SUNDANCE CHANNEL’S THE GREEN™ PRESENTED BY ROBERT REDFORD
LAUNCHES APRIL 17, 2007
With 13-Part Original Series “Big Ideas for a Small Planet”™ And Weekly Documentary Premiere
New York, January 12, 2007 - Sundance Channel’s THE GREEN, a new weekly primetime destination focusing on environmental topics, launched April 17, 2007 at 9pm. With THE GREEN, Sundance Channel becomes the first television network in the United States to establish a major, regularly-scheduled programming destination dedicated entirely to the environment.
Consisting of three hours of programming, THE GREEN will present 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 GREEN reflects the current tipping point in public awareness about ecological issues and the trend towards environmentally sustainable approaches to modern living. The destination 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.
Leading off each edition of THE GREEN at 9:00pm is the original program “Big Ideas for a Small Planet,” a documentary series presenting the forward-thinking designers, products and processes that are on the leading edge of a new green world. Each episode revolves around a different green theme as it spotlights a specific innovator or innovation that has the potential to transform our everyday lives. The individuals profiled range from scientists to fashion and product designers, entrepreneurs to first-time inventors. The series also features a cast of recurring expert commentators, including activists, scientists, writers, and environmental personalities who provide the big-picture context to each week’s stories. “Big Ideas for a Small Planet” is produced by Scout Productions (“Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” NBC/Bravo and The Fog of War).
Each episode of “Big Ideas for a Small Planet” is paired with a thematically complimentary documentary premiere at 9:30pm e/p. For example, the debut episode of “Big Ideas for a Small Planet” explores alternative fuel sources, and is followed by the television premiere of Crude Awakening – The Oil Crash, a look at the past, present and future of the world’s oil reserves.
The coming schedule for THE GREEN is as follows:
Tuesday, June 5th
Tuesday, June 12th
“Big Ideas for a Small Planet: Create”: World-renowned photographer Subhankar Banerjee documents the biodiversity and indigenous cultures of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to demonstrate the effects of global warming in Alaska and the potentially devastating effects of drilling for oil; artist Alyce Santoro weaves together audiotape from the “technotrash” that is crowding our landfills, and creates a durable new material that has a “voice” of its own which used to manufacture clothing, upholstery and boating sails; and prolific green architect David Hertz takes on his most ambitious project to date: creating a house made from a retired 747 airplane in a remarkable show of sustainable reuse and "upcycling."
Rivers and Tides: Andy Goldsworthy Working with Time (U.S. Television Premiere) – Directed by Thomas Reidelsheimer. An award-winning study of Scottish artist Andy Goldsworthy, who works outdoors to create intricate sculptures made from natural elements like leaves, branches, stones and ice. German filmmaker Reidelsheimer joins Goldsworthy in various locales, including a freezing beach in Nova Scotia, where he builds layers of stone into an elegant cone that appears and disappears with the tide; and at his home base in rural Scotland, where his artwork is integrated with the fields, forests and rivers. Best Documentary Film: 2003 German Film Awards, 2002 San Francisco Film Critics Circle Award, 2003 San Diego Film Critics Society.
Tuesday, June 19th
“Big Ideas for a Small Planet: Kids” Eleven-year old activist Evan Green hosts a kick-off party to recruit new members for his Red Dragon Conservation Team, a group of kids and adults dedicated to saving the rainforest and fostering biodiversity; a group of students from the educational initiative “Plastics are Forever” collects used containers from a Los Angeles waterway and creates rafts from the trash to float down the creek; and toy-maker Barbera Aimes, founder of ImagiPLAY, creates non-toxic toys made from renewable rubberwood and recycled cardboard.
The Refugees of the Blue Planet (U.S. Television Premiere) – Directors Héléne Choquette and Jean-Phillipe Duval present an eye-opening look at the expanding ranks of environmental refugees, people who can no longer safely inhabit their homes because of natural disasters and/or industrial exploitation. The film puts human faces to a broad-based trend, introducing families in both the Third World and the First: from the Maldives, an island republic that is disappearing into the ocean; to Brazil, where vast eucalyptus-tree paper plantations have altered native ecology; to Alberta, Canada, where farmers face grave health risks and death from nearby toxic gas wells.
