BOSTON, April 27, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Director Bill Haney's new documentary, Jim Allison: Breakthrough, praised as "the most cheering film of the year" and listed in The Washington Post's Top 10 Films of the Year, premieres tonight on PBS' Independent Lens at 10:00-11:30 PM ET (check local listings), PBS.org and the PBS Video App, and will be widely available across the U.S. with 1,349 airdates on 516 channels.
Praised for its heartfelt and accessible storytelling of one warm-hearted scientist's quest to find a cure for cancer, Jim Allison: Breakthrough presents a new kind of hero—Dr. Jim Allison, who waged a decades-long struggle to bring a novel cancer treatment to patients worldwide. The latest documentary from Uncommon Productions and acclaimed filmmaker, Bill Haney, paints a richly entertaining portrait of Allison, a native of south Texas and an avid blues harmonica player, whose creativity and boundless curiosity about the human immune system set him on a trail-blazing path to change the face of cancer treatment. Among other awards, the film received The Golden Owl from the Bergen International Film Festival, awarded to the best research and science documentary.
"We are facing global health challenges that know no boundaries or race or religion," said Director Bill Haney. "In the age of Covid-19, the urgent necessity of inventing novel life-saving drugs makes Jim's story especially powerful. The FDA, global universities and major pharmaceutical companies all helped Jim on this path and will also play critical roles in solving Covid-19, but Jim's advances were also built on a culture of truth-telling, fact-based work, selfless leadership and a commitment to purposes above the narrow, the greedy and the personal. Jim didn't care about how he looked, whether he made any money or what people thought of him. He cared about doing the right thing in the right way. Then, just like today, we were relying on gifted and passionate scientists and healthcare workers to contain and ultimately beat these challenges. Jim Allison and the unrelenting scientists like him are my heroes – and I'll bet they become yours."
"We're delighted to champion films that celebrate the perseverance of trailblazers and world changers like Jim Allison," said Independent Lens Executive Producer Lois Vossen. "Jim Allison: Breakthrough reminds us all to keep pushing and fighting if we believe in something, despite adversity. It is a vivid reminder that the path to greatness is seldom easy, but always worthwhile."
About Bill Haney (Director/Producer)
Bill is a filmmaker, inventor and entrepreneur. As a writer, director and producer of both narrative and documentary films, he has won The Gabriel Prize, a Silver Hugo, and IDA's Pare Lorentz Award. Additional awards include a Marine Conservation Award, Genesis Award and awards from Amnesty International and Earthwatch. Bill's portfolio as a filmmaker includes award-winning documentaries on socially important subjects such as coal mining (The Last Mountain, 2011) and worker exploitation (The Price of Sugar, 2007) and his work as writer/producer on Tim Disney's civil rights drama, American Violet.
About Uncommon Productions
Founded in 2000 by Tim Disney and Bill Haney, Uncommon Productions produces documentary and feature films that inspire, enlighten, and engage.
SOURCE Uncommon Productions; Dragonfly Therapeutics, Inc.