Baywatch (2017)

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Born and raised in Los Angeles, Greg Bonann’s  childhood dream was to become a Los Angeles County Lifeguard.  His dream came true in 1970 and he's been a dedicated lifeguard ever since. After graduating from California State University, Long Beach, Greg combined his business education with his gift of storytelling and began a career in filmmaking. His love of sports, especially Olympic competition, eventually led him to produce and direct the official film for the U.S. Olympic Committee in Lake Placid.  "Fire and Ice" went on to win eight prestigious awards. More importantly, the honors gave him the impetus to produce and direct the official films for the 1984 Winter and Summer Olympic Games in Sarajevo and Los Angeles and the 1988 Winter Games in Calgary. It all started in 1988, when Greg created a music video featuring his lifeguard buddies doing what they do best on a hot beach day to the beat of Don Henley's hit "Boys of Summer." This "montage" served as the blueprint for what would become "Baywatch" on NBC a year later. After 10 years as the executive producer/creator, Greg relocated "Baywatch" to Hawaii’s beautiful shores.  Bonann has directed over 70 episodes of "Baywatch", as well as most of the action and rescue scenes during the series run.   He also directed over 400 of his signature music montages. While on a routine scout to the beach with the writing staff during the first season of "Baywatch," Greg rescued a boy who was drowning. He had to make three dives to find the unconscious boy who had been submerged at the murky bottom for over five minutes. Performing mouth-to-mouth resuscitation while treading water, Greg saved the boy's life and, for this heroic effort, was awarded the prestigious Medal of Valor. Bonann’s other honors include the Gold Medallion Award, presented by the International Swimming Hall of Fame, the Title of Commander in the Order of Lifesaving, presented by the Belgian Life Saving Federation and the appointment to Knight in the Order of Lifesaving by the International Life Saving Federation. In 1992, Greg and Tai Collins founded A Chance For Children,” a foundation dedicated to giving homeless and at-risk children a better chance to succeed in life.  It is now in it’s 18th year!

Hey, I’m Gregory J. Bonann.

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Code named ‘The November Man’; Peter Devereaux (Pierce Brosnan) is an extremely dangerous and highly trained ex-CIA agent, who is lured out of quiet retirement on a very personal mission.  He must protect valuable witness, Alice Fournier, (Olga Kurylenko) who could expose the truth behind a decades old conspiracy. He soon discovers this assignment makes him a target of his former friend and CIA protégé David Mason (Luke Bracey). With growing suspicions of a mole in the agency, there is no one Devereaux can trust, no rules and no holds barred.

With a screenplay by Michael Finch & Karl Gajdusek based on Bill Granger’s novel “There are No Spies” from the bestselling November Man book series, THE NOVEMBER MAN is the ultimate cat and mouse game set in the world of international espionage. Directed by Roger Donaldson (The Bank Job, No Way Out, Thirteen Days), the film is produced by Beau St. Clair of Irish DreamTime and Sriram Das of Das Films.

A CHANCE FOR CHILDREN

In the early 90’s Greg Bonann, a Los Angeles county lifeguard and creator of the world famous television series Baywatch, talked about the concept of having a “Baywatch theme related camp.”  After a year of hearing him talk about the idea, Tai Collins, a freelance writer for the show spoke up.  She asked Bonann if he was serious about the summer camp.  He loved the idea, but due to the heavy demands of executive producing and directing the series, he simply didn’t have the time needed to bring it into fruition.

Collins, with a background in mission work and after school programs, offered to help. She was already working with children at the Chernow House homeless shelter and her thought was to make this a camp for homeless and inner city youth – kids who could most benefit from the experience.  Kids who live in poverty and around gang influence and violence.  Kids who could easily choose the wrong path without productive and creative outlets to develop and discover their dreams.

Greg’s vision was to give these children a chance to experience the beach, fresh air, and a place to run. He wanted them to learn to swim, be water safe, have knowledge of CPR, and have happy memories to hold on to.

In 1994, Camp Baywatch came to life at Pepperdine University. The school became the home of the first annual week long camp. “Camp Baywatch” quickly became more than just a summer camp. We offered a variety of programs starting in kindergarten – seeing as many youth as possible through to college.

We knew to make a real and significant difference; long-term relationships and programs were needed to inspire kids to believe in themselves. The greatest way to do that is through giving them something to do – to be creative, to play, to have goals and dreams and help them develop those dreams by positive reinforcement – using sports, positive role models, a variety of programs, college scholarships, and life skills though jobs.

The foundation continues to grow and evolve offering more and more programs to youth and their families each year.

Just as the foundation has grown and evolved, our name changed and evolved as well to become more reflective of what we do. Baywatch ended its long television run and with that ending the foundation took on a new name – A Chance for Children Foundation.

The foundation has grown and changed in other ways. At one time we served youth from all over the US and often sponsored youth from other countries (as far away as New Zealand) enabling them to have the “camp”” experience. Over the years, being a complete volunteer organization, our focus became the “at-risk” youth of inner city Los Angeles.

Gangs start recruiting kids now as young as second grade. And statistics show the as many as fifteen million children nationwide have no place to go after school. These children are more likely to be victims of crime or to participate in bad behavior. We believe that with something positive to do our youth will dream bigger.

Tai and Greg have watched their own dream become real. They have now watched a generation of youth grow into adulthood seeing lives touched and changed firsthand. One of the things they are most proud of is that the majority of their volunteers are the youth and parents who have come through the program coming back to give of themselves.

A Chance for Children Foundation is dedicated to children. We know that kids go where there is excitement… but they stay where there is love.