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NZ Company Produces International Documentary

Press Release from Mountain Film Unit
18 June, 2007

New Zealand Company Produces International Documentary

A documentary produced by New Zealand film production company Mountain Film Unit is to air on prime time TV later this week.

“Kidnap & Rescue: The Roy Hallums Story” was produced by seven times Primetime Emmy ®Award* winning producing team Bob Parr and Julian Grimmond and co-produced with Dutch production company and distributor Off The Fence. It is to screen this coming Sunday (June 24) at 7.30pm on Discovery Channel’s show, Discovery Sunday.

Kidnap & Rescue was filmed on location in Baghdad and Washington, as well as on sound stages in California and Morocco. The documentary follows the story of American Roy Hallums who was kidnapped by an Iraqi gang and held blindfolded and bound in an underground bunker before being rescued by a massive military, diplomatic, intelligence and law enforcement effort 311 days later.

Producer Julian Grimmond says the documentary is significant because it is a first ever look behind the scenes of the Hostage Working Group, a secret organization that brings together highly classified representatives of a multi national effort including the US Embassy in Baghdad, the CIA, FBI, and Special Forces.

“We were fortunate to gain access to this organisation. Bob is a former British SAS and counter terrorism expert and we were able to tap into his contacts to make this documentary.

“For the first time on TV, this account shows an all too real glimpse into the world of being a hostage and the world of those who try and free them,” said Julian.

”Making this documentary, we were able to portray for the first time, people who are sent in to help those countrymen and allies who get caught in the crossfire of political tensions. The Hostage Working Group which worked to free Roy Hallums is the same group that helped free New Zealand cameraman Olaf Wigg when he was kidnapped in the Gaza Strip. Kidnap and rescue is a deadly business and it’s happening everyday in many parts of the world.”

Written and directed by Tim Conrad, Kidnap &Rescue is narrated by British actor Sean Pertwee.

About the producers:
Mountain Film Unit is an international production company owned by producer and director Julian Grimmond.
In partnership with Bob Parr, Julian also operates Global Film Solutions, a screen risk management company which advises film producers all around the world.
The pair offers a unique set of skills to the screen industry from a production facility base in Arrowtown near Queenstown.

Mountain Film Unit
Possibly best known for his Emmy Award winning work on The Amazing Race, work which also produced a nomination for Outstanding Producer from the Producers Guild of America (2004), managing director Julian Grimmond is committed to adventure and wilderness filmmaking. His company is renowned for producing programming from the most remote and challenging locations. It has a reputation for astute story assessment, precise detailing and deployment of the most skilled crews and individuals. Recent productions include freediving and basejumping projects, for Discovery Channel.

Global Film Solutions
Uses international standards to assess risks, formulate management strategies and identify and provide the services that protect any film production. Directors Bob Parr and Julian Grimmond bring their considerable skills and industry contacts together to provide expert personnel and risk management to filmmakers everywhere. The company is expert in survival across all zones: war, jungle, maritime, mountain, desert, polar and simply extreme. Production specialists include time lapse cameramen, covert camera experts, environmental experts, diving and mountain cameramen.

ENDS

www.mfu.co.nz

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