Production Companies PR
Production Companies PR
Gypsies, Come Dancing!
Forget Got to Dance and Strictly Come Dancing, telly bosses are currently battling it out for the rights to bring an even more sequined dance event to our screens, the World Gypsy Dance Championships! The first and only worldwide contest for dancers from the Gypsy, Roma, Traveller community is to be hosted in London later this year. Organisers have already begun the worldwide search for the next Gypsy dance star, and are expecting stiff competition for the coveted gold medal.
Running the contest is Irish Romany Gypsy, Róisín Mullins, a former Irish Dance World Medallist and dancer with Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance. Róisín has judged thousands of Gypsy acts, including performing horses, in TV talent shows such as Travellers Got Talent and Gypsy and Traveller Face of the Year, alongside singers David Essex and Jentina. But now Róisín will be encouraging Travellers to swap their twenty stone wedding dresses for flamenco skirts, hitch up their wagons, and hit auditions at Traveller fairs, sites and events throughout the UK.
Róisín Mullins said: “The World Gypsy Dance Championships is a fantastic opportunity for dancers to take centre stage. We have already seen singers from the community make it on TV talent shows, but for me, the dancers represent our culture best”.
Joining Róisín to organise the contest will be her Gypsy partner, Irish dance show producer, Jack Jacobs. The pair are keen to show off a more positive side to the community, at what they hope will be the biggest gathering of gypsy dancers in history. Event organiser Jack is particularly excited about revealing the community’s hidden talent.
Jack Jacobs said: “The contest is a real first for the Gypsy and Traveller community. There are some incredibly talented dancers out there, and traditional dance styles that we, in the UK, have never seen before. So the chance to pull Gypsy dancers together from all over the world to compete against one another will be an amazing site”.
Celebrities rumoured to be taking a seat on the judging panel alongside Róisín include world famous Gypsy dancers, and stars from the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing.
As well as heavily diamented costumes and fake tan, the contest promises to deliver an all out battle of traditional versus modern, with Flamenco and Irish dancing facing off against hip hop and street dance.
Entrants can compete in any dance style, but must be from a Gypsy, Roma or Traveller background.
To enter visit www.worldgypsydancechampionships.com
For all media enquiries please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 07966 177025 or Jack Jacobs at email@example.com
Connor PR entertainment PR Specialist, Connor PR working with Gypsies, Come Dancing
Connor PR working wtih Studio 9 Films for the UK Premiere of Seeds of Hope to be screened at the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict
UK PREMIERE of Seeds of Hope
to be screened at the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict
- Award-winning filmmaker Fiona Lloyd-Davies takes us to ‘the most dangerous place in the world for women’ – the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo – in her film Seeds of Hope at the Summit Fringe on 10 June 2014.
- Seeds of Hope tells the extraordinary story of Masika and her journey to help women and children who have experienced sexual violence in conflict in eastern Congo.
- The Foreign Secretary Rt Hon William Hague and Angelina Jolie, UNHCR Special Envoy, will co-chair the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict on 10–13 June 2014 at ExCel London.
- The summit calls for an end to sexual violence in conflict – an act that destroys lives and damages communities.
- It will be the largest gathering ever brought together on this subject.
Starting 9.00am on 10 June 2014, there will be three days of global action aimed at creating awareness of sexual violence in conflict. One voice that will be added to the call for an end to sexual violence in conflict is Masika Katsuva’s.
The 84 hours of action is the largest meeting ever held on ending sexual violence in conflict. The Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict (ESVC), co-chaired by Foreign Secretary William Hague and Angelina Jolie , Special Envoy for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, will bring together government delegations, NGOs, experts and sexual and gender-based violence survivors from over 145 countries.
Studio 9 Films will show Seeds of Hope at the Summit Fringe on 10 June 2014. Seeds of Hope tells the extraordinary story of Masika and her journey to help women and children who have experienced sexual violence in conflict in eastern Congo. Masika, herself a multiple rape survivor, has helped thousands of women and children in eastern Congo who have suffered physical and sexual violence.
