|National Book Festival 2013|
Did you know that Curious George is celebrating his 75th birthday this year? And that since the first Curious George book was published in 1941, the stories of the adventurous little monkey have sold over 75 million copies in more than 20 languages? Incredible!
I recently learned that a documentary has been made about the authors called Monkey Business: The Adventures of George's Creators.
I am fascinated with the how authors get their ideas and about the authors themselves. I am thrilled to be a part of the team to help spread the word about this special story!
About the Documentary:
The documentary delves into the extraordinary lives of Hans and Margret Rey, the authors of the beloved Curious George children’s books. The Reys were of German Jewish descent and narrowly escaped the Nazis on makeshift bicycles they rode across Europe, carrying the yet-to-be-published Curious George manuscript with them.
To tell this remarkable story, Yamazaki obtained exclusive rights from the Rey's estate, curated by longtime caretaker to Margret Rey, Ley Lee Ong, gaining access to the over 300 boxes of the Reys’ personal archives at the de Grummond Collection, housed at the University of Southern Mississippi.
Through a unique and Rey inspired technique of animation, as well as archival photographs, the documentary tells the story of the couple's lives, the birth of George and how the well loved children's book character almost didn't come to fruition.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Universal hold the publishing and merchandising rights to the literary and cultural icon, but it is Yamazaki who has been entrusted with documenting this inspiring story of perseverance, adventure, family and what it means to be a world citizen.
Monkey Business: The Curious Adventures of George’s Creators is Yamazaki’s directorial debut, after amassing an impressive editing credit list including collaborations with seasoned storyteller, Sam Pollard ( When The Levees Broke ). Marc Levin (Chicagoland) is on board as Executive Producer. Yamazaki, who claims Japan, the UK and New York as three unique homes, wasinspired by the Rey's journey and philosophy of living. She felt a kinship with the married authors of German Jewish descent who were also multinationals having made homes in Brazil, Paris and ultimately New York City. With immigration and refugee crises at the center of current and urgent international debate, Monkey Business reminds us that we are all world citizens, searching for and deserving of a home.
ABOUT EMA RYAN YAMAZAKI (Director)
Raised in Japan and England and currently based in New York, Ema has always loved telling stories first as a dancer, and now as a filmmaker. She has directed documentaries such as MONK BY BLOOD and NEITHER HERE NOR THERE that have been seen around the world. As an editor, Ema’s work has screened on HBO, PBS, CNN at Sundance Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival,among others.
MARC LEVIN (Executive Producer)
In his 30+ years as an independent filmmaker, Marc has won the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, the Camera D’Or at Cannes, National Emmys and duPont Columbia Awards. His work includes SLAM , HEIR TO AN EXECUTION , and the BRICK CITY TV series.
JACOB KAFKA (Animator)
The son of a rabbi and a seismologist, Jacob grew up in Massachusetts and has been making movies since he was five years old. His animated short films BASED ON A TRUE STORY and COLD FEET have played in festivals such as TIFF Kids, Woodstock Film Festival, Animation Block Party, ASIFAEast Animation Festival, and been featured on Cartoon Brew. He developed the animation software "Rough Animator" for mobile devices, which has been used by thousands of animators around the world.
In order to share the film with as many people as possible, they have launched a Kickstarter campaign with a goal of raising $175,000 for production and distribution.
I hope you'll visit the Kickstarter campaign and spread the word about this project. I can't wait to see the final cut (look for The Attic Girl in the film credits)!
Follow Monkey Business: The Curious Adventures of George’s Creators
No compensation was received for this post. I was asked to be part of the social media team for this campaign as a life-long fan of Curious George. I will receive a T Shirt & film credits as part of this team.