‘Butterfly in the Sky’: Reading Rainbow Documentary Gets Theatrical Release Date [VIDEO]

'Butterfly in the Sky': Reading Rainbow Documentary Gets Theatrical Relase Date

AMC Theaters has joined forces with Fifth Season to release the Reading Rainbow documentary title “Butterfly in the Sky,” showcasing the iconic 1980s PBS children’s series “Reading Rainbow.” Directed by Bradford Thomason and Brett Whitcomb, the film premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2023, offering audiences an exclusive glimpse behind the scenes of the beloved show.

The documentary delves into the vision of the show’s creators, who believed that television could be a powerful tool to instill a love of reading in children. Focusing on the challenges faced by host LeVar Burton and the creators in their mission, “Butterfly in the Sky” promises an insightful journey into the making of a groundbreaking children’s program.

Produced by XTR, the documentary is set to have a limited theatrical release starting on March 17 in select AMC theaters, followed by a wider run in New York and additional cities. Fifth Season has acquired the film’s digital and international rights, making it available for viewing via Video On Demand (VOD) platforms, including iTunes and Amazon, starting on April 30.

The directors, both Texas natives, expressed their deep connection to “Reading Rainbow,” emphasizing its reflection of diverse cultures and the magical world it opened up through LeVar Burton’s captivating storytelling. In a joint statement, they declared their belief in the show’s significance as an unsung hero in children’s programming and their commitment to preserving its legacy.

“Reading Rainbow,” which graced the small screen for an impressive 23 years across 26 seasons, featured notable guest stars such as Maya Angelou, Susan Sarandon, Jeff Bridges, and James Earl Jones.

LeVar Burton, the charismatic host of the series, shared his excitement about the documentary, expressing hope that audiences would experience the same warm, nostalgic feelings he did while watching it for the first time.

To craft the narrative of “Reading Rainbow,” Thomason and Whitcomb relied on archival footage and interviews with co-creators, guest stars, and key figures involved in the show’s production, including Whoopi Goldberg and Twila Liggett.

XTR founder and CEO Bryn Mooser highlighted the documentary’s powerful reminder of the essential role of children’s literature, describing “Butterfly in the Sky” as a joyful celebration of the impact of “Reading Rainbow.”

Presented by XTR, the film is a collaborative production of Sidestilt Films and Window Pictures. Bryan Storkel served as the producer, with executive producers including Whoopi Goldberg, Tom Leonardis, Bryn Mooser, and others. Educational rights for the documentary are being managed by Roco Films, making it accessible for classrooms, libraries, and educators starting this April.

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