The Weight of the Nation

The Weight of the Nation was the spark that would form PGP.  The Emmy-nominated four-part HBO series, done in partnership with the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has been credited with bringing the perspectives and experience of many of America’s health leaders in front of the public.  The documentary, with its slogan “To win, we have to lose,” was so highly regarded that PGP’s leadership decided to independently create three additional films.  The first was Sleepless in America, the second Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman, and the third First In Human: The Trials Of Building 10.

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Sleepless in America

PGP partnered with the NIH, America’s foremost scientific authority, and National Geographic, to draw the nation’s attention to the science of sleep.  This highly anticipated documentary drew upon the latest cutting-edge research and compelling stories to illustrate the serious physical, emotional, and societal consequences of poor sleep.  It revealed the emerging explanations for why we sleep, illuminated the wide array of sleep disorders, and explained what we can all do to get a better night's rest.  Common belief may hold that it gets harder to sleep the older you get, but sleep problems take a great toll on all ages, including young Americans: 70 percent of high school adolescents are sleep deprived, increasing their risk of suicide, mood problems and delinquency.  Millions of U.S. adults have sleep apnea, and up to 80 percent don’t even know it.  Recent research has also shown that poor sleep may cause cancer to grow twice as fast in lab mice, and that sleeping too little might lead to an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease.  The special brought viewers into the lives of people who have been profoundly affected by our society’s failure to prioritize sleep, and explored the larger societal forces behind America’s sleeplessness, from the light bulb to work schedules.  Sleepless in America rated .33 for National Geographic, well above its documentary benchmark.  You may watch the full documentary for free here.

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Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman

Purchased by Discovery Communications as a completed concept, and debuting in the prestigious Documentary Premieres Section at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman weaves together the stories of four unlikely conservation heroes working in America’s heartland.  At a moment when it seems that collaboration is not just nonexistent but impossible, these working families cross political and other divides to arrive at real solutions for protecting the land and sea that define our country – and are crucial to all of our survival. From the Montana Rockies to the fields of Kansas to the Gulf of Mexico, Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman showcases the successes of a new crop of conservation heroes. Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman premiered as part of Discovery Impact, a slate of groundbreaking documentaries focusing on humankind’s impact on the environment and what individuals and society as a whole can do to solve some of the largest problems facing the planet. Narrated by award-winning journalist Tom Brokaw, and directed by Emmy-winning and Oscar-nominated Susan Froemke and PGP’s founder Emmy-winning filmmaker John Hoffman, the film is based on Miriam Horn’s recently released book, “Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman: Conservation Heroes of the American Heartland.”

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First in Human: The Trials of Building 10

Purchased by Discovery Communications as a completed concept, and debuted on Discovery in August 2017, First in Human provides unprecedented access to Building 10 on the campus of the National Institutes of Health.  The largest hospital in the world devoted solely to research, Building 10 houses our country’s most brilliant scientific minds carrying out some of medicine’s riskiest and most critical research, testing new treatments in people for the very first time.  The three-part series explores the lives of the doctors, researchers, and patients who together make progress possible in this cutting-edge testing ground. Narrated by Emmy, Golden Globe, and Critics’ Choice winning actor Jim Parsons (“The Big Bang Theory,”  “Hidden Figures”), directed by PGP founder and Emmy winner John Hoffman, and executive produced by Hoffman and Emmy winner Dyllan McGee, the series will introduce the public to a side of public health and healthcare never before seen.  Because the treatments they’re testing are so new and their outcomes are entirely unknown, the doctors leading first in human trials at Building 10 can only partner with patients who have exhausted the options the medical establishment has to offer. This doctor-patient partnership is utterly unique to medicine: live or die, each of these brave “first in human” volunteers immediately become part of medical history. Previous trials in the building led to the development of modern chemotherapy treatments, the first treatments for HIV/AIDS, and the first successful gene therapy.

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