Keiko: The Untold Story of the Star of Free Willy (educational)


  • Directed By: Theresa Demarest
  • Produced By: Theresa Demarest, Nola Wilken, Jay Schornstein

Educational Release: 2013
Running Time: 75 minutes
NTSC / English
Subjects: Environmental Studies

Educational DVD comes with Core Curriculum Guide

Torn from his family at the tender age of two, Keiko spent 14 years in captivity as a performing tourist attraction before Hollywood discovered him for the title role in the 1993 blockbuster movie, Free Willy. When his millions of new fans around the globe, most of them children, realized that Keiko was not free like his on screen character, a crusade was launched to save him. The decision was ultimately made to return Keiko to his native waters off the coast of Iceland. After spending two years in Oregon regaining his health, Keiko was finally airlifted to Iceland in fall 1998, becoming the first and only orca in captivity to make it back to the wild. Yet over a decade later, the question of whether or not the mission succeeded continues to frame the debate regarding the fate of the other 52 orcas still held in captivity around the world. KEIKO: The Untold Story of the Star of Free Willy solves the mystery of what really happened during the last five years in the life of this international icon, providing insight into the unique culture of orcas and the impact being taken from his pod had on Keiko’s survival instincts.

Awards:

  • Official Selection - Starz Denver International Film Festival 2010
  • Official Selection - La Femme Festival 2010
  • Official Selection - Anchorage International Film Festival 2010
  • Official Selection - Lake Arrowhead Film Festival 2011
  • Official Selection - Queens World Film Festival 2011
  • Official Selection - Amelia Island Film Festival 2011
  • Official Selection - San Francisco Ocean Film Festival 2011
  • Official Selection - FirstGlance Film Festival Hollywood 2011
  • Official Selection - Green Bay Film Festival 2011
  • Official Selection - Sonoma Environmental Film Festival 2011
  • Official Selection - Docutah
  • Official Selection - New York City International Film Festival
  • Award of Excellence Feature Documentary - Accolade Film, Television New Media and Videography Award
  • WINNER - Golden Eagle Award 2010
  • Award of Merit - indie Fest Film Competition 2011
  • WINNER - Audience Favorite - FirstGlance Hollywood Film Festival 2011
  • WINNER - Best Director - FirstGlance Hollywood Film Festival 2011