Tuesday, June 26th
“Big Ideas for a Small Planet: Paper or Plastic” (U.S. Television Premiere) - The United States Post Office teams up with William McDonough to develop a “cradle to cradle” policy that will reduce the USPS’s environmental impact; Frederic Scheer of Cereplast creates biodegradable containers made from corn and potato starch; and the designers at Ford present a tour of the recyclable Model U, a concept car that embodies the “cradle to cradle” principle with its hydrogen fuel cell supercharged engine featuring high fuel efficiency and recyclable or biodegradable parts.
Dead in the Water (U.S. Television Premiere) – Directed by Neil Docherty. It sounds like an episode from a crime thriller: an executive at a powerful, privately-owned French water company sends a pair of thugs -- armed with brass knuckles, a sawed-off shotgun and other tools of the trade – to visit a retired engineer who has been advising local municipalities in their contract negotiations. This is but one of the stories told in this riveting documentary, which investigates efforts by companies to profit from that most basic and necessary resource, water. With water in finite supply and one person in four lacking access to a clean source, Dead in the Water looks at the results of efforts to privatize the public water supply in locations ranging from Argentina and South Africa to Bolivia and California.
Tuesday, July 3rd
“Big Ideas for a Small Planet: Sports” Bicyclist Craig Calfee’s unusual bike design uses a highly sustainable resource – bamboo – to build a bicycle stronger than steel for champion cyclo-cross athlete Dorothy Wong; Jason Salfi, co-founder of Comet Skateboards, shows off his solar-powered facility where skateboards are made from sustainable materials and introduces us to the students who are producing artwork for these eco-friendly boards; and World Champion Freeskier Alison Gannett launches her “Global Cooling Tour” to highlight the impacts of global warming on the business of winter sports.
Plagues and Pleasures of the Salton Sea (U.S. Television Premiere) – Directed by Chris Metzler and Jeff Springer. The inimitable John Waters narrates this look at the bizarre environs of the Salton Sea, an accidental aquatic body that lies below sea level in the midst of the California desert. The film traces the twists and turns – some manmade, some natural -- that resulted in a saltwater sea, and eventually, a happy-go-lucky fishing resort. Interwoven with the history is a portrait of today’s decidedly emptier Salton communities, where the filmmakers interview longtime residents, recent transplants from Los Angeles and environmental experts.
Tuesday, July 10th
“Big Ideas for a Small Planet: Work” Mathias Wackernagel, co-creator of the Ecological Footprint, audits a Bay Area company in an effort to show it how to reduce it’s environmental impact; Kim Jordan and Jeff Lebesch, the founders of New Belgium Brewing Company, demonstrate their dedication to the environment and to their employees by creating an ideal working environment; and David Hertz, founder and president of Syndesis Inc., introduces the office of the future.
Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soapbox (U.S. Television Premiere) – Directed by Sara Lamm. A complex, strange and moving family story lies behind the exhortations and exclamations printed on every bottle of Dr. Bronner’s all-natural liquid soap, a staple of health-food stores since the 1960s. An eighth-generation master soapmaker and the black sheep of his Jewish-German clan, Emanuel Bronner emigrated to the U.S. in 1929. Lamm charts the often troubled path that led the eccentric émigré to express his utopian religious beliefs via a peppermint infused cleanser. The film also goes inside the progressive and very successful company run by Bronner’s heirs, including his oldest son, Ralph, a friendly soul who travels the country telling stories of his dad, hugging strangers and giving away soap.
THE GREEN will also present original interstitial series, with individual segments airing throughout the three-hour block. The interstitial series include:
“Big Ideas for a Small Planet: Pray” The Reverend Fletcher Harper inspires environmental concern in the religious world with GreenFaith, an interfaith coalition dedicated to greening places of worship and taking action against polluters; Judy Bonds, director of Coal River Mountain Watch, uses her faith to galvanize local communities in the battle against the mining companies who are destroying their homes; and avid diver Don Brawley gives life to the cremated remains of the dead by including their “cremains” into a man-made reef that supports coral re-growth in the Florida Keys.