Every hour, 48 women are raped in Congo (DR). Eastern Congo was described as the ‘rape capital of the world’ by Margot Wolstrom, the United Nations Special Representative for Sexual Violence in Conflict in 2011. A new generation of children, born from rape in the DRC are growing up in a country where violence is a regular occurrence. It’s become a place where there is widespread acceptance of rape and brutality towards women. “Whenever there is fighting, militia use rape as a weapon of war”, Masika says.
Filmmaker Fiona Lloyd-Davies also interviews perpetrators of rape, among them soldiers from the Congolese army. Groundbreaking interviews are captured with the soldiers whose duty it is to protect the women they are brutally violating. These men give extraordinarily open testimony as to why they rape and their attitudes towards their horrific acts. As one soldier candidly reveals, “Raping gives us a lot of pleasure. When we rape we feel free.” This calls into question the crucial issue of justice and as one of the women, Nzgira, poignantly says, “If justice is done maybe this will stop the soldiers. It’s just they aren’t afraid of anything.”
The aim of the summit is to facilitate dialogue between governments, NGOs, experts and survivors that outline solutions to sexual violence in conflict and develop international co-ordination. For Masika, to stop sexual violence means the conflict must be brought to an end. “If the fighting were to end in the hills, it would mean an end to rape which we want to stop forever.”
Filmed over three years and capturing the ebb and flow of the seasons, we see how the process of farming this small patch of land empowers and transforms these women.The field is their hope, their therapy and their source of food and income. The rape victims and hundreds of children born from rape sow lines of seed every quarter (three months). Together they nurture them, pray for good weather and eventually harvest them to eat, sell and plant again to generate more crops.
The field becomes a central feature, almost a character, both in its symbolic value and as a signifier of time passing. The process of renewal and rebirth that nature provides offers up hope anda restored focus to the women. As one of the women, Mongera, remarks, “When we meet as a group, for a moment, it helps us forget what we’ve been through.”The women build new friendships, helping them come to terms with their pasts and look to make plans for the future.
The extraordinary natural beauty of Congo is juxtaposed against the horrific experiences that these women have endured and the threat of sexual violence that remains, lurking in such landscapes.
Since the filming of Seeds of Hope, 39 soldiers have stood trial for the crimes that took place in Minova in November 2012. Only two were convicted of rape as a war crime. Fiona Lloyd-Davies has produced a documentary on both the aftermath of the rapes in 2012 and the trial that will be broadcast on BBC Newsnight on Monday 9 June 2014.
While the seeds show that there is a way forward and a glimmer of hope, its clear that there’s little justice for these women at present. Masika believes that until there is peace in DRC there will be rape: “Whenever there is fighting there is rape.” Despite the recent Minova trial, prosecutions are rare and impunity still prevails. The battle against an endemic rape culture is far from over.
Senator Mobina Jaffer said: “Seeds of Hope conveys unimaginable pain, but also the hope and strength of the women in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It further portrays a British filmmaker, Fiona, reaching out to portray the pain of her Congolese sister, Masika.”
This film takes us deep into the lives of women and children who are rarely given a voice and rarely seen on screen. Seeds of Hope shows how one woman’s enterprise helps thousands of Congo’s rape survivors find healing and independence through farming. As one of the women explains, “we are always very happy when we have our seeds, because seeds are our hope”.
Notes to Editors:
To attend the screening of Seeds of Hope and reception please contact Siobhan at Connor PR. There will be a Q&A after the screening, moderated by Anneke Van Woudenberg, Human Rights Watch, Senior Researcher Africa Division.
Fiona Lloyd-Davies is available for interview.
Please contact Siobhan at Connor PR firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 07966 177025
What: Screening of Seeds of Hope at the Summit Fringe followed by a Q&A.
When: 10 June 2014 at 6.30pm.
Where: ExCel Centre, Docklands, London.
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/seedsofhopestudio9films?fref=ts
Twitter handle:@Studio9films #seedsofhope
Images are available on request.
