The documentary, inspired by Michael Davis’ New York Times best-selling book, is directed by Marilyn Agrelo and produced by Trevor Crafts and Ellen Scherer Crafts. The film chronicles the improbable origins and expansion of the groundbreaking show that not only changed children’s television programming, but had real-world effects on equality, education and representation worldwide.
Screen Media will release in theaters and into the home entertainment market in the spring of 2021. It will have its television debut on HBO and will be available to stream on HBO Max later in the year.
Joan Ganz Cooney and Sesame Workshop co-founder Lloyd Morrisett originated “Sesame Street” as an experiment to harness the burgeoning power of television and create an educational, impactful, uplifting and entertaining show that could reach children nationwide, especially those living in urban areas. Cooney recruited Muppets creator Jim Henson and acclaimed children’s television writer and director Jon Stone to craft the iconic world of “Sesame Street.”
The film includes more than 20 interviews with original writers, cast, crew and unreleased behind-the-scenes footage. The show began airing on Nov. 10, 1969, and has reached more than 150 countries.
“We were inspired to make this film because of our love for ‘Sesame Street,'” Trevor Crafts said. “What we hope people will take away is a deeper understanding of the amazing people who made the show.”
The deal was negotiated by Seth Needle for Screen Media with Brian O’Shea, CEO at The Exchange on behalf of the filmmakers. The Exchange is handling foreign sales for the film and financing was provided by Bondit Media Capital LLC.