The Orchard and HBO Join Participant Media and The Silk Road Project Documentary on Music Legend Yo-Yo Ma

In advance of the film’s world premiere this week at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), rights to the new documentary film The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble have been acquired by The Orchard and HBO. The Orchard has acquired all worldwide rights of the Tremolo Production with the exception of U.S. domestic television rights, which HBO has acquired from Participant Media and The Silk Road Project. The Orchard is planning a theatrical release in the spring of 2016 with an HBO premiere to follow.

Yo-Yo Ma in the new documentary film The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble. The Silk Road Project is an internationally minded nonprofit founded by cellist Yo-Yo Ma in 1998, with a mission to promote innovation and learning through the arts.

Celebrated international Cellist Yo-Yo Ma in the new documentary film The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble. The Silk Road Project is an internationally minded nonprofit founded by cellist Yo-Yo Ma in 1998, with a mission to promote innovation and learning through the arts.

From Morgan Neville, the director of the Oscar®-winning documentary 20 Feet from Stardom and the critically-acclaimed Best of Enemies, the new film The Music of Strangers:  Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble tells the extraordinary story of an international musical collective created by legendary cellist Yo-Yo Ma. The film follows this group of diverse instrumentalists, vocalists, composers, arrangers, visual artists and storytellers as they explore the power of music to preserve tradition, shape cultural evolution and inspire hope.

The Silk Road Project is an internationally minded nonprofit founded by cellist Yo-Yo Ma in 1998, with a mission to promote innovation and learning through the arts. Taking inspiration from the historical Silk Road trading routes, the Project explores the intersections of cultures, art forms and disciplines. Under the leadership of Mr. Ma and CEO and Executive Director Laura Freid, the Silk Road Project unites the performing arts, education and business, encouraging collaboration among artists and musicians, educators and entrepreneurs. Hyosung is the Corporate Sponsor of The Silk Road Project.

The Music of Strangers represents an exciting opportunity for us to work closely with who we consider to be the triple-threat of Documentary powerhouses – Morgan, Participant and HBO,” said The Orchard’s SVP of Film and TV, Paul Davidson. “Morgan’s film is an inspiring and soulful experience we are proud to be a part of.

The Orchard is a pioneering film, TV, and music distribution company operating in more than 25 global markets. With a holistic approach to sales and marketing combined with industry-leading technology and operations, The Orchard amplifies reach and revenue across hundreds of digital, physical and mobile outlets around the world. The Orchard streamlines content owners’ business complexity with an intuitive client dashboard, comprehensive rights management and tailored client support. Founded in 1997, The Orchard empowers businesses and creators in the entertainment industry. The Orchard most recently released THE OVERNIGHT, CARTEL LAND, and DIGGING FOR FIRE in theaters. Upcoming releases include FINDERS KEEPERS, NASTY BABY, and LOUDER THAN BOMBS.

The Music of Strangers:Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble was directed by Neville and produced by Neville and Caitrin Rogers of Tremolo Productions, in association with Participant Media and with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Pershing Square Foundation and the Ford Foundation JustFilms. The film’s executive producers include Participant Media’s Jeff Skoll and Diane Weyermann, HBO’s Sheila Nevins, Motto PicturesJulie Goldman, as well as The Silk Road Project’s Laura Freid and co-executive producer Cristin Canterbury Bagnall.

What could be better than being involved in a film that erases differences in the name of music,” commented Nevins, President, HBO Documentary Films.

Music of Strangers is a film about the many ways music brings people together. We are thrilled that HBO and The Orchard are joining us to share this story with the world,” said Neville, Tremolo Productions.

Tremolo Productions is a documentary production company founded by Morgan Neville, specializing in cultural storytelling. Films include the 2014 Grammy and Academy Award-winning 20 Feet from Stardom, this year’s hit Best of Enemies, Troubadours, Beauty is Embarrassing and others. Tremolo has been nominated for three other Grammys for the music films: Respect Yourself: The Stax Records Story, Muddy Waters Can’t Be Satisfied and Johnny Cash’s America.  

Morgan Neville traveled across three continents to tell the amazing stories of Yo-Yo Ma and these talented ensemble members. We are grateful that his remarkable storytelling so powerfully portrays the ways music, art and culture can connect us to the unfamiliar and create positive change. We can’t wait to share this with audiences near and far,” said Laura Freid, CEO of Silkroad.

