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Synopsis of “Keiko – The Untold Story”

August 24, 2012

KeikoThis documentary film allows its viewers to pause and take a second look at Keiko’s strong will to survive and to explore his enormous embrace of his own freedom.

It is by pondering his behavior in such powerful footage that viewers can see things about Keiko that perhaps they never took the time to consider before, and to really look at what The Free Willy-Keiko Foundation and all those directly involved were doing. I am interested in translating to the audience the ways in which the effort to release a captive whale into the wild did succeed, as well as examine the questions left unexplored.

The millions of Keiko fans around the world finally learn the truth about what really happened when the “Free Willy” star became the first and only captive orca to be released back into the wild.

Nowhere in recent history has a captive mammal garnered go much attention as Keiko, the orca star of the 1993 hit film, “Free Willy.” The film’s success, partnered with growing public interest in animals held in captivity,

launched a children’s crusade that called for Keiko’s release into the wild. The result: a multimillion dollar project that spanned four countries, weathered endless controversy that continues to this day. Through first-hand accounts by the marine mammal experts charged with his care, “Keiko The Untold Story” follows Keiko, his life, his legacy of hope, and the untold story of his extraordinary years in Iceland and Norway.

Four years in the making, this compelling documentary by filmmaker Theresa Demarest presents never before seen footage of Keiko in the wild, along with exclusive accounts of his day-to-day existence by Keiko’s last two caretakers, Colin Baird and Thorbjorg (Tobba) Valdis Kristjansdottir. The film provides insight into the unique culture of orcas, and what the impact of being taken from his pod had on Keiko’s survival instincts.

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