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January 14, 2011 10:44 AM
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Oprah Winfrey Network Picks Up Chaz Bono Doc For TV Premiere

Chaz Bono with filmmakers Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato. Image courtesy of the Sundance Institute

A trio of documentaries have been added to the Oprah Winfrey Network’s Documentary Film Club. Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato’s “Becoming Chaz” and Christy Turlington Burns’s “No Woman, No Cry” will air on OWN this May, with Greg Jacobs and Jon Siskel’s “Louder Than a Bomb” having its television premiere later in the year.

“Becoming Chaz” focuses on Chaz Bono’s transition from a woman to a man. The only child of pop idols Sonny & Cher, Chastity Bono always struggled with issues of self-identification. Making its world premiere at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, the documentary recounts the emotional and physical journey of the sex reassignment surgery undergone by Chaz Bono. Christy Turlington Burns’ “No Woman, No Cry” tells the difficult stories of a group of expecting mothers in fourcountries. The director’s debut feature depicts the struggle these women face against becoming another maternal mortality statistic. Finally, “Louder Than a Bomb,” the new documentary from Siskel/Jacobs Productions, goes over the story of four high school poetry teams from Chicago in their preparation for the world’s largest youth slam poetry contest.

Below is the full release:

CHAZ BONO DOCUMENTARY TO HAVE WORLD TELEVISION PREMIERE ON OWN: OPRAH WINFREY NETWORK

Three Documentary Acquisitions Joining OWN Include “Becoming Chaz,” “No Woman, No Cry” and “Louder Than a Bomb”

Los Angeles, CA – OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, will air the world television premiere of the highly anticipated Chaz Bono documentary “Becoming Chaz,” it was announced today by Lisa Erspamer, chief creative officer, OWN.  In addition, Christy Turlington Burns’ “No Woman No Cry” and Siskel/Jacobs Productions’ “Louder Than a Bomb” will also join OWN’s Documentary Film Club, created to spotlight cinematic documentaries that inspire and entertain.  One of the first Sundance documentary acquisitions this year, “Becoming Chaz,” will premiere on OWN in May, along with “No Woman, No Cry.” “Louder Than a Bomb” will premiere later in the year.

“We are proud to present this heartfelt and honest portrayal of Chaz’s personal transformation to our viewers,” said Ms. Erspamer. “These courageous documentaries engage conversation and we are pleased to have them join OWN.”

Making its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival 2011, “Becoming Chaz” is the story of Chaz Bono's emotional and physical transition from a woman to a man, a journey of identity and self-discovery.  Growing up, Chastity was a shy person who never felt comfortable in the spotlight as the only child of Sonny & Cher.  She also felt uncomfortable as a woman and struggled with living inside a body that she knew wasn't truly hers. Deciding there was no choice but to undergo sex reassignment surgery, now legally a man, Chaz Bono documented his deeply personal transformation so that others can learn from his experience.  Directed and produced by veteran Sundance filmmakers Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato, who along with their production company World of Wonder, have been the creative forces behind a long history of powerful, groundbreaking and innovative documentaries and features. The film is being distributed internationally by Passion Distribution.

"Chaz is someone who has risked everything to become himself. But whatever he might have lost, he has gained far more,” said Mr. Barbato, director/producer, World of Wonder Productions. “It takes great courage and strength to go against other people's expectations of us in order to be true to ourselves," added Mr. Bailey, director/producer, World of Wonder Productions.

In her directorial debut, Christy Turlington Burns’ “No Woman, No Cry” is a gripping documentary that tells the personal stories of pregnant women and their caregivers in four countries as they try to avoid becoming maternal mortality statistics.  Turlington puts audiences in the shoes of a young Maasai mother who has gone into labor and must walk five miles to the nearest clinic, a pregnant woman in the slums of Dhaka, Bangladesh too ashamed to seek care, and a pregnant obstetrician helping women who have no choice but to undergo illegal and dangerous abortions in Guatemala, and a midwife in central Florida who serves pregnant women who are denied prenatal care because they are uninsured. This film is from Turly Pictures.

“‘No Woman, No Cry’ captures the fragility of motherhood and illuminates the vulnerabilities of women at this critical juncture in their lives,” said Ms. Turlington Burns. “We believe that OWN is the ideal network to air our film.”

“Louder Than a Bomb” tells the story of four Chicago high school poetry teams as they prepare for and compete in the world’s largest youth slam poetry contest.  The film captures the turbulent lives of these unforgettable teenagers; exploring how writing and performing shapes their world. This film is from Greg Jacobs and Jon Siskel, Siskel/Jacobs Productions.

"We are thrilled and honored that “Louder Than a Bomb” has been chosen for the OWN Documentary Club. OWN’s respect for stories that are at once entertaining and inspiring makes the Documentary Club the perfect home for our film," said Greg Jacobs and Jon Siskel, co-director/producers, “Louder Than a Bomb.”

These join the slate of previously announced original and acquired documentaries that comprise the OWN Documentary Film Club. Original documentaries include Extraordinary Moms, One Last Shot, Seven Suicides and Tent City, USA. Acquired documentaries include 65 Red Roses, Family Affair, Life 2.0, Most Valuable Players, One Lucky Elephant and Sons of Perdition.

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