Screen Media today released the first official trailer for the critically acclaimed “Sesame Street” documentary, “Street Gang: How We Got to Sesame Street.” Directed by Marilyn Agrelo (“Mad Hot Ballroom”) and inspired by Michael Davis’ eponymous nonfiction New York Times bestseller, the documentary chronicles the improbable origins of the groundbreaking children’s television show that had real-world effects on equality, education, and representation worldwide.
The documentary premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year to rave reviews, including from IndieWire’s own Kate Erbland, who called the film “loving and wide-ranging,” adding: “Initially conceived of as a then-revolutionary combination of children’s entertainment and educational instruction — literally inventing the idea of educational TV — ‘Sesame Street’ has only maintained and expanded its lofty ambitions over the course of more than five decades. That success, Agrelo’s film sagely argues, was no accident, but instead the product of careful, considerate, and forward-thinking planning. It may be magic, but boy, does it take work.”
The film focuses on the tireless work of socially conscious television executive Joan Ganz Cooney and Sesame Workshop co-founder Lloyd Morrisett, who were inspired by the activism of the late 1960s to harness the burgeoning power of TV to create an educational show that could reach children across the country, especially those living in urban areas. Cooney recruited trailblazing “Muppets” creator Jim Henson and children’s television writer and director Jon Stone to craft the iconic and beloved world of “Sesame Street.”
“Street Gang” refers to this visionary “gang” of mission-driven artists, writers, and educators that created one of most influential and impactful television programs in history, until now the unsung heroes of “Sesame Street.” With more than 20 interviews with original writers, cast, and crew, and never-before-seen behind the scenes footage, “Street Gang” is told from the inside with humor and emotion, weaving together personal narratives and eyewitness accounts.
“Street Gang” was produced by Trevor Crafts and Ellen Scherer Crafts of Macrocosm Entertainment, along with Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment and Screen Media, in association with HBO Documentary Films.
The film will be released in theaters on April 23 and VOD on May 7. Check out the trailer for “Street Gang: How We Got to Sesame Street” below.