PRESS RELEASES

KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN LAUNCHED TO BRING KEIKO TO HOLLYWOOD
February 25, 2013 | press release
Filmmaker Theresa Demarest will launch a Kickstarter campaign this week to raise funds for a world premiere screening of the new HD version of her award-winning documentary “Keiko the Untold Story of the Star of Free Willy”. Set to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the hit film Free Willy, monies raised will be used to mount the celebratory event; so far plans include a screening of the original Warner Brothers film, the world premiere screening of the documentary and a star-studded “Blue Carpet” ceremony and reception to be attended by the film’s producers and to-be-announced cast members from both films.


THE TRUE STORY OF KEIKO AND THE CASE FOR MORGAN THE ORCA’S RELEASE
December 6, 2011 | press release

The recent Dutch court decision involving the captive orca named Morgan has caused much consternation and discussion among marine biologists, and the public at large. In its decision, the court ruled against a proposal to rehabilitate and release Morgan and ordered her transfer to Loro Parque, an amusement park in Spain, where she will be used for captive breeding.

The court’s decision was based, in part, on its erroneous belief that Morgan’s rehabilitation was not possible and would endanger her life. In support of her release, attorneys and expert witnesses discussed the rehabilitation and release of the orca Keiko, the star of the 1993 hit film “Free Willy”. Due to court time constraints, attorneys supporting Morgan’s release were unable to present the recent documentary film, Keiko The Untold Story as evidence in support of Morgan’s release.

This is unfortunate. Keiko’s rehabilitation and return to the wild is cited by the marine park industry and the media as a failed project and is often given as the reason captive orcas should not be released. Factual errors regarding Keiko’s return to the wild abound. Even after the court’s decision, news articles about Keiko continued to mislead the public.


DOCUMENTARY FILM “KEIKO THE UNTOLD STORY” WEIGHS IN ON MORGAN DEBATE
November 14, 2011 | press release
(PORTLAND, OR) In the wake of the current debate of what to do with Morgan, the orca currently in captivity in The Netherlands, the success or failure of Keiko’s (the orca star of the blockbuster film “Free Willy”) liberation has become a focal point of discussion. Morgan was captured in June 2010 after a ship spotted her swimming alone and starving in the Wadden Sea. She has been living since in a Dutch marine park known as Dolfinarium, where she has been nursed back to health. The fate of Morgan (whether she is to be released back to nature or transferred to another facility that hosts captive orcas) is currently in front of an Amsterdam court and a decision is expected by November 21, 2011.

All too often, Keiko’s release from captivity is cited by the media and the marine park captive industry as a failed project, and given as the reason other captive orcas should not be released. Factual errors regarding Keiko’s reintroduction into the wild abound, including media coverage to the effect that Keiko was attacked and killed by wild orcas, that Keiko was constantly supervised and fed and never was self-sufficient in the wild, and that Keiko lived less than a year after being freed. All of these statements are incorrect.

To show what actually happened, the documentary film Keiko The Untold Story was submitted to the Amsterdam court as evidence to be considered in Morgan’s case. Visually and through firsthand accounts of those in charge of Keiko’s care, the film documents how Keiko successfully thrived in his post-captivity period for more than five years, and became the second longest lived male captive orca in history.

To help clarify issues that surround the release of Morgan and other captive orcas, we invite the media to watch Keiko The Untold Story and engage in an open discussion of Keiko’s life before and after captivity. Contact filmmaker Theresa Demarest to arrange for a media screener via ftp or DVD. Contact expert cast members listed below to learn more.


FREE WILLY…….The first European public screening of the film about the REAL story behind the release of Free Willy (Keiko) from captivity, will take place at WhaleFest!
October 18, 2011 | press release>
Brighton, UK – October 18, 2011 – Nowhere in recent history has a captive mammal received so much attention as Keiko, the orca star of the 1993 hit film, ‘Free Willy’. The film’s success, together with a growing interest in captive animals, launched a children’s crusade that called for Keiko’s release into the wild.

The result is a multimillion dollar project that spanned four countries, weathered endless controversy that continues to this day. ‘Keiko The Untold Story’ follows Keiko, his life, his legacy of hope and the untold story of his extraordinary years in Iceland and Norway.

Four years in the making, this compelling documentary by filmmaker Theresa Demarest presents ‘never before seen’ footage of Keiko in the wild, with exclusive accounts of his day-to-day existence.


KEIKO THE UNTOLD STORY PLAYS AS PART OF THE 2011 IMADA CONFERENCE
September 18, 2011 | press release>
Miami, FL – September 18, 2011 – Keiko The Untold Story will play in Miami as a featured presentation of the International Marine Animal Defenders Association (IMADA) Conference. Screening twice on Wednesday, September 21st at O Cinema (90 NW 29th Street) at 6:00 pm and 8:00 pm, Keiko The Untold Story highlights the successful rescue, rehab, and release of KEIKO, the most famous captive orca whale in the world. Noted conservationist Pete Bethune will join Filmmaker and Director Theresa Demarest at the film’s showing and the two will conduct a Q&A after the screening.


PORTLAND PREMIER AT NW FILM CENTER’S TRACKING SERIES
September 8, 2011 | press release>
Portland, OR – September 8, 2011 – Keiko The Untold Story, will make its Portland, Oregon premier as part of the Northwest Film Center’s NW Tracking Series Thursday September 8 at 7:00 pm. The screening will be held at Whitsell Auditorium (1219 SW Park Avenue).


