Doc Series ‘Through Our Eyes’ Debuting on HBO Max July 22

The documentary series “Through Our Eyes,” spotlighting the perspectives of children as they experience some of the most challenging issues facing families today, will begin streaming exclusively on HBO Max July 22.

The series explores issues of homelessness, parental incarceration, military caregiving and climate displacement in four 30-minute films designed for adults and as a co-viewing experience for kids ages 9 and older. The series is produced by Sesame Workshop, with each episode directed by lauded filmmakers.

Episode 101 “Through Our Eyes: Apart” looks at the effects of incarceration. 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 shows the effect of incarceration on families. “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. The episode is directed by Primetime Emmy award-winners Geeta Gandbhir (I Am Evidence, Call Center Blues) and Rudy Valdez (The Sentence). It had its world premiere at the 2021 Provincetown Film Festival.

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Episode 102 “Through Our Eyes: Uprooted” looks at the effects of climate change. 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. The film is directed by news and documentary Emmy Award nominee Talleah Bridges McMahon (Black America Since MLK: And Still I Rise, My Name is Pauli Murray).

Episode 103 “Through Our Eyes: Homefront” looks at the experiences of service member families. There are currently 1.9 million service members 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 embark on the family’s journey toward healing. The episode is directed by news and documentary Emmy Award winner Kristi Jacobson (A Place at the Table, Solitary).

Episode 104 “Through Our Eyes: Shelter” looks at homelessness. It follows three unhoused children and their parents in Los Angeles as they navigate housing insecurity. While each family’s circumstance is different, they are bound by love and a common determination to keep their dreams alive.  The film, which won the AFI Docs Audience Award for Best Short, is directed by Academy Award nominee Smriti Mundhra (St. Louis Superman, A Suitable Girl).

Discovery+ Launches Doc Series ‘Surge at Mount Sinai’ July 1

The non-fiction streaming service Discovery+ will exclusively bow the documentary series The Surge at Mount Sinai globally July 1.

The series, narrated by Jon Bon Jovi, with a track from Billie Eilish, follows three healthcare workers, two intimate patient journeys and experts from across the hospital in one of the world’s largest healthcare systems in the United States during an unprecedented global pandemic. With intimate access to those on the front lines, the film chronicles the race against time as New York City became the global epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak and New York was experiencing more than 350 deaths per day.

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“We are honored to shine a light on the heroes who came to the world’s rescue during an unprecedented global pandemic,” Lisa Holme, group SVP of content and commercial strategy at Discovery, said in a statement. “At Discovery+, we take pride in bringing our subscribers the best real-life stories and there is no more important story from the past year than following the trials of our healthcare workers.”

“This film explores the emotional journey of individuals who responded to the pandemic in unimaginable ways,” stated David A. Feinberg, SVP, chief marketing and communications officer at Mount Sinai Health System, dean of marketing and communications at Icahn School of Medicine, and co-executive producer on the documentary. “The heroism and innovative spirit by the scientific and medical community is awe-inspiring. The unprecedented challenges that we faced, the many lives that we saved, and the scientific breakthroughs that were identified gives the viewer a unique view of how we found our way through one of our darkest periods. We hope audiences will be moved and inspired by the bold actions taken by the heroes in this film and will come away understanding who we are as an organization. We are forever changed by this period, and our relentless pursuit of knowledge, understanding, and answers to the world’s most complex health challenges continues.”

“Our purpose for this film was to give the world a glimpse into what life was like for the heroic frontline workers during the height of the pandemic,” Peter Maiden, founder and CEO of production studio Convicts and executive producer on the documentary, said in a statement. “These individuals went above and beyond and dedicated an extraordinary amount of time and energy to saving the lives of NYC residents. Capturing their perseverance through the pandemic felt like the most important story that could be told during this time. We are grateful for Mount Sinai for the opportunity to engage with their staff and excited to partner with discovery+ to bring these stories to the forefront. We hope the film will inspire audiences to find the goodness in humanity, even in the dark, and to keep purpose at the heart of all they do.”