Five Disasters Waiting to Happen (U.S. Television Premiere) – Directed by Stephen McQuillan, Sophie Todd. This British documentary explores how extreme weather conditions associated with global warming may soon threaten four major cities -- London, Paris, Shanghai and Mumbai – as well as the South Pacific island nation of Tuvalu. Drawing from expert predictions, the film addresses the different dangers facing each place, and examines how governments, environmental experts and ordinary people are responding to the looming challenge.
“Eco-Biz”™ - These news segments exploring financial aspects of environmental innovation in business will profile individuals who are visionary in strategy and have worked to establish more environmentally sustainable policies, innovative eco-friendly business tactics, and the subsequent impact to the bottom line. NBC News will produce these pieces for Sundance Channel.
The hosts of THE GREEN are Simran Sethi and Majora Carter. Sethi is an award-winning environmental journalist who anchors news for TreeHugger.com, the largest pure environmental site on the internet. She produced and anchored the news for MTV Asia, co-created the MTV India news division, and developed programming for the BBC through her independent production company SHE TV. Simran also wrote and hosted "Ethical Markets," the first national program reporting on corporate social responsibility and sustainable business practices that aired on PBS, and is a contributing author of the companion book Ethical Markets: Growing the Green Economy. Simran began her television career at MTV News in the United States, where she worked on award-winning productions including "Hate Rock," "Sex in the 90's" and "Help Not Wanted." She holds an MBA in sustainable management from the Presidio School of Management and a BA in Sociology and Women's Studies from Smith College.
“The Ecoists”™ - Some of today’s most active and recognizable environmental activists share ideas, information and enthusiasm about their cause of choice. Participating talent includes Robert Kennedy Jr., Daryl Hannah, Willie Nelson, Laird Hamilton, Gabby Reese, Tim Robbins, and Josh Lucas. “The Ecoists” is produced by Kontent Real.
“Global Focus: The New Environmentalists” – Fast-paced segments hosted by Robert Redford tell the stories of ordinary individuals who are defending the environment and making a difference. The first installments span six continents to tell the stories of six men and women, including: Silas Siakor of the Sustainable Development Institute in Liberia, who risked his life to expose the link between his country’s brutal civil war and the unchecked logging of Liberia’s forests; Olya Melen, a young environmental lawyer who took on the Ukrainian government to halt its potentially catastrophic plans for the Danube River; and Craig E. Williams, a Vietnam veteran and former cabinetmaker in Kentucky who led the fight against a Pentagon program to incinerate stockpiles of chemical weapons stored near residential communities around the country. The “Global Focus: The New Enviromentalists” segments were produced by John Antonelli.
Majora Carter is an award-winning community activist/organizer and life-long resident of the Hunts Point community in the South Bronx. She is the founder and executive director of Sustainable South Bronx, a community organization dedicated to the implementation of sustainable development projects for the South Bronx that are informed by the needs of community and values of environmental justice. She has conceived and raised funds for key community projects including the South Bronx Greenway, a bicycle/pedestrian greenway along the South Bronx River, and the Hunts Point Riverside Park, the first South Bronx waterfront park in 60 years. Carter has received numerous honors for her work, including the 2007 NYU Martin Luther King, Jr. Humanitarian Award, the 2006 Lewis Rudin Award for Public Service and the 2002 Union Square Award from the Fund for the City of New York. She was named a 2005 Fellow of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Majora is a graduate of PS 48, IS 74, the Bronx High School of Science, Wesleyan University (BA) and New York University (MFA).
Visit the Official Website for The Green
Topics | TV/Movies | Earth Day | The Environment
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, and original programs, all unedited and commercial free. Launched in 1996, Sundance Channel is a venture of NBC Universal, Showtime Networks Inc. 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.