To watch the film please click on the following link
A short preview can be viewed on: http://www.studio9films.co.uk/films_new.html
Seeds of Hope documents the extraordinary story of Masika Katsuva, who, with just a small patch of land, commitment and passion, has helped thousands of women and children who have suffered physical and sexual violence come to terms with the nightmares they have lived through.
Every hour, 48 women are raped in Congo. Eastern Congo has been called the ‘rape capital of the world’ by the UN Special Representative for Sexual Violence in Conflict. This is the most dangerous place in the world for women.
The women and children farm the land together, providing them with an income, a sense of stability and a form of therapy. Through donations, Masika and her team have expanded the centre, but the battle against an endemic rape culture is far from over. Since launching the project, Masika has been raped three more times.
The film also reveals the motivations of some of the perpetrators. They are not just foreign militia groups, but are members of the Congolese National Army. These are the soldiers whose duty it is to protect the women they are now brutally violating.
Filmed over three years, Seeds of Hope takes us deep into the lives of women and children rarely seen, offering up a vision of transformation through one woman’s mission to bring healing to women traumatised by rape and in turn, stability to their children born as a result.
Links relating to Seeds of Hope
St Louis International Film Festival November 2014
Africa World Documentary Film Festival
Selected for International Festival “A Film for Peace”
Studio 9 Films
Studio 9 Films Ltd is a company led by award-winning producer/director/self shooter and photojournalist Fiona Lloyd-Davies. They have produced films for BBC, Al Jazeera, Human Rights Watch and REDRESS. Studio 9 Films’ production, “Justice in Action”, chronicling six young woman’s journey to Bosnia 20 years after the war won the Best Documentary International at the People’s Film Festival in 2013. The film “Seeds of Hope”, which tells the extraordinary story of Masika Katsuva, a multiple rape survivor who has helped thousands of women and children in war-torn eastern Congo premiered at the Pulitzer Center Film Festival “Global Crises, Human Stories” and was officially selected for the St Louis International Film Festival 2013.
Biography of Fiona Lloyd-Davies
Award winning filmmaker and photojournalist, Fiona Lloyd-Davies is one of the UK’s most experienced foreign documentary and current affairs journalists. She’s been making films and taking pictures about human rights issues in areas of conflict since 1992, working in Bosnia, Iraq, Pakistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and many other locations. Her film about Honour Killing in Pakistan, License to Kill for BBC2, brought a change in the law in Pakistan and was awarded a Royal Television Society award for Best International Journalism. She has also won a Royal Television Society award for Innovation for her work with Salam Pax on the Baghdad Blogger.
Justice in Action, Fiona’s film chronicling the journey of six young women exploring the path to peace and reconciliation in Bosnia won the Best Documentary International at the People’s Film Festival. Her work combines journalism with a strong visual style that she learnt as a graduate of the Royal College of Art. She is also a widely published and exhibited photojournalist in UK broadsheets and magazines such as the Guardian, The Observer magazine and the Herald. She films and edits much of her work herself, using the latest technology.
Fiona’s most recent work centres on sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo. She has gained unprecedented access to the soldiers implicated in the rapes in Minova on November 20, 2012. Ordered to Rape investigates the mass rapes and subsequent trial and will be shown on BBC Newsnight on June 9, 2014. Her film Seeds of Hope tells the extraordinary story of Masika Katsuva, a multiple rape survivor, who has helped over thousands of women and children will be shown at the Summit Fringe of the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict on June 10, 2014.
Fiona’s other Congo work
“Congo and the General” TX February 2014 Al Jazeera English
The first ever aggressive, intervention brigade of 3,000 men has been deployed to one of the world’s most complicated and volatile regions, Eastern Congo. It’s being led by a new force Commander, the Brazilian General, Carlos Alberto Dos Santos Cruz. He has one of the most difficult and dangerous jobs in the world. To prove that the UN can finally fulfill it’s mandate to protect civilians and win against rebel forces and militia men who, until now, have out manoeuvred the largest and most expensive peacekeeping operation in the world.
“Congo’s Tin Idea” TX May 2013 Al Jazeera English
Control of Eastern Congo’s minerals has been a key driver in the savage fighting that’s killed over five million people. A new project may have the answer – to produce conflict free tin from a mine.
