By Jeff Murphy, March 22, 2019
Fred Rogers meets a young boy with a disability, Jeff Erlanger, in the film "Won't You Be My Neighbor?", a Focus Features release. Credit: Jim Judkis
WARRENSBURG, MO - KMOS-TV and Capitol Cinema join the Independent Television Service documentary series “Independent Lens” to present a special community screening of the feature film “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”
The screening, to be followed by a panel discussion about ‘what it takes to be a good neighbor,’ will take place Wednesday, March 27 at 6 p.m. at Capitol City Cinema in Jefferson City. Details are available online at www.kmos.org/indielens, or by calling Nicole Hume at 800-753-3436.
The acclaimed documentary from Morgan Neville, one of the most celebrated theatrical releases of 2018, takes an intimate look at America’s favorite neighbor, Fred Rogers. Through the course of the film you will learn 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 Mister Rogers on television before, and there hasn’t been since. The film premiered on “Independent Lens” in February.
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 these 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, 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 January 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 Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards, including Best Documentary, Best Director and Best Editing, as well as the Audience Award at the IFP Gotham Awards. Neville’s film was also nominated for the IDA Documentary Award for Best Feature, nabbed five Cinema Eye Honors, including Best Documentary, and won both the Producers Guild of America Award for Documentary and the Film Independent Spirit Award for Best Documentary.