KQED Presents

Distributed by APT
Presented by KQED

PARTS/LENGTH: available in 2 versions, 1 x 90 & 2 x 60
HOTSPOTS (1/90): POTS 000 SD-Base Revision 001
HOTSPOTS (2/60): POTS 101-102 SD-Base Revision 001

Sunday, November 2nd, 2008
POTS 101 SD-Base Revision 001, 1300-1400ET
POTS 102 SD-Base Revision 001, 1400-1500ET
POTS 000 SD-Base Revision 001, 1500-1630ET

KQED is very proud to present
HOTSPOTS a new film from the veteran writer/director/producer team, Michael Tobias and Jane Gray Morrison (No Vacancy, Mad Cowboy). The film chronicles the work of Dr. Russell Mittermeier, President of Conservation International, and is based on his book of the same name. Jane Morrison, the film's producer enthuses, "He is the Indiana Jones of natural science".  In HOTSPOTS, Mittermeier journeys throughout the world to assess key biological HOTSPOTS that are representative of areas everywhere at most serious risk.

In geek-speak, a "hotspot' is a place that provides public Wi-Fi access, but ask an ecologist and he or she will tell you that they are the key to saving
our planet. Technically, "hotspots" refer to areas of the planet which are populated by the largest number of unique plant, animal and insect species at risk of extinction, a definition that pivots upon the number of flowering plants (at least 1500 different species) and the amount of area that has already been lost to development (at least 70%). Scientists coined the term in the late 1980s and since that time, the number of areas characterized as "HOTSPOTS" has increased to 35 encompassing approximately 2.3 percent of the Earth's terrestrial surface.

Three years in the making,
HOTSPOTS is an uplifting, emotional experience. The film provides reasonable, grounded solutions, hope, and inspiration at a time when the planet is in turmoil, and the politics, rancor and uncertainty embedding environmental debates never more acutely felt. Multiple locations throughout New Zealand, the United States, particularly California, Southeastern Peru on the Bolivian border area, the immense East Coast of Brazil, Brazil's border areas with Argentina and Paraguay, Central, Northwest and Northeast Madagascar, and Chile's remote Easter Island are the primary locations of HOTSPOTS where this elegant epic brings to the viewer good reasons to be hopeful, while poignantly reminding us of the precious array of life, the very creation, that is at stake right now, in this generation.

HOTSPOTS is also a sensitive portrait of one of the last great explorers of this, or any century, the scientist, Dr. Russell Mittermeier. Family man, primatologist, herpetologist, he is widely considered to be one of the greatest living field biologists, as well as the President of one of the most successful international environmental organizations, Conservation International. When he is not negotiating deals to save millions of acres in countries like Brazil, Suriname, or Madagascar, he is in the wild, discovering new species, and finding ever more effective methods to save habitat as well as the millions of indigenous tribal people whose direct livelihoods stem from those wild regions of the earth.

The film is a sobering, yet up-beat view from the frontlines of
conservation biology: the trench warfare, the subtle policy decisions, the slippery slopes, the unknown dimensions, and the very real creatures whose lives hang in the balance of human behavior and choices. Shot with multiple teams on numerous continents over the course of three years, HOTSPOTS reveals species never seen before, or filmed for the first time; and many of the most endangered mammals, birds, and invertebrates in the world.

KQED is releasing the film in 2 versions. The longer version is presented as 2 stand alone hours (2 x 60 minutes). For your scheduling convenience, we are also feeding the film as a 90 minute single episode.

About the Promotion

HOTSPOTS is being actively promoted to the national and international media. The film will have a European premiere at the IUCN (World Conservation Union) in Switzerland, September 5th where the producers, Michael Tobias and Jane Gray Morrison, will speak.  On September 11th at the Auckland Memorial Museum, there will be another large public premiere for New Zealand. And on October 3rd, there will be a sneak preview in Flagstaff, AZ for a major science conference. Stations interested in local advance screenings should contact Paul West at 541.359.1886

About the Producer

Michael Tobias is an award-winning writer/director/ecologist and creator of such films as the ten-hour epic docudrama, Voice Of The Planet for TBS, starring William Shatner and Faye Dunaway; the highly acclaimed Discovery Channel special, Black Tide (about the Exxon Valdez disaster), the PBS special from KQED, Antarctica –The Last Continent which, at the time was the 4th highest rated documentary in PBS history; the PBS film World War III, based upon Tobias' book by the same title; the ABC Movie-of-the-Week, The Sky’s On Fire, starring John Corbett and based upon Tobias' novel regarding ozone depletion; and more recent feature documentaries with KQED, Mad Cowboy and No Vacancy.

KQED is a service of Northern California Public
Broadcasting, Inc.  (NCPB).  KQED Public Television 9, one of the nation's most-watched public television stations during primetime, is the producer of local and national series such as QUEST; Check, Please! Bay Area; Jacques Pepin: More Fast Food My Way; and Jean-Michel Cousteau: Ocean Adventures. KQED's digital television channels include KQED HD, KQED Life-Encore, KQED World, KQED Kids and KQED V-me, and are available 24/7 on Comcast. KQED Public Radio, home of Forum with Michael Krasny and The California Report, is the most listened-to public radio station in the nation with an award-winning news and public affairs program service (88.5 FM in San Francisco and 89.3 FM in Sacramento). KQED Education Network brings the impact of KQED to thousands of teachers, students, parents and the general public through workshops, community screenings and multimedia resources. KQED Interactive offers video and audio podcasts and live radio stream at www.kqed.org, featuring unique content on one of the most visited station sites in public broadcasting.

Significant "Firsts" from the film HOTSPOTS

- In Madagascar, the crew was the first to film the Lepilemur sahamalazensis, or sportive lemur, as well as the first to capture footage of the Blue Eyed Black Lemur (Sclater's Lemur, Eulemur macaco flavifrons), one of two sub-species of the Black Lemur, and classified as Critically Endangered.

The first to capture images from a cave in Madagascar, of a paleopropithecus skull and bone fragments, the extinct Giant Lemur. This Lemurian, much like a South American giant sloth, weighed over 50 pounds and is distinguished by the fact that it went extinct as recently as a thousand years ago.

First footage of a new Titi monkey, discovered several months before in Bolivia's Madidi National Park in the Upper Amazon, but seen here for the first time in Southeaster Peru's Tambopata National Reserve.

The first footage ever captured of a Southern Bamboo Rat (Kannabateomys amblyonyx) foraging and peeing sometime after midnight. This is a large rodent, the only member of the Kannabateomys genus, who appears to be trying to become a primate.

Nine new invertebrate troglophiles and troglobites filmed in Sequoia National Park's Clough Cave, with National Park Cave specialist, Joel Despain, including a Neochthonius pseudoscorpion. Clough is one of over 250 marble caves in the southern Sierra Nevada range.

The first footage of one of the most endangered mammals in North America, the Pacific Pocket Mouse (Perognathus longimembris pacificus), a nocturnal, tiny granivore of the Heteromyidae family. Of the four known populations remaining, following its emergency listing by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) as "endangered" in 1994, three are on Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton in San Diego County, where we filmed with CRES (Conservation And Research For Endangered Species) specialist, Dr. Debra Shier Girtner.