Reading Rainbow Documentary Butterfly in the Sky Begins Filming - VRGyani News and Media

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Sunday, September 5, 2021

Reading Rainbow Documentary Butterfly in the Sky Begins Filming

Reading Rainbow, the acclaimed children’s educational program that ran for 26 seasons, is getting its own documentary. XTR, the studio behind the recently acclaimed documentaries You Cannot Kill David Arquette and Ailey, is currently shooting the film entitled Butterfly in the Sky. According to the studio, the film will “honor the show’s legacy and teach younger generations about this milestone in television history in our current era of distance learning.”

Of course, you cannot talk about Reading Rainbow without talking about its presenter (and rightful Jeopardy! host) LeVar Burton. Fear not, as he will be featured in the documentary through new interviews and archival footage. Alongside Burton will be numerous broadcasters, producers, and educators that helped the show become as influential as it is.

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Butterfly in the Sky will be directed by Brett Whitcomb and Bradford Thomason, the filmmaking duo behind 2012’s GLOW: The Story of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling. In a statement, Whitcomb described how the show helped him pursue documentary filmmaking. “Reading Rainbow was my window into the big city and into diverse cultures,” he explains. “With segments like those in ‘Hill of Fire,’ ‘Liang and the Magic Paintbrush,’ and countless other episodes, Reading Rainbow was arguably the first time I encountered ‘documentary-style’ television as a young person, planting a seed that would inspire me for the rest of my life and lead me to where I am in my career to this day.”

Thomason also elaborated on the influence Reading Rainbow had on his upbringing. “As a Mexican-American growing up in Houston, I was always surrounded by diversity. More than any show on television, Reading Rainbow reflected the cultures that surrounded me,” says the director. He also explains how influential the show’s tie-in books were, saying “When the book fair came to my school, I went straight for the Reading Rainbow titles. I didn’t know it at the time, but the show’s mission statement was manifesting itself in me. I devour books to this day and I know Reading Rainbow had a hand in that.”

Butterfly in the Sky is currently in production and does not have a release date. XTR’s latest release is the Sundance 2021 selection Faya Dayi, which is currently playing at Film at Lincoln Center in New York City. If you can’t make the flight, check out XTR’s other recent Sundance release Homeroom on Hulu. The first two seasons of Reading Rainbow are available to stream on Amazon Prime.

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