Director’s Cut: Mark Davis, Jan Jensen and “The Bear and the Owl”

Director’s Cut kicks off its 10th— that’s right — 10th season this Friday night on Wisconsin Public Television. We have somehow managed to outlast Cheers and Seinfeld, which were both on-air for only a measly nine seasons! And we have an excellent line-up of films coming your way this season.

Season 10 begins with a film called The Bear and the Owl, a documentary about a young girl with a rare illness and a stranger who becomes her pen pal – so to speak.

The story features Joni Lillard, who was about to have a life-threatening surgery. Bob Jensen, a school superintendent, and father of three, reads about Joni in the local paper. This marks the start of a long-lasting, and unlikely friendship after Bob sends her a beautifully concocted get-well card. This “random act of kindness” from a total stranger was a nice enough gesture — but what Bob does next is simply mind-boggling.

The film is the brainchild of Director Mark Davis and Executive Producer Jan Jensen. Yes, there is a relation! Jan is Bob’s daughter, which gives the viewer unique insight into her father and what motivates a man like Bob to inspire others with kindness. Bob inspired not just Joni, but many others over the course of his life as evidenced in Davis and Jensen’s storytelling. Joni’s mother, Debbie, also joins us on the program to share what impact Bob had on their lives.

The Bear and the Owl is the story of how one selfless act can have a domino effect and inspire others to do good deeds. This film does its part, leaving viewers wanting to make the world a better place. If you want to feel better about the world we live in, be sure to tune in to Director’s Cut this Friday night at 10 p.m. and Director’s Cut Presents at 10:30 p.m. on Wisconsin Public Television, your home for independent film. See you then!

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