VisionTV doc records a Canadian trucker's one-man mission to help Katrina victims

    TORONTO, June 20 /CNW/ - It was just another late-summer run for trucker
Peter Bruno. Until something happened that would change his life - and
millions of others.
    When Hurricane Katrina lashed the Mississippi Gulf Coast on August 29,
2005, the Bowmanville, Ont. driver rode out the storm in a Wal-Mart parking
lot just south of Memphis, Tennessee. The devastation afterward convinced him
that he needed to do something - anything - to help.
    Long Haul, Big Hearts, an award-winning documentary making its world
television premiere on VisionTV, is about what happened next. It's the story
of an ordinary man who decided to do something extraordinary, mounting his own
one-man relief mission in the wake of the greatest disaster in North American
    VisionTV presents Long Haul, Big Hearts on Monday, July 23 at 10
p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT and 2 a.m. ET/11 p.m. PT.
    The hour-long film by director Doug Raby repeats on Friday, July 27 at
11 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT, and on Saturday, July 28 at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.
    Determined to bring aid to residents of the storm-ravaged Gulf Coast, and
frustrated by the seeming inaction of Canadian government officials, Bruno
asked his employer for the use of a truck and trailer. He gathered donations
from all over the Durham, Ont. region - everything from bottled water to
sleeping bags - and made two grueling 2,500-km runs to Long Beach, Miss.,
delivering the much-needed supplies to Camp Coast Care, a relief centre for
Katrina victims established by the Episcopalian Diocese of Mississippi.
    Filmmaker Doug Raby accompanied Bruno and his "co-pilot" - a blind dog
named Buddy - on the second trip. Long Haul, Big Hearts is the record of this
deeply emotional journey, following Bruno as he tours some of the areas
hardest hit by the storm, and meets with volunteers and victims at Camp Coast
    Bruno was inspired by the selflessness and dedication of the volunteers,
but saddened by how quickly the rest of the world seems to have forgotten
about the victims of Katrina.
    "Life has gone on for everybody else," he says. "Hell, life never stopped
for most people. But it sure as hell stopped for those people in Mississippi
and Louisiana.
    NOTE: Almost two years after Katrina, the pace of recovery on the
Mississippi Gulf Coast remains painfully slow. Local relief agencies estimate
it will take as long as a decade to finish the job. Peter Bruno and Doug Raby
returned to the area just weeks ago, and are available for interviews. See
below for contact information.
    The ReelHeART International Film Festival presents the Canadian premiere
screening of Long Haul, Big Hearts, sponsored by VisionTV, on Saturday, June
23. For festival information and screening times, please visit
    Long Haul, Big Hearts was produced and directed by Doug Raby of Delta
Romeo Productions. Joanne Jackson of Brilliant Red Media is the Executive
    The documentary features music by Juno Award winners The Road Hammers
    Long Haul, Big Hearts received a Platinum Remi Award at WorldFest Houston
2007 and the Crystal Hearts Directors Award at the Hearts and Minds Film

For further information:

For further information: Media Contacts: David Todd, Media Relations
Manager, Phone: (416) 368-3194, ext. 207, Email:; Janine
Fawcett, J9 Communications, Phone: (416) 695-9419, Email:

Organization Profile


More on this organization

News - Media

More on this organization

Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.

CNW Membership

Fill out a CNW membership form or contact us at 1 (877) 269-7890

Learn about CNW services

Request more information about CNW products and services or call us at 1 (877) 269-7890