KeikoDoc Acquired by Discovery Channel UK

Documentary Keiko the Untold Story of the Star of Free Willy

Acquired by Discovery Channel for Europe, Latin America and the Middle East


December 15, 2014……Discovery Channel UK and Joshua Records, LLC have inked a deal on Theresa Demarest’s award-winning documentary film Keiko the Untold Story of the Star of Free Willy.   The pan-territory deal includes Latin America, the Middle East and Europe. Joshua Records was represented by Ilyssa Goodman.


The film documents the life and true story of Keiko, star of the Free Willy franchise, the only orca ever released from captivity into the wild. Among the experts in the film are: Mark Berman, of the Free Willy-Keiko Foundation; Naomi Rose, former Senior Marine Biologist for The Humane Society of the United States; Paul Spong of OrcaLab, and Keiko’s last real-life caretakers Colin Baird and biologist Thorbjorg (Tobba) Valdis Kristjansdottir.


According to filmmaker Demarest, “Our entire KeikoDoc crew is proud to be teaming with Discovery Channel UK for the release of our documentary. Audiences all over the world will now be able to experience Keiko’s incredible untold story. I was often told that ‘this film couldn’t be made and even if someone did it, no one would care.’ Thanks to the Free Willy-Keiko Foundation, I knew a part of Keiko’s story that the majority of the public did not know and that’s what kept me going.”


Keiko The Untold Story of the Star of Free Willy is continuing Keiko’s legacy for millions of people in a new generation,” says Berman. “This important documentary expands into why orcas must be free with their families, not subjects of human commerce and entertainment.” The Free Willy Keiko Foundation led the charge in getting Keiko released from captivity in 1994 and continues its efforts for other captive whales today, under the leadership of Dave Phillips and Mark Berman.


For more information about the filmmakers, please contact Deborah Gilels at [email protected] or by phone at 818-758-6509.


For more information about the film:


For more information about the Free Willy Keiko Foundation and how to help the cause please go to:


“Keiko the Untold Story of the Star of Free Willy gives dignity and insight into the journey of the world’s most famous orca. Keiko is an ambassador of freedom to all marine animals in captivity.”

– Jennie Lew Tugend, Producer, Free Willy

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Nowhere in recent history has a captive mammal garnered so much attention as Keiko, the orca star of the 1993 hit film, “Free Willy.” The film’s success, partnered with growing public interest in animals held in captivity, launched a children’s crusade that called for Keiko’s release into the wild. The result: a multimillion-dollar project that spanned four countries, weathered endless controversy and lasted nearly a decade. Through first-hand accounts by the marine mammal experts charged with his care, “Keiko The Untold Story” follows Keiko, his life, his legacy of hope, and the untold story of his extraordinary years in Iceland and Norway.