Birman Productions-Breakthrough Entertainment Multi-Part Documentary Series To Explore Formative Events In Western Civilization As Chronicled In Thomas Cahill’s Landmark Seven-Volume Hinges of History Collection
For Immediate Release:
LOS ANGELES/TORONTO (October 26, 2015) – Breakthrough Entertainment and Daniel H. Birman Productions – two significant names in the production of award-winning documentary and non-fiction programming – have joined to co-produce a multi-part documentary project based on the Hinges of History book series written by renowned historian and author, Thomas Cahill.
Thomas Cahill has studied with many of the world’s most distinguished literary and biblical scholars, he is both respected and admired for his storytelling brand that distills complex themes in history into accessible, illuminating and engaging narrative for readers everywhere.
Translated into numerous languages, Cahill’s past six best-selling books in his Hinges of History series – as well as his much-anticipated September 2016 release of How The Americans Saved Civilization – will serve as the springboard for the Birman-Breakthrough documentary series, that revisits the beginnings of Western civilization through the little-known stories of those who had the greatest impact on its evolution. It’s a version of history that has never been told.
“Thomas Cahill’s books are enlightening and entertaining, placing the reader inside each moment in history to provide an immersive reading experience. Cahill’s writing style gives us a deep understanding of the people he brings to life intertwined with historical developments that have shaped our culture. But even more, Cahill gives us an even greater understanding of who we are and our role in the western world. His extraordinary historical perspective is the basis for a relevant and altogether unprecedented series,” said Birman.
“Thomas Cahill ranks among the most important scholars and historical writers of our era. At the same time, Daniel Birman brings to this extraordinary and compelling project a distinguished career in documentary filmmaking. We are excited to work with both author and producer alike in bringing the genius of Thomas Cahill to broadcasters and audiences worldwide,” said Ira Levy, Partner in Breakthrough Entertainment.
“I’ve known Dan Birman for many years now, ever since writing How the Irish Saved Civilization. My long association with him gives me confidence that the series will represent my work,” says Cahill. “I’m looking forward to working with Birman Productions and Breakthrough Entertainment to bring my series to television.”
Dan Birman, Nat Abraham, Ira Levy, Michael McGuigan and Peter Williamson serve as Executive Producers. Megan Chao, head of development and production for Birman Productions, will serve as Producer. Writer Angus Fraser worked with Birman Productions and Breakthrough Entertainment to develop the series.
James Guerra, partner with Mitchell Silberberg and Knupp LLP, orchestrated the agreements between Birman Productions and author Thomas Cahill, and with Breakthrough Entertainment. Nghia D. Nguyen, Vice-President and General Counsel for Breakthrough Entertainment, represented Breakthrough in construction of the agreement.
Thomas Cahill’s Hinges of History books include:
How the Irish Saved Civilization: The Untold Story of Ireland’s Heroic Role from the Fall of Rome to the Rise of Medieval Europe – Tells the story of how Europe evolved from the classical age of Rome to the medieval era. Without Ireland, the transition could not have taken place. Not only did Irish monks and scribes maintain the very record of Western civilization — copying manuscripts of Greek and Latin writers, both pagan and Christian, while libraries and learning on the continent were forever lost — they brought their uniquely Irish world-view to the task.
The Gifts of the Jews: How a Tribe of Desert Nomads Changed the Way Everyone Thinks and Feels – takes us on another enchanting journey into history, once again recreating a time when the actions of a small band of people had repercussions that are still felt today. The Jews were the first people to tell the kinds of stories of progress that we still one another. The Gifts of the Jews reveals the critical change that made western civilization possible.
Desire of the Everlasting Hills: The World Before and After Jesus – We see Jesus as a real person, sharp-witted and sharp-tongued, but kind, humorous, and affectionate, shadowed by the inevitable climax of crucifixion, the cruelest form of execution ever devised by humankind. Mary, while not quite the “perpetual virgin” of popular piety, is a vivid presence and forceful influence on her son. And the apostle Paul, the carrier of Jesus’ message and most important figure in the early Jesus movement (which became Christianity), finds rehabilitation in Cahill’s realistic, revealing portrait of him.
Sailing the Wind-Dark Sea: Why the Greeks Matter, Mysteries of the Middle Ages: And the Beginning of the Modern World – Offering a fascinating tour of ancient Greece, where the Greeks invented everything from Western warfare to mystical prayer, from logic to statecraft. Their achievements in art and philosophy are widely celebrated while others are unknown or underappreciated. In Sailing the Wine-Dark Sea, Thomas Cahill explores their legacy, good and bad.
Mysteries of the Middle Ages – Offering a fascinating look at how medieval thinkers created the origins of modern intellectual movements.
Heretics and Heroes: How Renaissance Artists and Reformation Priests Created Our World – Cahill guides us through a time so full of innovation that the Western world would not again experience it’s like until the twentieth century: the new humanism of the Renaissance and the radical religious alterations of the Reformation.
How the Americans Saved Civilization: Final installment for the series (available September 2016). With much humor, extravagant characters, and local color, we cross the centuries from the beginning of the Enlightenment in 17th- and 18th-century Europe (especially in France and England) to its glorious fulfillment in the words of the Declaration of Independence, the Revolutionary War, and the founding of the American nation. It then takes Lincoln, the Civil War, and the contemporary civil rights movement to begin to fulfill the promise of the Declaration that “all men are created equal.” It then takes FDR and American participation in World War II to preserve our democracy and extend it to the peoples of the world
About Daniel H. Birman Productions:
Based in Los Angeles, Daniel H. Birman Productions is a television production company specializing in nonfiction and documentary programming. The company’s works can be seen in the U.S. on such networks as TLC, Discovery Channel, Science, Nat Geo and PBS, as well as internationally. The company is responsible for the award-winning documentaries Me Facing Life: Cyntoia’s Story and Brace for Impact: The Chesley B. Sullenberger Story.
About Breakthrough Entertainment:
Headquartered in Toronto, Breakthrough Entertainment Inc. (BEI) is a world class studio, being a leading global producer and distributor of acclaimed primetime comedy and drama series, as well as factual entertainment, documentaries, television movies, feature films, family entertainment and children’s animation. As one of Canada’s largest television production and distribution companies, BEI has licensed programs to major broadcasters worldwide. A vertically-integrated entertainment studio, Breakthrough is involved in worldwide distribution as well as pre-sales, co-productions and third-party acquisitions. In addition, Breakthrough’s digital media division ranks among one of the industry’s most respected producers of high quality digital entertainment including ebooks, webisodes and online and mobile games. www.breakthroughentertainment.com. Follow us on Twitter @breakthru_ent
SSA Public Relations