MTV Announces New Documentary Special on The Poverty Crisis in Africa: ‘The Diary of Angelina Jolie & Dr. Jeffrey Sachs in Africa’

Academy Award-Winning Actress/Social Activist Jolie and Renowned Economist Sachs Travel to Kenya To Explore Poverty – And To Inspire Young People To Take Action

Timed to Coincide with U.N. Summit, Special Premieres on September 14 at 7 p.m., As Part of MTV’s New Pro-Social Initiative think MTV

NEW YORK, Aug. 15 /PRNewswire/ — MTV: Music Television today announced that THE DIARY OF ANGELINA JOLIE & DR. JEFFREY SACHS IN AFRICA will premiere on September 14 at 7 p.m., as part of the network’s new pro-social initiative think MTV. The 30-minute special episode of the long-running DIARY series follows Angelina Jolie and UN advisor/economist Dr. Jeffrey Sachs as they travel to Sauri, a remote group of villages in Western Kenya, where Sachs’ UN Millennium Project team is working to end the poverty, hunger and disease afflicting the area. With cameras in tow, Jolie and Sachs experience first-hand the effects of the devastation unique to Africa — and provide hope as they highlight hopeful progress in this Millennium village.

think MTV aims to inform and empower its audience on the issues that matter to them most, including education, sexual health, discrimination, and the environment. think MTV: GLOBAL will examine international poverty, AIDS, the effects of war, and other issues of global concern to young people.

The story of Sauri will be told through Jolie and Dr. Sachs’ personal lens on the poverty crisis, as viewers follow them encountering members of the community (mothers, children, teachers, health workers, and village elders) who have been severely affected by lack of clean water, depleted soil, malnutrition, and poor health care. In addition, we’ll see the practical approaches currently underway in the villages to address these challenges and the progress that has already been made. The village shows that with the right approach and enough funding, extreme poverty can indeed be ended in just a few years.

The September premiere of the special will coincide with the opening of the U.N. Special Summit on the Millennium Development Goals, which in 2000 were adopted by nearly 200 world leaders to reduce extreme poverty, disease, and hunger by 2015.

“We are at a unique threshold in human history, where the crisis we face in Africa is matched only by our degree of hope that we can and will be a force for positive change,” said Angelina Jolie, who since 2001 has been a UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador and leading advocate in the fight against the poverty that affects more than one billion people worldwide. “I’m certain the stories in this special will inspire viewers the same way these experiences have inspired me, and I’m hopeful that increased awareness of the issues in Africa will bring about a new wave of progress and activism among young people everywhere.” Since August 2001, Jolie has visited UNHCR refugee operations throughout the world in an effort to bring attention to the cause.

“For the first time in history, we have the technology and know-how to actually end extreme poverty, and Sauri is a perfect illustration of exactly how the fight can be won,” added Jeffrey Sachs, Special Advisor to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, Director of the UN Millennium Project and Director of Columbia University’s Earth Institute. “By working with MTV and Angelina Jolie on this documentary, we are eager to show young people that they have an extraordinary power to make a difference in this crisis — by engaging in very simple, yet very powerful, acts that could change the lives of their counterparts across the globe.”

Some of those measures, which are highlighted in the special, include: bed nets to keep away mosquitoes and thereby malaria; fertilizer to grow enough crops to ensure that the villagers do not go hungry; school lunches so every child is assured at least one nutritious meal a day, anti-retrovirals for every person living with AIDS, etc.

“In shining a light on Africa’s poverty and AIDS crisis with this special edition of ‘Diary,’ we’re hoping to make the situation more tenable to our audience — by introducing them to the faces and stories behind the devastating statistics they hear every day,” commented Dave Sirulnick, EVP, MTV News & Production. “Having Angelina and Dr. Sachs lead this journey is a very powerful way of reaching our viewers, and we’re grateful to them for letting us all tag along. Motivating young people to learn more about the crisis, and shedding light on ways they can help, is an inspiring way to kick off our ‘think MTV: GLOBAL’ efforts.”

To support Diary, the think.mtv.com website will offer comprehensive resources on extreme poverty and preventable disease, and tools for viewers to contact elected officials about the issues. In addition, through the think.mtv.com website and the MTV Store in Times Square, audience members will be able to purchase “Quick Wins” — simple, affordable steps that can have a huge impact on individuals in poor nations, such as spending $10 for a bed net that can protect a child for five years from dying of malaria. From August 29 to September 19, the MTV Store windows will be dedicated to highlighting the issues of preventable disease and poverty.

Finally, through think MTV’s relationship with Cable in the Classroom, Diary will air commercial-free on MTV’s designated CIC weekly timeslot and an associated lesson plan developed by Millennium Promise will be offered for free download for use by tens of thousands of teachers, K-12 educators, and librarians in 80,000 schools in the United States, and will be promoted through CIC’s monthly magazine — ACCESS LEARNING — which reaches approximately 300,000 readers.

The MTV News & Docs “Diary” series documents the life of the artist or celebrity featured as he or she lives it. While most episodes of the series are an entertaining glimpse behind the closed doors of celebrity living, in 2002, MTV premiered THE DIARY OF BONO & CHRIS TUCKER: AIDING AFRICA, which followed the two superstars to Uganda and Ethiopia to explore the heart of the AIDS crisis.

The UN Millennium Project is an independent advisory body commissioned by the UN Secretary-General to advise the UN on strategies for achieving the Millennium Development Goals, found at http://www.unmillenniumproject.org/goals/. The UN estimates that by reaching these goals by 2015, 30 million children will be saved and 500 million people will be lifted out of extreme poverty. Sachs is internationally renowned for advising governments in Latin America, Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union, Asia and Africa on economic reforms and for his work with international agencies to promote poverty reduction, disease control, and debt reduction of poor countries. He was recently named among the 100 most influential leaders in the world by Time. His most recent book is “The End of Poverty.”

The think MTV initiative includes longform specials; MTV News reports, PSAs, and other special programming dedicated to the issues that young people care about most. A think MTV icon will appear onscreen during programming that has an online counterpart, at think.MTV.com, to offer a range of opportunities for young people to learn about and engage on critical issues at the local or national level. On every page within the site, young people can search for local volunteer opportunities, contact their political representatives, and register to vote. Additional online partners include a range of non-profit organizations that aim to inform and motivate young people to get involved in issues of concern.

MTV Networks owns and operates the cable television programming services MTV: Music Television, MTV2, mtvU, Nickelodeon/Nick at Nite, TV Land, VH1, CMT: Country Music Television, and Spike TV, as well as The Digital Suite from MTV Networks, a package of thirteen digital services, all of which are trademarks of MTV Networks. MTV Networks also operates and offers joint ventures, licensing agreements and syndication deals whereby its programming can be seen worldwide.

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