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Samuel Goldwyn’s Toronto Pickup ‘The Island President’ Takes On Urgency After Upheaval In Maldives

By | Wednesday February 8, 2012 @ 5:27pm PST
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: The Island President, the film about Maldives president Mohamed Nasheed and his quest to lobby for reforms that will ease global warming, has taken on a new context for Samuel Goldwyn Films after Nasheed was forced yesterday to resign at gunpoint. The distributor acquired the film at the 2011 Toronto Film Festival, where it won the audience award. The message of the movie is all about the environment, because because the Maldives is one of the most low-lying countries in the world, and a rise of just three feet in sea level would submerge the 1200 islands surrounded by the Indian Ocean, making them uninhabitable. There is new urgency for Nasheed, who, after bringing democracy to the Maldives following 30 years of despotic rule and using his presidency as a platform for environmental reforms, is in danger. Since being forced to resign, word is that the president and his party engaged in a peaceful march and were beaten. Samuel Goldwyn Films president Meyer Gottlieb said that the film is still set for a March 28 release, but the distributor will become more aggressive about screening the film for press in hopes of focusing more attention on the little known Maldives and its ousted leader.

The film was directed by Jon Shenk (Lost Boys of Sudan), and produced by Bonni Cohen and Richard Berge. They followed President Nasheed as he waged his campaign, culminating in his impassioned plea made at … Read More »

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Samuel Goldwyn Films Acquires US Rights To Toronto Docu ‘The Island President’

By | Monday November 7, 2011 @ 8:22am PST
Mike Fleming

Samuel Goldwyn Films acquired US rights to The Island President, the documentary that won the Audience Award at the Toronto Film Festival. Goldwyn will release the film in February and is hopeful that it will make noise in the Oscar race. The Jon Shenk-directed film tells the story of President Mohamed Nasheed of the Maldives and his campaign to save his country. After bringing democracy to the Maldives after three decades of despotic rule, he wages a campaign against global warming. To him it is a life or death struggle: as one of the most low-lying countries in the world, a rise of three feet in sea level would put the 1200 Maldive islands underwater and render them uninhabitable. It brings him to the Copenhagen Climate Summit in 2009, where he makes his impassioned plea. Shenk directed Lost Boys of Sudan. The film’s produced by Richard Berge and Bonni Cohen and Jon Else is exec producer.

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