NEW YORK, NY and LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwire - Feb 6, 2013) - Leslie Iwerks Productions and Hearst Corporation, in conjunction with D&E Entertainment, announced today the nationwide theatrical release of Citizen Hearst beginning March 11 in multiple cities, including New York and Los Angeles. To kick off the national run, there will be a red carpet premiere at Hearst Castle on March 8 and the film will be feted as the closing night film of the San Luis Obispo International Film Festival on March 10. (Watch the trailer and buy tickets at citizenhearst.com.)
Citizen Hearst, directed by Academy Award® nominee Leslie Iwerks and narrated by Academy Award® nominee William H. Macy, traces the 125-year history of the Hearst media empire, from William Randolph Hearst's pioneering and controversial days of headline-grabbing newspapers and yellow journalism to today's successful and culture-shaping news, magazine, television and digital brands around the world. The film had its world premiere at the Hamptons International Film Festival in October 2012.
The iconic nature of W.R. Hearst -- an important and indelible part of American history -- has long enthralled the public, and was famously dramatized in the 1941 film Citizen Kane, starring Orson Welles, which screened at Hearst Castle for the first time during the 2011 San Luis Obispo Film Festival. Citizen Hearst, produced by Iwerks and Jane Kelly Kosek, is the first in-depth look at how the company has navigated the changing times over the span of two centuries.
Crafted from interviews and historical footage, Citizen Hearst features the personal stories and media milestones that have made today's Hearst Corporation. Viewers will get a never-before-seen view of the company, from behind the glass exterior of New York's Hearst Tower to inside the famous Hearst Castle near San Simeon, Calif. Featured interviews include Hearst executives and editors, including Frank A. Bennack, Jr., CEO of Hearst (who has led the company longer than any Hearst executive other than W.R. Hearst himself), Oprah Winfrey, Mark Burnett, Ralph Lauren, Donna Karan, Dan Rather, Bob Iger, Leonard Maltin, Dr. Oz, Heidi Klum, Nina Garcia, Timothy Greenfield-Sanders and several descendants of W.R. Hearst, among others.
The film chronicles the rise of American journalism and the newspaper rivalry with Joseph Pulitzer; traces the beginnings of newsreels and films, and, later, magazine brands and cable; glimpses inside the personal lives of W.R. Hearst and Marion Davies, as well as the impact of Citizen Kane on W.R. Hearst himself; explores the influences of media on politics through the decades; investigates Hearst's steadfast pursuit of creative expansion; and examines the bold commitment to building Hearst Tower in the wake of 9/11.
"Citizen Hearst explores the creative genius and sharp foresight that has been handed down from one Hearst leader to the next, all in the pursuit of innovation across all media platforms," Iwerks says. "Hearst has always believed in its creative people to build and expand the organization. The film follows the thread that began with the unprecedented vision and risks of William Randolph Hearst and continues under the leadership of CEO Frank Bennack today."
Commenting on the film, Bennack says: "It is clear today that we are a very different company than 125 years ago, but in one sense Hearst has not changed at all: Our mission is still to inform, entertain and inspire. This is the first time our story is told in film, from William Randolph Hearst's first Examiner edition to the global information company we are today. Citizen Hearst is a documentary 125 years in the making -- we are all 'Citizen Hearsts' in a sense, informed by journalism and media that W.R. Hearst is responsible for creating."
About D&E Entertainment
D&E Entertainment (www.dandeentertainment.com), based in Hollywood, Calif., was formed by entertainment industry executives Doug Kluthe and Evan Saxon -- a unique partnership experienced in the marketing of digital cinema events and innovative alternative content solutions in the groundbreaking digital format. D&E offers filmmakers and content owners innovative digital distribution opportunities to maximize marketing, social engagement, and revenue generating opportunities.
About Leslie Iwerks Productions
Leslie Iwerks Productions, Inc. is based in Santa Monica, Calif., and over the last twelve years the company has produced award-winning documentaries, television specials, films and digital content for Disney, Pixar, HBO, Starz, Bravo, National Geographic, Babelgum, among others. Iwerks' short documentary Recycled Life was nominated for an Academy Award® in 2007, and The Pixar Story a feature documentary about Pixar Animation Studios, was nominated for an Emmy® in 2008. Her short documentaries Downstream (2010) and Pipe Dreams (2012) were both shortlisted for Academy Awards®. Iwerks' television documentary, Industrial Light & Magic: Creating the Impossible aired on Encore in 2011 and included George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, JJ Abrams, Ron Howard, Robin Williams and was narrated by Tom Cruise. Iwerks is a third generation filmmaker from a two-time Oscar®-winning family. Her documentary for the Walt Disney Company The Hand Behind the Mouse chronicles the story of her grandfather, Ub Iwerks, the original designer and co-creator of Mickey Mouse. Leslie Iwerks Productions is currently in development and production on a number of documentary and live action projects; visit www.leslieiwerks.com for more information.
About Hearst Corporation
Hearst Corporation (www.hearst.com) is one of the nation's largest diversified media and information companies. Its major interests include ownership of 15 daily and 36 weekly newspapers, including the Houston Chronicle, San Francisco Chronicle, San Antonio Express-News and Albany Times Union; hundreds of magazines around the world, including Good Housekeeping, Cosmopolitan, ELLE and O, The Oprah Magazine; 29 television stations, which reach a combined 18 percent of U.S. viewers; ownership in leading cable networks, including Lifetime, A&E, History and ESPN; significant holdings in the automotive, electronic, medical/pharmaceutical and financial information industries; a 50 percent stake in the global ratings agency Fitch Group; Internet and marketing services businesses; television production; newspaper features distribution; and real estate. Follow us on Twitter @HearstCorp.