August 5, 2013
"Keiko: The Untold Story of the Star of Free Willy"
Learn the behind-the-scenes story of the star of "Free Willy"
Telling Keiko's story on the 20th anniversary of "Free Willy"
The Free Willy Keiko Foundation, with the support of The Humane Society of the United States' Hollywood Outreach program, are welcoming Keiko back to Hollywood.
Twenty years after the film "Free Willy" made a splash at the box office (and won a Genesis Award for Best Feature Film), audiences can enjoy that film's inspiring message and then learn the truth about the life of its orca star. Keiko's story will be hitting the big screen as part two of a special double-feature screening: "Free Willy" and "Keiko: The Untold Story of the Star of Free Willy" at the historic Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood.
"Keiko: The Untold Story"
Directed by Theresa Demarest, this behind-the-scenes documentary about the world-famous orca features interviews with Naomi Rose, former Senior Marine Biologist for The HSUS; Mark Berman of the Free Willy Keiko Foundation; Paul Spong of OrcaLab; and Keiko's last real-life caretakers, orca trainer Colin Baird and biologist Thorbjorg (Tobba) Valdis Kristjansdottir.
"Keiko: The Untold Story" follows Keiko's life journey from his capture at an early age to his years as a performing animal, to his rehabilitation and release back into the wild. At the time of his death in 2003, Keiko was the second longest lived captive male orca in history, having been successfully rehabilitated and released back into his home waters, where he thrived for five years and swam with wild orcas. "Hollywood couldn't have written a better story than Keiko's real-life adventures," said Rose. "A lot of misinformation is out there on what happened to him and this movie makes it clear—his last years were very good ones."
Experience both Keiko's and Willy's inspiring stories
If you would like to experience Keiko's life story and the feature film that made him a star, catch our special event in Hollywood on August 17, 2013, or look for both films on DVD.