Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit behind Sesame Street and other award-winning educational programming, will unveil its first documentary series next month, when Through Our Eyes premieres on HBO Max.
Through Our Eyes, described by the Workshop as spotlighting “the perspectives of children as they experience some of the most challenging issues facing families today – homelessness, parental incarceration, military caregiving, and climate displacement,” debuts Thursday, July 22.
In four 30-minute films designed for adults and as a co-viewing experience for kids ages 9 and older, Through Our Eyes will be directed by award-winning and award-nominated filmmakers, several of whom have explored their episode’s topic through previous work. The series is produced by Sesame Workshop.
“Sesame Workshop has always worked to understand the most crucial needs of children and families,” said Kay Wilson Stallings, Sesame Workshop’s Executive Vice President of Creative & Production, “creating content that helps equip, inspire and build resilience to better prepare them for life. With Through Our Eyes, we bring viewers into our process of understanding the unique and immense challenges faced by children today. Our hope is to build empathy for families in crisis and remind those who are also enduring difficulty that they are never alone.”
This month, the first episode, Through Our Eyes: Apart, will world premiere at the Provincetown Film Festival and episode 4, Through Our Eyes: Shelter, will world premiere at AFI Docs.
This four-part series includes the following episodes:
One in 14 American children will experience the incarceration of a parent, and 2.7 million children have a parent in prison right now. This introspective portrait of loss intertwined with moments of joy reminds us of the forgotten consequences of the criminal justice system – the families of those left behind. Apart shares the experiences of three resilient children navigating the complex emotional challenges of their parents’ incarceration as their families work to provide stability and support.
Directed by Primetime Emmy award-winners Geeta Gandbhir (I Am Evidence, Call Center Blues) and Rudy Valdez (The Sentence)
Since 2016, millions of people in the United States have been displaced by weather-related disasters that are occurring more frequently and with greater intensity. In Uprooted, two children in Iowa face the loss of their family farm due to climate change, while a third in Texas waits for her hurricane-damaged home to be rebuilt.
Directed by News and Documentary Emmy Award nominee Talleah Bridges McMahon (Black America Since MLK: And Still I Rise, My Name is Pauli Murray)
There are currently 1.9 million servicemembers and veterans relying on caregiver support in the United States, and 3.4 million children live in the homes of these caregivers. In Homefront, three children of veteran families cope with the emotional impact of having a wounded parent, navigate the unique challenges of visible and invisible injuries sustained during military service, and together journey toward collective healing.
Directed by News and Documentary Emmy Award winner Kristi Jacobson (A Place at the Table, Solitary)
America’s homelessness crisis can feel distant and bureaucratic until you see it through the eyes of a child. Shelter follows three unhoused children and their parents in Los Angeles as they navigate housing insecurity. While each family’s circumstances are different and their futures uncertain, they are bound by love and a common determination to keep their dreams alive.
Directed by Academy Award nominee Smriti Mundhra (St. Louis Superman, A Suitable Girl)
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