Connor PR working with Studio 9 Films, Connor PR working with Film Maker Fiona Lloyd-Davies, Connor PR and the premiere of Seeds of Hope, Connor PR working on the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict with Angelina Jolie and William Hague
Connor PR working with Middlechild Productions on a TV exclusive – Hercules The Human Bear, Channel Five
HERCULES THE HUMAN BEAR
“Human beings differ to animals only in degree and not in kind”
Charles Darwin, Descent of Man
TX: Channel 5, Thursday April 3rd, 9pm, 2014
Produced by Middlechild Productions
Hercules the Human Bear tells the amazing story of Andy and Maggie Robin and their relationship with a grizzly bear that became the most famous animal in the world. A bear that was bought as a cub from a Scottish zoo for £50 in 1976 and lived in Andy and Maggie’s home for 25 years. Hercules grew to be a superstar on the celebrity circuit and through the love and devotion of Andy and Maggie, in their eyes, became human.
In 1976 Andy and Maggie bought a grizzly bear cub from a local zoo, initially to fulfil Andy’s need for a unique wrestling partner. Little did they know at the time that Hercules, the tiny bear cub, would become the worlds’ most famous bear and make them a fortune in the process.
Hercules the Human Bear focuses on the unique relationship that Andy, Maggie and Hercules forged during their 25 years together. With interviews from Andy and Maggie as well as all the key contributors to their story, the documentary reveals the unique story of how Andy and Maggie managed to live under the same roof as the world’s most dangerous land mammal.
Extraordinary archive film footage reveals Hercules adapting to his new surroundings at the Sheriffmuir Inn and learning to wrestle with Andy, without killing him in the process, to the heart stopping moment he went missing in the Outer Hebrides where the hunt for Hercules turned into National and International news. We see how Hercules begins his road to stardom in adverts for products such as Kleenex and Hofmeister Beer, to how his fame got greater and greater to star in films such as James Bond’s Octopussy, making the front cover of Time magazine and even how he caddied for Bob Hope at a golf tournament. Concluding with a trip to the Outer Hebrides where a life-sized statue of Hercules is unveiled and hearing how Hercules touched the lives of many.
World Champion wrestler, Andy Robin, had performed a wrestling bout in Canada with a feared local wrestler – an 8ft black bear called Terrible Ted. The sheer power and strength of the animal shocked and amazed Andy and he began to admire Ted’s natural wrestling ability. The fight lasted only 20 minutes but Andy was hooked. He wanted a bear of his own no matter what the cost.
Combining the testimony of all the key participants, newly-discovered archival film and dramatic imagery, this is the picaresque story of one grizzly bear’s extraordinary journey through human life and the enduring impact he made on the characters he met along the way.
The anthropomorphism (attribution of human characteristics to anything other than a human being) of animals is centuries old and bears in particular have taken on a unique status in our hearts – from Winnie the Poo, Rupert, Yogi and Paddington Bear in children’s fiction to the use of real bears in television series such as Gentle Ben.
Hercules’ story was the ultimate nature versus nurture tale. With no formal animal training, Andy and Maggie Robin allowed a 9-foot 70-stone grizzly bear to share every inch of their lives, from the house they owned to the food they ate. If the experiment were successful they would go on the most amazing fairy tale of a journey, but if it went wrong, like so many times before and since, they would most probably end up dead, mauled to death by the most deadly land carnivore in the world.
The story of wild nature bending to human kindness and understanding, is a genre whose popularity reflects a yearning for an idealised relationship with nature – one that, even having outgrown the fantasies of childhood, we find it hard to shake off.
Hercules The Human Bear is the embodiment of this call of nature. It’s a unique success story where many have failed; it could well be the ultimate example of nurture overcoming nature.
David Sumnall, Director said: “This is a once in a lifetime story. Sharing your life with a Grizzly Bear like Andy and Maggie did will never be done again. They managed to form a completely unique bond with a very special bear. This was largely thanks to Hercules and Maggies’ incredible nature and the fact that Andy was as much a bear as Hercules was human! For anyone who loves their pets, and thinks they might have some ‘human’ in them – this is a must watch.”
