“Sky Blossom,” A “Variety Top 2021 Awards Season Contender,” Brings Innovative Film Launch Strategy To New York’s Famed 92Y
First “all-inclusive” documentary of the year brings together Latino, Black, Asian, Native and White American Narratives.
Nancy Pelosi and Mitch McConnell join forces as Official Congressional Honorary Co-Chairs in rare bipartisan support for new film on student “care heroes.“
The 92Y, one of the leading cultural and community centers in New York City, will present an exclusive screening and virtual conversation around the acclaimed documentary film “Sky Blossom: Diaries of the Next Greatest Generation” on Monday, January 11 at 6:30pET.
Sky Blossom provides a raw, uplifting window into the lives of 24.5 million students taking care of family with disabilities across America. The film in October was named by Variety as one of the “Top 25 2021 Awards Season Contenders.”
“Viewers often say they cry, but because they are so inspired by the courage the students in the film demonstrate,” says the film’s director.
Intersectional and All-Inclusive
The film follows five students over three years, from Latino, Black, Asian, Native, and White American families in the military community. During a year of wide-reaching headlines of George Floyd, these families’ multicultural stories of homelessness, poverty, life and death, and more give us a look into what it means to be a Person of Color, a caregiver, a veteran, and more.
The field film crew was 100% female, as was the composer of the original soundtrack and six original theme songs. The 48-piece orchestra was 86% diverse in gender and/or ethnicity, and was led by a seasoned conductor who also was a person of color. Finally, over 90% of the $1.5 million raised for the not-for-profit film went to diverse subcontractors.
Rare Congressional Bipartisan Support
Opening remarks will be delivered by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who along with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is among 10 bipartisan members of Congress supporting the film as Official Honorary Co-Chairs. “On behalf of the Congress, it is a privilege to thank the Elizabeth Dole Foundation and the entire Sky Blossom team for shining a bright light on the struggles and sacrifice of our hidden heroes — our military family caregivers,” said the Speaker. “There is nothing partisan about fighting for the caregivers of our military.”
Jean Tsien, an Executive Producer and recent winner of DOCNYC’s Lifetime Achievement Award, whose editing credits include the 2001 Oscars nominee “Scottsboro: An American Tragedy,” described the title’s meaning: “Sky Blossom is from World War II, when troops would look up at the sky and say, ‘Here come the Sky Blossoms,’ describing paratroopers, rushing to their aid. This film shares a new generation answering that call to help.”
Emmy-winning actor David Hyde Pierce, best known for his role as Dr. Niles Crane on NBC’s Frasier will introduce the film. Pierce was amongst the documentary’s Executive Producers. “There are more heroes per square inch in Sky Blossom than there were in Saving Private Ryan,” said Pierce.
Following the screening, Voto Latino CEO and MSNBC News Contributor Maria Teresa Kumar will moderate an exclusive behind-the-scenes panel featuring Executive Producers Montel Williams and Jean Tsien, and Director Richard Lui.
Williams, a veteran and longtime talk show host, will also appear on the panel. “We talk about Greatest Generations — this will end up being our next Greatest Generation, no question,” he said of the students featured in the film.
Lui, an award-winning MSNBC/NBC News journalist is among the year’s leading breakout documentary film directors. Lui says the film is inspired by his personal seven-year struggle of caregiving for his father, who is battling Alzheimer’s. “This is a film made by caregivers, for caregivers. More than 80 percent of the team behind Sky Blossom, myself included, have had caregiving experiences. It’s an experience that over 53 million Americans — of all backgrounds, colors, class, and community, have gone through. The stories shared in Sky Blossom show this is a universal experience,” said Lui.
Innovative Film Launch
The 92Y is amongst New York’s preeminent community and cultural venues hosting discussions with leading newsmakers. In January, the 92Y will also host virtual panels featuring Fmr. FBI Director James Comey, actress Hailee Steinfeld, celebrity chef Jacques Pepin, and talk show host Andy Cohen.
The 92Y Special Event follows the world premiere at a star-studded November 11 drive-in screening at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. It was the first of its kind in the venue’s five-decade history. On the same night, in all 50 States, Community Partners AMC Theaters and Universal Pictures had a one night only screening. Upcoming virtual events include:
NEW YORK, NY : 92Y-hosted event featuring Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Montel Williams, Jean Tsien, David Hyde Pierce, and Richard Lui, moderated by Maria Teresa Kumar.
LOS ANGELES, CA: A panel on women in film featuring members of the film’s 100% female crew, hosted by Plan International USA and the International Collective of Female Cinematographers.
BOSTON, MA: A panel open to Harvard University students on diversity and inclusion as part of a Harvard Crimson student newspaper speaker series.
SAN FRANCISCO, CA: A panel hosted by UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism and San Francisco Independent Film Festival, with a discussion focused on the arts in film, specifically original soundtrack and themes, and animation as film artform and narrative tool.
A full listing of programming and registration information can be found at www.skyblossom.com/events. “This effort is one part of a larger community wanting to celebrate what they mean to the country’s future, like those evening NYC salutes we did at 7 pm to honor care heroes. We will do the same at each of these events,” says Lui.
Sky Blossom Title Sponsors include AARP, Alzheimer’s Association, EMD Serono, Seniorlink, and Wallace H. Coulter Foundation, and in cooperation with the Elizabeth Dole Foundation. The film is available in virtual cinema nationwide, hosted by the historic Laemmle Theater. Learn more at: skyblossom.com
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SOURCE Sky Blossom Films