Vancouver, B.C. – “I didn’t think we’d actually meet her!” said 65_RedRoses director Philip Lyall, “But there she was, the queen of television herself! We talked with her about our film, and about reaching American audiences.” Says director Nimisha Mukerji, “Oprah is passionate about the cause of organ donation, and having her support this film will make all the difference.”
The filmmaker duo was invited by OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network) to promote the upcoming launch of their documentary, 65_RedRoses, on Oprah’s new network this spring.
The film follows Canadian Eva Markvoort as she battles Cystic Fibrosis (CF), a fatal genetic disease. The pair couldn’t be more pleased about what this means for their cause and Eva’s — organ donation.
Says Lyall: “Eva would have been so excited by this broadcast and she would be even more thrilled to realize that this really will be the North American launch of the #4Eva movement for organ donation she dreamed of.”
They also met Rosie O’Donnell, who was very moved by Eva’s story as her nephew has CF. O’Donnell will be doing the intro and post-broadcast discussion about the film.
“We are committed to building a long-term sustainable movement” adds Mukerji who has been working closely with BC Transplant, Hello Cool World and Force Four Entertainment to build a social media campaign around the film.
Hello Cool World (known for innovative social media campaigns like the recent LACE Campaign for BC Cancer Agency, and the grassroots movement around The Corporation film) have now taken the step to become a bona fide distributor — but with a difference.
Says HCW Director of Distribution Colette Gunson, “We are pioneering a new distribution model and 65_RedRoses is our first film as distributors. We’re putting our profits back into building the #4Eva movement. Our style of ‘fair trade’ distribution will be to give a fair return to filmmakers but use our share of the profit to sustain the movement.”
It’s a model Hello Cool World hopes to repeat for other social cause films. They are also very delighted to be building a campaign with the help of Mukerji, Lyall and BC Transplant. In the works is a study guide for high schools to accompany the film, and a television PSA to launch in April during organ donation month. The goal is to make the campaign expandable to all of Canada and to use the OWN broadcast to kick start the movement in the US.
Says Allison Colina of BC Transplant: “We know how moving Eva’s story is, how loved she is, especially here in her home town of Vancouver, and we think there is no more effective way to spread our message of organ donation than to build an awareness movement around her legacy.”
Lyall and Mukerji agree – they are on a mission to realize Eva’s own vision for the film, and believe that Eva Markvoort is the “Terry Fox of organ donation.” Says Mukerji, “This campaign is just beginning. It’s going to be BIG! We want everyone out there to become an organ donor,” she says, “#4Eva.”
For more info, visit: www.65redroses.com
About the film
65_RedRoses is a Canadian documentary that takes an unflinching look into the life of Eva Markvoort as she battles a fatal genetic disease called Cystic Fibrosis (CF). At 23, Eva needs a double lung transplant to live. Unable to be around other patients with the same disease, Eva turns to the internet where she forms a strong connection with two American girls in different stages of CF. As the film follows Eva on her journey to getting new lungs, we witness how her online friendship with Meg and Kina withstands the tests of both time and distance.