CORAL GABLES, Fla., Feb. 6, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® gin and TV production company Leopard Films USA are teaming up to produce five short films and a 60-minute documentary to explore the convergence of emerging and established artistic talent. Ovation, the only network devoted to artists and every kind of artistic expression, is the broadcast media partner on the project and will provide the US Television Premiere of the documentary on February 25, 2013.
Five celebrity filmmakers, Freddy Rodriguez, Danny Simmons, Laz Alonso, Persia White and Melora Hardin, have been matched with five up-and-coming artists – all finalists in the prestigious BOMBAY SAPPHIRE Artisan Series, a nationwide art competition providing exposure for undiscovered talent – to collaborate on a short film. Each pair used the backdrop of their shared native city to unearth how imagination unlocks the hidden potential and beauty in the world around us. At the same time, the 60-minute documentary – titled Imagination Unleashed: An Artisan's Journey, and produced by New York-based Leopard Films USA and BOMBAY SAPPHIRE – followed them throughout the filming of the shorts and as the artists prepared for their debut during Art Basel Miami (December 6-9, 2012) – arguably one of the most celebrated art shows in America. Imagination Unleashed: An Artisan's Journey, is executive produced by Academy Award®-nominated producer Lauren Lazin, and Leopard Films USA's Michael Winter.
"This is the third consecutive year of the BOMBAY SAPPHIRE Artisan Series, a now very successful platform for artists to showcase their work on both a national and international scale," says BOMBAY SAPPHIRE Senior Brand Manager Richard McLeod. "We are confident the new film project, a natural extension of the existing program, will offer our finalists an even broader stage to make their mark as masters of their craft."
James Burstall, CEO of UK-based Argonon, the parent company of Leopard Films USA, said, "Leopard has a legacy of producing award-winning, arts-oriented programming across the spectrum of fine arts and emerging artists, through the changing landscape of popular culture. We are thrilled to partner with Bombay Sapphire on its Artisan Series, and to inspire TV viewers, via the Ovation network, with an in-depth look at the commitment and sacrifice inherent in the lives of serious artists."
An Artisan's Journey will deliver an intimate look into today's art world by going behind the scenes with each of the five selected artists as they expose their work to an international audience for the first time. From the moment they were announced as finalists in the BOMBAY SAPPHIRE Artisan Series, to the December 7th finale event during Art Basel Miami - where Houston's Jed Foronda and New York's Edgartista Gonzalez were selected as the competition's two winners - the film will explore how imagination fuels their work and how it manifests itself through art. While creating their short films, each artist is guided and mentored by a celebrity filmmaker with roots in each of their hometowns: New York (Danny Simmons), Chicago (Freddy Rodriguez), Miami (Persia White), Washington D.C. (Laz Alonso) and Houston (Melora Hardin).
Actress Melora Hardin shares, "It's a great honor to act as a 'mentor' to a fellow artist and to foster the voice of an up-and-coming talent. Collaborating with a creative mind from my hometown of Houston not only presents an exciting and deeply personal challenge, but also reminds us all to explore the inspiration right outside our front door."
Over the past decade, the BOMBAY SAPPHIRE gin brand has been honored to support aspiring artists of all types in unlocking their potential and sharing their imagination with the world. The BOMBAY SAPPHIRE brand, in relationship with Danny and Russell Simmons' Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation, is currently conducting its third consecutive year of the Artisan Series program, which has become a fixture during Art Basel Miami after nine years of the brand's dedicated participation. The BOMBAY SAPPHIRE brand has also championed the best in contemporary glass design through its global BOMBAY SAPPHIRE Designer Glass Competition.
More recently, the brand has fostered an evolving presence in film via Sundance, the prestigious Tribeca Film Festival, relationships with IFC and a collaborative narrative project with Academy Award® winner Geoffrey Fletcher called "The Imagination Series: Film." BOMBAY SAPPHIRE anticipates this foray into documentary filmmaking to be its most influential and exciting creative enterprise yet.
The final short film collaborations were screened during Art Basel Miami 2012 and will be screened once again at the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival (April 17-28, 2013). Tribeca Network is also scheduled to feature the 60-minute documentary in 2013, with additional global broadcast deals pending. For more information, please visit http://on.fb.me/mybombay. To view each of the celebrity filmmaker/artist short film collaborations, please follow the five links below.
Danny Simmons & Edgartista Gonzalez: http://bit.ly/SapphireArtisanNYC
Persia White & Jovan Villalba: http://bit.ly/SapphireArtisanMiami
Melora Hardin & Jed Foronda: http://bit.ly/SapphireArtisanHouston
Laz Alonso and Al Burts: http://bit.ly/SapphireArtisanDC
Freddy Rodriguez & Hebru Brantley: bit.ly/SapphireArtisanChicago
About BOMBAY SAPPHIRE
BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® is the fastest-growing premium gin in the world and world's number one premium gin by value. BOMBAY SAPPHIRE is created with a unique combination of ten hand-selected botanicals, sourced from around the globe. The brand's global essence and signature vapor infusion process impart a refined and perfectly balanced taste, versatile enough for both classic cocktails and exotic recipes. Infused with Imagination, BOMBAY SAPPHIRE is a symbol of the exploration of worldly and sophisticated lifestyles. For more information, please explore www.bombaysapphire.com.
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About Leopard Films USA
Leopard Films USA is a leading producer of non-fiction television and digital programming in the lifestyle space. The company is best known for delivering high-quality, high-volume franchises, including the global hits House Hunters International and Dear Genevieve (HGTV), and Man Caves (DIY). Other current shows include Mom Caves for HGTV, Top Spot for Travel, and Taste In Translation for Cooking Channel. Leopard Films USA is part of the UK-based Argonon group, whose other companies also include London-based Leopard Films, Leopard Drama, Remedy, and Argonon International, as well as Vancouver-based Remedy Canada. The group was most recently awarded the prestigious Czech Crystal for Matthew Bourne's Christmas, showcasing his cutting-edge choreography, and released the theatrical feature Swan Lake 3D.
Ovation is a network devoted to artists and every kind of artistic expression. Ovation programming is a one-of-a-kind mix of original and selectively curated series, films, documentaries and specials. The network reaches a national audience of 51 million homes and is available on cable systems across the country, as well as nationally on DIRECTV, Dish, Verizon FiOS and AT&T U-Verse. Ovation is also available in HD and VOD (both in standard and high definition). Ovation extends its linear channel experience for viewers online via its popular website, www.ovationtv.com . In addition, Ovation is also active in the social media space. See the Ovation Facebook page for the latest information and conversations about the network and the arts: http://Ovtn.tv/fb.
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