OREGON FILM FESTIVAL PREMIER AT DA VINCI FILM FESTIVAL
July 5, 2011 | press release>
Portland, OR – July 5, 2011 – Keiko The Untold Story, will make its Oregon film festival premier at the 13th da Vinci Film Festival in Corvallis. The da Vinci Film Festival features 33 shorts and documentaries from around the country at the Darkside Cinema and the historic Majestic Theatre in downtown Corvallis. Keiko The Untold Story will air at the festival on Wednesday, July 13 at 7:00 PM at the Darkside Cinema and on Saturday, July 16 at 1:00 PM at the Majestic Theatre.


QUEENS WORLD FILM FESTIVAL SETS DATE FOR MARCH 3-6 LAUNCH
January 31, 2011  |  press release>
Queens, NY – January 31, 2011 – Attention film lovers from Queens and beyond: Filmmakers and festival veterans Don Cato and Katha Cato, of Jackson Heights, will screen over 100 independent shorts and features at the Queens World Film Festival scheduled for March 3-6 2011. QWFF will fill 2 locations, 3 days and 5 screens with shorts, docs and features from Israel, Germany, Spain, Canada, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Australia, China and the US with several notable submissions from Queens too.


FILMMAKER WINS PRESTIGIOUS CINE GOLDEN EAGLE AWARD
December  7, 2010  | press release>
Los Angeles, California: Theresa Demarest has won the prestigious CINE Golden Eagle Award in the Independent Documentary category for KEIKO THE UNTOLD STORY, a film she wrote, produced and directed.  The CINE Golden Eagle Awards are given for excellence in professional, independent and student filmmaking and are recognized internationally as symbols of the highest standards in film and television production.


KEIKO THE UNTOLD STORY TO SCREEN AT THE 2010 ANCHORAGE FILM FESTIVAL
November 29, 2010  | press release>
Los Angeles, CA – … Keiko the Untold Story by Theresa Demarest will compete at the 10th annual Anchorage International Film Festival, Saturday, December 4th, 3:15pm and Sunday, December 12th, 12:30pm at the Bear Tooth Theater. Colin Baird, Director of Field Operations, the Free Willy-Keiko Project will lead a question and answer session following the December 4th showing.

The Anchorage International Film Festival, now in its 10th year, runs December 4 – 17, 2010.  Tickets for the screenings can be purchased online at http://www.anchoragefilmfestival.org or at the Bear Tooth Theatre Pub box office.


KEIKO THE UNTOLD STORY SHOWING AT STARZ FILM FESTIVAL IN DENVER
November 11, 2010 |  The Humane Society of the United States and The Free Willy Keiko Foundation representatives to answer questions about the film documenting the orca movie star’s return to the wild: press release>
The Humane Society of the United States and The Free Willy Keiko Foundation will have representatives at the Starz Film Festival in Denver this weekend, where the documentary film “Keiko The Untold Story” will have showings on Saturday and Sunday. Naomi Rose, marine mammal scientist for The HSUS who holds a doctorate in biology, and Mark Berman, associate director of The FWKF, are both featured in the film and will answer questions after the showings, along with film-maker Theresa Demarest.

“Hollywood couldn’t have written a better story than Keiko’s real-life adventures,” said Rose. “A lot of misinformation is out there on what happened to him and this movie makes it clear – his last years were very good ones.”

Media Contact: Pepper Ballard: 301-258-1417; pballard@humanesociety.org

Follow The HSUS on Twitter. See our work for animals on your iPhone by searching “HumaneTV” in the App Store.

The Humane Society of the United States is the nation’s largest animal protection organization – backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — On the web at humanesociety.org


KEIKO THE UNTOLD STORY TO SCREEN AT THE 2010 STARZ DENVER FILM FESTIVAL
Denver, Colorado – November 3  2010  |  press release>
Los Angeles – October 26, 2010…   Keiko the Untold Story by Theresa Demarest will compete at the Starz Denver Film Festival, Saturday, November 13 at 11am (as the festival’s “Saturday at the Movies” kids film) and November 14, at 6pm at the Denver Film Center/Colfax.   Demarest will be joined by cast members Mark Berman, Associate Director of the Free Willy-Keiko Foundation, and Dr. Naomi Rose, Senior Scientist, Humane Society International.  Demarest, Berman and Rose will lead a question and answer session following each showing of the film.

The Starz, Denver Film Festival, now in its 33rd year, runs November 3 – 14, 2010. Tickets for the screenings can be purchased online at http://www.denverfilm.org or at the box office.


KEIKO THE UNTOLD STORY TO MAKE LOS ANGELES DEBUT AT LA FEMME FILM FESTIVAL
Los Angeles – September 17, 2010 | press release>
Keiko the Untold Story by Theresa Demarest will screen at the 6th Annual LA Femme Film Festival, on Friday, October 15 at 12 pm.  Four years in the making, this compelling documentary presents never before seen footage of Keiko – the Free Willy star, the first and only captive Orca to released back into the wild.  The film provides insight into the unique culture of Orcas, and how the impact of being taken from his pod affected Keiko’s survival instincts. The film offers exclusive accounts of his day-to-day existence by Keiko’s last two caretakers, Colin Baird and Thorbjorg (Tobba) Valdis Kristjansdottir.

Tickets for the festival can be purchased online at www.lafemme.org or at the box office.