VisionTV's Inspirational Leaders Week celebrates the legacies of spiritual greats, from Martin Luther King to Pope John Paul II

    TORONTO, Nov. 29 /CNW/ - When Jan. 1 rolls around, many of us will pause
to take stock, ponder the lessons of the past year, and make a resolution to
change our lives in 2008.
    Learning from people we admire is one way to figure out who we want to
be. It's in this spirit that VisionTV presents Inspirational Leaders Week,
Dec. 31 to Jan. 5.
    Canada's multi-faith and multicultural television network rings in the
New Year with a full week devoted to documentary and feature film portraits of
spiritual greats whose words and actions have changed the world.
    Highlights include the Canadian television premiere of the hour-long
documentary The Aga Khan: A Voice of Reason, along with the VisionTV premieres
of feature-length documentaries celebrating Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King
and Pope John Paul II.
    For a full programming lineup, please visit

    Inspirational Leaders Week on VisionTV: Highlights

    Documentary: VisionTV Premiere
    Citizen King
    Wednesday, Jan. 2, 9 p.m. and midnight ET/6 p.m. and 9 p.m. PT

    In 1963, on an August afternoon in Washington, D.C., a fiery 34-year-old
preacher galvanized millions with his dream of an America free from racism.
His story would come to an end five years later, when he was shot dead on a
motel balcony in Memphis, Tenn. Three decades later, Dr. Martin Luther King
has become an almost mythic figure, a civil rights activist whose words and
legacy remain hotly contested. This feature-length documentary goes beyond the
mythology, bringing fresh insight into King's difficult journey, his
charismatic leadership, and his incalculable social and political impact.

    Documentary: VisionTV Premiere
    Thursday, Jan. 3, 9 p.m. and midnight ET/6 p.m. and 9 p.m. PT

    Few men in history have fought so hard and endured so much as
Nelson Mandela. During his 27 years of political imprisonment, he came to
symbolize the fight against South African apartheid. His release from prison
and his 1994 election as the country's first black president electrified the
entire world. This feature-length documentary, co-produced by Oscar winning
filmmaker Jonathan Demme (The Silence of the Lambs), tells the story of
Mandela's remarkable life: from his tribal origins, through his years of
political activism, revolutionary leadership and imprisonment, and on to his
ultimate triumph as leader of a racially united South Africa.

    Documentary: Canadian Premiere
    The Aga Khan - A Voice of Reason
    Friday, Jan. 4, 9 p.m. and midnight ET/6 p.m. and 9 p.m. PT
    Repeats Saturday, January 5, 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT

    His Highness the Aga Khan is the spiritual leader of the Ismaili Muslims,
an oft-persecuted minority within Islam. At a time when the Muslim world is
increasingly at odds with itself and the West, the Aga Khan represents a rare
voice of moderation, speaking up for pluralism and diversity, supporting
charities, hospitals and schools all over the developing world, and working
tirelessly to promote dialogue between civilizations. This hour-long
documentary reveals the history of the Ismailis, chronicles the Aga Khan's
rise to power half a century ago, and examines his ongoing struggle to
maintain the delicate balance between tradition and modernity.

    Documentary: VisionTV Premiere
    The Life and Times of Pope John Paul II
    Friday, Jan. 4, 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT

    By the time of his death in April 2005, Pope John Paul II had utterly
transformed the papacy, traveling more widely than any of his predecessors,
harnessing the mass media to spread his message and using the power of the
papal office to shape world events. This revealing documentary by
award-winning writer/director Terence McKenna (Ground Zero, The Valour and the
Horror) tells the dramatic story of how Karol Wojtyla, the son of a Polish
army officer, became the spiritual leader of a billion Roman Catholics, and
offers a behind-the-scenes look at the Pope's surprising role in the power
politics that led to the fall of Communism in 1989.

For further information:

For further information: Media Contact: David Todd, Media Relations
Manager, Phone: (416) 368-3194, ext. 207, Email:

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