Participant is delighted to have such an incredible team on board to deliver Morgan Neville’s outstanding film to audiences in theaters and at home: The Orchard—who we are excited to collaborate with for the first time, and HBO—who we’ve successfully teamed with on 3 1/2 Minutes, 10 Bullets, as well as this year’s Oscar-winner CITIZENFOUR,” said Diane Weyermann, Participant’s EVP, Documentary Films.

Participant Media is a leading media company founded in 2004 and combines the power of a good story well told with opportunities for viewers to get involved. Participant’s more than 60 films include LincolnContagionThe HelpThe Best Exotic Marigold HotelFood, Inc. , Waiting For ‘Superman,’ CITIZENFOUR and An Inconvenient Truth. Participant has also launched more than a dozen original series, including “Please Like Me,” “Hit Record On TV with Joseph Gordon-Levitt,” and “Fortitude,” for its television network, Pivot. Participant’s digital hub, TakePart, serves millions of socially conscious consumers each month with daily articles, videos and opportunities to take action.

The deal was negotiated by Danielle DiGiacomo for The Orchard, Gabe Brakin for Participant Media and Josh Braun of Submarine, who also negotiated the deal with HBO.

Food, Fun And Five Talented Co-Hosts Are On The Menu In New Daytime Series The Kitchen

Co-Hosts Sunny Anderson, Katie Lee, Jeff Mauro, Marcela Valladolid and Geoffrey Zakarian Join Daytime Lineup on Saturday, January 4th at 11am ET/PT

Co-Hosts of Food Network's The Kitchen

Co-Hosts of Food Network’s The Kitchen

Food Network kicks off the New Year with five times the food and fun in the brand-new series The Kitchen, co-hosted by culinary favorites Sunny Anderson, Katie Lee, Jeff Mauro, Marcela Valladolid and Geoffrey Zakarian.   From food trend discussions and family meal tips to trivia games and twitter questions from viewers, the entertaining one-hour, thirteen-episode series will cover all things culinary.

Each episode takes place in the show’s casual, inviting kitchen-living room set, where the five co-hosts come together for lively discussions, recipe demos, guest interviews and, at the close of each episode, “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere,” a special cocktail segment with Chef Geoffrey Zakarian, also a master mixologist. Other recurring segments include: “Simple Suppers,” where hosts prepare an easy weeknight dinner dish along with tips and ideas; “Personal Faves” featuring co-hosts and their loved ones preparing a favorite family recipe; “Cookbook Club” welcomes cookbook author interviews and demos; and “Myth or Fact” where the co-hosts guess whether a common cooking belief is true or false. The Kitchen premieres Saturday, January 4th at 11am ET/PT.

Everyone knows all good parties end up in The Kitchen, where the conversation, laughs and food flow,” said Bob Tuschman, General Manager and Senior Vice President, Food Network.  “Sunny, Katie, Jeff, Marcela and Geoffrey each have a distinct food voice, engaging personality and sense of humor that together make The Kitchen a delicious way to spend an hour.” 

While growing up traveling the world as an Army brat, Sunny Anderson’s parents always encouraged her to indulge in the local cuisine. When she joined the Air Force as a radio broadcaster and journalist, she continued her trek through the world for news stories while indulging in culinary finds along the way. After leaving the Air Force as an award-winning broadcaster, she continued her travels as a radio DJ in many cities, culminating in her dream job in New York at a number-one rated radio station. There, as a hobby she began cooking for her friends in the entertainment business and turned her growing client list into a catering company. That led to a guest appearance on Food Network’s Emeril Live! in 2005 and shortly after, she left her radio career and closed her catering business to focus on chasing yet another dream – sharing her recipes with the Food Network audience.  Her first show Gotta Get It, a food gadget show, premiered in 2007, followed by Cooking for Real, How’d That Get On My Plate and Home Made in America with Sunny Anderson. Her cooking style combines classic comfort foods along with unique flavors inspired by her many travels. With an understanding of everyday life and the belief that real people deserve down-to-earth, delicious meals, Sunny offers real food for real life. In September 2013, she released her New York Times Best Selling debut cookbook, “Sunny’s Kitchen: Easy Food for Real Life” (Clarkson Potter).  Sunny lives in Sunset Park, Brooklyn with her four rescue cats: Cheddar Cheese, Truffle Tycoon, Milky Mouth and Sea Salt. Continue reading