"Pedro" debuts on MTV April 1, 2009

Tue, March 10th, 2009 at 4:31pm PDT

TV/Film
CBR News Team, Editor

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Official Press Release

MTV, mtvU, LOGO and MTV Tr3s, with subtitles in Spanish, will present the world television premiere of Pedro, based on the remarkable life of The Real World’s Pedro Zamora, on Wednesday, April 1 at 8:00pm ET/PT. Bunim-Murray Productions, in association with MTV, bring to life the two-hour scripted drama by Academy Award-winner Dustin Lance Black (“Milk”).

In 1994, Zamora captured the hearts of millions as the first-ever openly gay, HIV-positive main character on TV -- on MTV’s The Real World: San Francisco. Zamora’s time in the house on Lombard Street brought a face to the AIDS crisis. President Bill Clinton has long credited Zamora with personalizing and humanizing the epidemic, and he will introduce Pedro when it makes its world premiere April 1st.

“To this day, Pedro Zamora remains an extraordinary example of what a huge impact one young person can make in our world,” President Clinton said. “I’m glad to have known him, and I’m grateful his life has been able to inspire and enrich so many others.”

Told through the eyes of his friends and family, the film Pedro celebrates the extraordinary life a young man who found out he was HIV positive at 17, then made the courageous decision to dedicate his life to speaking out about the disease. Zamora testified before the United States Congress to argue for more explicit HIV/AIDS educational programs aimed at youth of color before auditioning for The Real World in 1993.

Zamora’s appearance on The Real World brought his story and message to a national audience; and when his health began to deteriorate in late 1994 (after he left the show), his condition quickly became front page news nationwide. His death at age 22, following the final episode of “The Real World,” provoked a worldwide outpouring of grief.

"Our historic, simultaneous premiere of the film across multiple networks demonstrates the power of Pedro’s journey to reach a vast array of audiences, just as it did 15 years ago," said Brian Graden, President of Entertainment, MTV Networks Music Channels and President of Logo. "His story originally ignited a national dialogue, permanently impacted our consciousness around the challenges of HIV, and gave untold millions the courage to open up about their sexual orientation. For those of us who remember him as a treasured television friend, and for a new generation coming to his story for the first time, we remain grateful for the gift of his story."

“Pedro made us promise to tell his story to his very last breath; this film delivers on that promise by telling his entire life story in a scripted film - including his early life in Cuba, his teen years in Miami  and the final months of his life as he fought to stay alive,” said Bunim-Murray Productions Chairman, Jon Murray.  “For the first time viewers will see all the forces that made Pedro the man he was and gave him the courage to take his message of AIDS education to a nationwide audience.”

Nearly 15 years since Pedro heightened national awareness of HIV/AIDS, the epidemic in the U.S. remains a serious concern, especially among younger Americans (under 30) who account for a larger share of new infections than any other age group. Other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) – such as chlamydia and gonorrhea – are even more common, with one in two sexually active Americans being infected by age 25 – and most not knowing it. Since 1997, MTV and the Kaiser Family Foundation have partnered to inform millions of young adults about HIV, other STDs and related sexual health issues. Beginning in April (STD Awareness Month), MTV and Kaiser will partner with Planned Parenthood Federation of America and its nearly 880 affiliate health centers to make an aggressive push to inform America’s young people about STDs, as well as help normalize and drive increased testing. Full details on the rest of the campaign will be unveiled soon.

Planned Parenthood is also developing an educational discussion guide for teens, young adults, and parents to use when they watch the Pedro premiere on MTV. It will be available for download on MTV’s www.ItsYourSexLife.com and on Planned Parenthood’s website at www.plannedparenthood.org.

Pedro was Produced by Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland, Chris Panizzon and Anne Clements (“Quinceanera”). Jon Murray, Gil Goldschein and Scott Freeman of Bunim-Murray Productions served as Executive Producers along with Paris Barclay. Pedro was directed by Nick Oceano and written by Dustin Lance Black (“Milk”) with story by Dustin Lance Black and Paris Barclay. Pedro stars Alex Loynaz as Pedro, Justina Machado (“Six Feet Under”) as Pedro’s sister Mily, and Hale Appleman (“Teeth”) as Pedro’s roommate from The Real World, Judd. Maggie Malina is executive producer for MTV.

