Focus Features to release Mister Rogers documentary in 2018
Focus Features has announced they’ve acquired the worldwide rights to Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, a new documentary about the life and work of Mister Fred Rogers. Academy Award-winning filmmaker Morgan Neville (20 Feet from Stardom) directed the documentary, which is set to be released on June 8, 2018.
Won’t You Be My Neighbor? takes an intimate look at America’s favorite neighbor: Mister Fred Rogers. A portrait of a man whom we all think we know, this documentary is an emotional and moving film that takes you 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.
“Morgan once again avoids making a traditional biodoc and instead takes us behind the curtain to see how Fred Rogers navigated the cultural and social issues of the second half of the twentieth century with his own brand of forward-thinking, compassionate wisdom far beyond his time,” Focus chairman Peter Kujawski said. “Mister Rogers makes us all want to be better people, and we couldn’t be more proud to be a part of telling his story today.”
“The Fred Rogers I discovered making this film is at once comfortably familiar and completely surprising. I believe Mister Rogers is the kind of voice we need to hear right now,” said Neville. “I am thrilled to work with Focus Features on taking this film out into the world, along with my collaborators at Impact Partners and Independent Lens.”
“This is Morgan’s fourth film with Independent Lens, following our Emmy Award-winning collaboration on Best of Enemies,” said Lois Vossen, Independent Lens Executive Producer. “His beautiful new film shows us just how cool Mister Rogers was and how relevant and vital his voice is right now.”
Won’t You Be My Neighbor? is produced by Morgan Neville, Caryn Capotosto and Nicholas Ma and is a production of Tremolo Productions in association with Impact Partners and Independent Lens / PBS.
First airing on February 19, 1968, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood went on to run for over 31 seasons and 895 episodes. The series garnered 59 Daytime Emmy award nominations and four wins with Rogers being awarded a Lifetime achievement award in 1997.
(Photo Credit: Getty Images)