For all media enquiries, please contact Siobhan at Connor PR. email@example.com Tel 07966 177025
Andy and Maggie Robin are available for interview.
Preview discs are available on request.
Notes to editors:
Middlechild Productions is a genuinely independent production company based in London. We specialise in ambitious, factual programmes produced with passion and to the highest standard.
Creative Director – David Sumnall
David set up Middlechild in 2008 with the help of a development deal from Channel 4’s factual and documentary departments. Prior to setting up Middlechild, David developed, directed and produced a variety of programmes for all the major broadcasters including Jonny’s Hotshot’s for BBC1; Engineering Giants for BBC2; Animal Addicts for Channel Four; Victoria Cross Heroes for Five and Football Years for Sky One.
David also recently co-produced the feature film Cleanskin starring Sean Bean for Warner Brothers.
Director of Production – Paul Goodliffe
Paul Goodliffe has over 20 years in Television Production management . He has been Director of Production for Sky Entertainment overseeing SKY’s production teams and outside contractors to manage their multi-million pound production outlay across a variety of formats. In addition, he has also held senior managerial positions at Virgin Media and Channel Five.
Connor PR and Hercules the Human Bear, Connor PR working with Middlechild Productions, Connor PR expert in TV publicity, Media and entertainment specialist Connor PR
Connor PR working with Middlechild and GroupM Entertainment production on a new programme for Channel 5 ‘ The Dog Rescuers’
The Dog Rescuers
Coming soon to Channel 5, “The Dog Rescuers” a Middlechild and GroupM Entertainment production that follows the canine rescue work of the RSPCA across England and Wales.
With over 1.3 million reports of cruelty and mistreatment of animals made to the RSPCA every year, the charity is under increasing pressure to safeguard our nation’s pets from the constant threat of abusive owners and unscrupulous breeders. This series follows those inspectors and officers that deal with ensuring man’s best friend is being properly treated. Using the latest forensic technologies and good old fashioned leg work, the series follows the RSPCA inspectors as they track down and rescue some of the 150,000 animals which are abused and mistreated in the UK every year, and witnesses the struggle to rehabilitate the victimised animals and to prosecute the offenders.
Channel 5 gained access to a selected group of the RSPCA’s 350 inspectors across the country for four months, and our cameras followed inspectors investigating crimes of abuse against dogs and puppies in rural areas and inner cities, as poor living conditions, malnutrition, illegal mass-breeding, organised fights are eradicated all in the aid of saving dogs’ lives.
Despite the sometimes horrific findings, the 10 x 30’ series has positivity at its heart as it will also follow some of the RSPCA’s success stories as they seek to rehabilitate and eventually rehouse some of the 12,000 dogs which the charity rehomes every year.
David Sumnall, Series Producer commented: “We are a nation of dog lovers but over 50% of RSPCA’s prosecutions last year were for cases involving abuse to dogs, so I think this is a really important series. We’ve been able to highlight the plight of these animals and show the incredible work that is being done to rescue and rehome them. It has been tough to witness the neglect at times but to be there as the dogs and puppies are saved and to see them with their new families has made it all worth it.”
Greg Barnett, Commissioning Editor, Entertainment, Daytime & Soaps said: “This series will have a tremendous impact on all those that watch. Some of the circumstances and conditions in which the RSPCA inspectors find dogs is unbelievably horrible. We’re trying to get as many dogs rehoused in loving homes as possible across the series run, putting the heart back into having a family pet and thereby giving four legged friends in need a second chance”
Alan Laxton, RSPCA Broadcast Executive:
The RSPCA rescues, rehabilitates and rehomes thousands of dogs a year across England and Wales. It’s great that The Dog Rescuers gives audiences the chance to see the dedication, hard work and passion all RSPCA staff have for making the lives of these dogs better. Some of the stories can be shocking, but The Dog Rescuers also shows the heart warming, happy endings that the RSPCA strives to give to every dog that comes into our care.