07/10/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 07/10/2019 05:06
Making a Positive Impact
Our commitment to using our platforms to create positive change goes beyond our News division, of course. In 2018, Focus Features acquired the worldwide rights to Won't You Be My Neighbor?, a new documentary about the life and work of Fred Rogers from Academy Award-winning filmmaker Morgan Neville.
The unassuming Fred Rogers inspired generations of children with his compassion and limitless imagination as he took them on tours of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. His lessons of kindness, inclusiveness, and empathy are as necessary today as they were 30 years ago when he first zipped up his cardigans on TV screens.
The film demonstrates 'how Fred Rogers navigated the cultural and social issues of the second half of the 20th century with his own brand of forward-thinking, compassionate wisdom far beyond his time,' said Focus Chairman Peter Kujawski. 'Mister Rogers makes us all want to be better people, and we couldn't be more proud to be part of telling his story today.'
Exploring Critical Social Issues
We are also dedicated to addressing important social issues. To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in 2018, NBC News released a documentary film, narrated by Holt, that examined how Dr. King and other leaders of the civil rights movement used the power of print and visual media - and especially television - to raise consciousness to the realities and injustices of racial inequality. Hope & Fury: MLK, The Movement and The Media offers a gripping account of American history as told by civil rights leaders, pioneering African American reporters who chronicled the movement, journalists from across generations, and present-day activists.
In 2018, we also hosted our second annual Meet the Press Film Festival, in collaboration with the American Film Institute. The event featured 23 films that highlighted critical issues ahead of the U.S. midterm elections, including gun violence, immigration, voting rights, the changing economy, poverty, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
NBCUniversal commissioned and submitted our own film, Insecure, a documentary exploring poverty, immigration, and the elusive quest for the American Dream. 'The motivation behind this project was to create a short documentary highlighting child poverty in America,' says Cayman Grant, the film's director. 'People think of child poverty as homelessness, but these families are the working poor.'
Almost 13 million children in the United States are at or below the poverty line, Grant notes, highlighting Comcast NBCUniversal's ongoing support of Red Nose Day, a national fundraising campaign with a mission to end child poverty. The event, which got its start in the United Kingdom, has raised close to $190 million since its launch in the United States in 2015.
Our news and entertainment divisions proudly use their platforms to build awareness and encourage action and engagement around important causes.