About MTV
MTV is the dynamic, vibrant experiment at the intersection of music, creativity and youth culture. For over 26 years, MTV has evolved, challenged the norm, and detonated boundaries -- giving each new generation a creative outlet and voice that entertains, informs and unites on every platform and screen. On-air, MTV has been the number one rated 24 hour ad-supported cable network P12-24 for 16 straight years. Online, MTV.com scored double-digit growth in 2007 and MTV launched 15 dynamic online communities and eight new virtual worlds. On the go, MTV Mobile is the #1 music brand in the wireless space – delivering 90% more streams than in 2006. And MTV’s successful sibling networks MTV2, mtvU and MTV Tr3s each deliver unprecedented customized content, super-serving music fans, college students and young American Latinos like no one else. MTV is part of MTV Networks, a unit of Viacom (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), one of the world’s leading creators of programming and content across all media platforms. Wanna know more? Come on in… HYPERLINK "http://www.mtvpress.com/" \\o "http://www.mtvpress.com/" www.mtvpress.com.

About Bunim-Murray Productions
Bunim-Murray Productions is the leading independent producer of innovative entertainment content.  The company is widely credited with creating the reality television genre with its hit series The Real World (currently in production on its 22nd season on MTV).  BMP continued to innovate with the first reality game show, Road Rules, in 1995, the first reality sitcom, The Simple Life, in 2003, and the first reality soap opera, Starting Over, in 2003. Bunim-Murray’s current programming includes The Bad Girls Club (Oxygen), Keeping up with the Kardashians (E! Entertainment), The Real World/Road Rules Challenge (MTV), The Supreme Court of Comedy (DirecTV), the 6th season of Project Runway, the upcoming Models of the Runway, Frat House (upcoming on TBS). Other recently aired Bunim-Murray series include America’s Psychic Challenge (Lifetime), Living Lohan (E! Entertainment), Murder (Spike) and Dr. Steve-O (USA).  Launched in 2006 to better reach the Digital Generation, Bunim-Murray’s M Theory Entertainment is a spin-off entity focusing on new media initiatives.  In 2007 Bunim-Murray launched BMP Films, a film division, which premiered its first documentary, Autism: The Musical, at the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival, and its first scripted film Pedro, at the 2008 Toronto Film Festival. Autism: The Musical premiered to rave reviews on HBO on March 25, 2008 and won 2 Primetime EMMY awards. Bunim-Murray Productions has also recently announced the formation of M Music, a music management division, with its first band, A Cursive Memory, signing with Vagrant Records. Bunim-Murray Productions is based in Van Nuys, CA.  It was founded in 1987 by Jonathan Murray and the late Mary-Ellis Bunim.

About LOGO
Logo is the world’s leading ad-supported cable, satellite, online, mobile and digital entertainment network for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) audience, from MTV Networks, a unit of Viacom (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B). Launched in 2005, Logo’s cable channel is in more than 35 million homes across the United States and is complemented by a federation of online properties, including LOGOonline.com, AfterEllen.com, AfterElton.com, 365gay.com, DowneLink.com and NewNowNext.com. Logo’s content is distributed across all leading download-to-own, streaming and mobile services. The most influential brand for the most influential audience, Logo provides a mix of original and acquired entertainment as well as news, social networking and community building that are authentic, smart, fun, entertaining, and inclusive. Logo joins MTV Networks' roster of popular and highly targeted brands which include MTV, Comedy Central, VH1 and Spike TV.

About the Clinton HIV/AIDS Initiative
Since 2002, the Clinton HIV/AIDS Initiative (CHAI), a project of the William J. Clinton Foundation, has assisted countries in implementing large-scale, integrated care, treatment and prevention programs. CHAI works side-by-side with 22 countries in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean to build systems that will deliver HIV/AIDS treatment and healthcare by providing governments with technical assistance, mobilizing human and financial resources, and facilitating the sharing of best practices across nationwide projects. CHAI’s rural and pediatric programs deliver care and treatment to underserved populations. CHAI also brokered agreements to lower prices of essential medicines and diagnostics, which are now accessible to more than 70 countries, representing more than 90 percent of people living with HIV/AIDS in the developing world. Today, 1.4 million people are receiving ARVs purchased under CHAI negotiated agreements. For more information, please visit www.clintonfoundation.org.

TAGS:  mtv, pedro, pedro zamora, judd winick

 
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