Perspectives

5030.03_cropped_upRes Fred Rogers on the set of his show Mr. Rogers Neighborhood from the film, WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR, a Focus Features release. Credit: Jim Judkis / Focus Features

Won’t You Be My Neighbor | INDEPENDENT LENS | Saturday, February 9 at 8


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Won’t You Be My Neighbor, The Acclaimed Story of Fred Rogers and “MISTER ROGERS’ NEIGHBORHOOD,”
To Air on Independent Lens
Saturday, February 9, 2019 on PBS

From Academy Award®-Winning Director Morgan Neville

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, the acclaimed documentary from Morgan Neville (the Oscar®-winning “20 Feet from Stardom”), is scheduled to air Saturday, February 9 (8:00-9:35 p.m. ET) on Independent Lens on WOUB. The PBS broadcast will coincide with the film’s debut on HBO.

One of the most celebrated theatrical releases of 2018, Won’t You Be My Neighbor? takes an intimate look at America’s favorite neighbor: Fred Rogers. The documentary tells the story of a soft-spoken minister, puppeteer, writer and producer whose show was beamed daily into homes across America for more than 30 years. In his beloved television program, “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,” Rogers and his cast of puppets and friends spoke directly to young children about some of life’s weightiest issues in a simple, direct fashion. There hadn’t been anything like Mr. Rogers on television before, and there hasn’t been since.

Fred Rogers with Daniel Tiger from his show Mr. Rogers Neighborhood in the film, WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR, a Focus Features release.Credit: Focus Features

Fred Rogers’ career represented a sustained attempt to present a coherent, beneficent view of how television could be used as a positive force in society. Won’t You Be My Neighbor? explores his legacy, focusing on his radically kind ideas. While the nation changed around him, Rogers stood firm in his belief about the importance of protecting childhood. This intimate portrait goes beyond zip-up cardigans and the land of make-believe and into the heart of a creative genius who inspired generations of children with compassion and limitless imagination.

Since its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in Jan. 2018, the film has become the top-grossing biographical documentary of all time, earning more than $22 million at the domestic box office. It received three Documentary Critic’s Choice Awards, including Best Documentary, Best Director and Best Editing, as well as the Audience Award at the IFP Gotham Awards. Neville’s film is also nominated for the IDA Documentary Award for Best Documentary, five Cinema Eye Honors, including Best Documentary, the Producers Guild of America award for Best Documentary Motion Picture and the Film Independent Spirit Award for Best Documentary.

Won’t You Be My Neighbor? is a Focus Features presentation, in association with Impact Partners and PBS/Independent Lens, a Tremolo Production; executive producers, David J. & Linda A. Cornfield, David Stone & David Boies III, Rick Rosenthal & Nancy Stephens, John Boccardo & Derek Esplin, Andrea Van Beuren, Jenifer Westphal, Dan Cogan, Geralyn White Dreyfous, Regina K. Scully; cinematography by Graham Willoughby; edited by Jeff Malmberg & Aaron Wickenden; produced by Morgan Neville, Caryn Capotosto and Nicholas Ma; directed by Morgan Neville.

About Independent Lens
Independent Lens is an Emmy® Award-winning weekly series airing on WOUB Monday nights at 10:00 PM. The acclaimed series, with Lois Vossen as executive producer, features documentaries united by the creative freedom, artistic achievement, and unflinching visions of independent filmmakers. Presented by ITVS, the series is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people, with additional funding from PBS, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Wyncote Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. For more visit pbs.org/independentlens. Join the conversation: facebook.com/independentlens and on Twitter @IndependentLens.