illuminating archival footage and even-handed reportage, this documentary maps the transformation of Austin, Texas from freewheeling small town to ever-growing metropolis. The Unforeseen illuminates the environmental and economic arguments surrounding land development; at the same time, it tells a fascinating story that encompasses the savings and loan scandals of the late 1980s, 1980s, the advent of the property rights movement and the political rise of George W. Bush.

THE GREEN is presented by Lexus and Citi Smith Barney.

With the launch of THE GREEN on April 17th, 2007 Sundance Channel became the first television network in the United States to establish a major regularly-scheduled programming destination dedicated entirely to the environment. THE GREEN presents original series and documentary premieres about the earth's ecology and concepts of "green" living that balance human needs with responsible care for the planet. The destination airs every Tuesday on Sundance Channel and is designed to be both edifying and entertaining, with an emphasis on information, practical advice and community building. Presented by Robert Redford, the destination is hosted by award-winning journalist Simran Sethi and community advocate and MacArthur Fellow Majora Carter, two dynamic leaders who have distinguished themselves with revolutionary ideas in such areas as civic planning and global business practices.

Under the creative direction of Robert Redford, Sundance Channel is the television destination for independent-minded viewers seeking something different. Bold, uncompromising and irreverent, Sundance Channel offers audiences a diverse and engaging selection of films, documentaries, shorts and original programs, all unedited and commercial free. Launched in 1996, Sundance Channel is a venture of NBC Universal, CBS and Robert Redford. Sundance Channel operates independently of the non-profit Sundance Institute and the Sundance Film Festival, but shares the overall Sundance mission of encouraging artistic freedom of expression. Sundance Channel's website address is www.sundancechannel.com.

For more information, please contact:

Sarah Eaton Sundance Channel
Phone: 212.708.804
Katie Lanegran Sundance Channel
Phone: 212.708.8044


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