A Night of Conversation with Comedian Kenan Thompson – November 16th

A Night of Conversation with Comedian Kenan Thompson – November 16th


A Night of Conversation with Comedian Kenan Thompson



Shine Global, the non-profit media company that produces inspiring films and compelling content about underserved children and their families, announces a night of conversation with actor Kenan Thompson, star of Saturday Night Live (SNL), and producer Albie Hecht, who first worked with Kenan when he was a teenage cast member of the hit Nickelodeon series “All That”.

This free event will include an entertaining exploration of Kenan Thompson’s multi-decade career and will touch on his transition from child actor to the longest serving cast member of SNL. All participants will have the opportunity to join in this interactive forum and ask questions throughout.

To support Shine Global please join us by making a donation.

“Shine Global produces films like Liyana and Virtually Free that tell powerful stories, revealing hardship and strength, with the goal of protecting children from abuses globally,” said Thompson “The resilience that is celebrated in each film inspires us all to work together to improve the odds for children around the world.”

“We are very excited that Kenan Thompson will be joining us for a night of laughter and insightful conversation,” said Shine Global Co-Founder and Executive Director Susan MacLaury. “His talent and kindness have made him a beloved colleague on SNL and we share his commitment to promote action and inspire change.“

Shine Global gives voice to children and families by telling stories of their resilience to raise awareness, promote action, and inspire change. Since launching in 2005, Shine Global’s films have tackled child labor, child abuse, and child soldiering, shared moving stories about the effects of war, parental incarceration, undocumented immigration, and homelessness on children and highlighted the power of music, dance, and sports to heal.

Event Information


Kenan Thompson (Comedian and Actor)

Kenan Thompson returns for his 14th season on “Saturday Night Live.” Thompson has made numerous contributions to the show with his slew of hilarious impressions that include Rev. Al Sharpton, Charles Barkley, Steve Harvey and David Ortiz, and by playing memorable characters such as DJ Dynasty Handbag, the scathingly fierce co-host of “Deep House Dish,” boisterous second wife Virginiaca Hastings, and “Weekend Update” correspondent Jean K. Jean. Thompson has most recently garnered praise from audiences for playing characters Lorenzo McIntosh, a convict who uses “scare tactics” with delinquents, and D’Andre Cole, the disruptive singing talk show host on the wildly popular sketch, “What Up with That.”

A native of Atlanta, Thompson made his television debut as a member of Nickelodeon’s all-kid sketch comedy series “All That”. He and his partner Kel Mitchell debuted on a spin-off show, “Kenan and Kel,” in 1996. Thompson also had a recurring role on the WB’s “Felicity.”

Thompson showcased his voice talents as Greedy Smurf in the animated films “The Smurfs” and “The Smurfs 2.” His past projects include starring opposite Samuel L. Jackson in “Snakes on a Plane,” “Wieners” and “The Magic of Belle Isle” with Morgan Freeman. Thompson has also lent his voice to the animated comedy “Space Chimps,” the television series “Sit Down, Shut Up” and the Kobe/LeBron Nike puppet campaign during the 2009 NBA Playoffs. Other feature film credits include “Fat Albert,” “D2: The Mighty Ducks,” “Good Burger,” “The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle,” “Heavyweights,” “My Boss’s Daughter,” “Barbershop 2,” and “They Came Together.” He was the voice of Austin “Impresario” Sullivan in the Hulu animated series “The Awesomes” and will also lend his voice to the upcoming film “Rock Dog.”

Thompson lives in Florida and New York City with his wife and daughter.

Albie Hecht (Shine Global Co-Founder/pocket.watch Chief Content Officer)

Albie Hecht is a Co-Founder of Shine Global and the Chief Content Officer of pocket.watch a kids and family brand. He was recently the head of the HLN Network and prior to that, he was the CEO of Worldwide Biggies, a digital studio creating transmedia content for film and TV. Before creating Biggies, Albie was President of Film and Television Entertainment at Nickelodeon, where he developed Spongebob Squarepants, Dora the Explorer and co-created and executive produced “The Kids Choice Awards.” As creator and President of Spike TV, Albie brought the UFC franchise to the channel. He won awards for his documentary “True Dads: the Story of American Fatherhood” with Bruce Willis. He produced the Oscar®-nominated animated feature Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius, Shine Global’s first film, the Oscar®-nominated feature documentary, War/Dance, the Oscar® winner Inocente, and 1 Way Up in 3D.



Shine Global is an award-winning non-profit media company that gives voice to children and their families by sharing their stories of resilience to raise awareness, promote action, and inspire change. We produce inspiring films and compelling content about at-risk children. Through tailored distribution and outreach, we connect with our audiences in communities, classrooms, museums, and on capitol hill as part of a powerful engagement campaign to encourage social change. Our films have won more than 80 major awards, including an Academy Award® for Best Documentary Short Subject for Inocente, an Academy Award®-nomination for War/Dance, and a Webby-nomination for The Election Effect digital series. Virtually Free is the 14th film by Shine Global. Learn More at www.shineglobal.org

The Eagle Huntress + Live Filmmaker Q&A November 11th 8pmET

The Eagle Huntress + Live Filmmaker Q&A November 11th 8pmET


The Eagle Huntress + Live Filmmaker Q&A November 11th 8pmET


Join Shine Global, Director Otto Bell, Producer Stacey Reiss, and Moderator Susan MacLaury for a virtual screening of The Eagle Huntress and a live Q&A. Watch the film anytime before the Q&A from the comfort of your own home.

LIVE Filmmaker Q&A
Wednesday, November 11th

How to Watch

1. Click here to go the screening page on Eventive

2. If your screen says “Watch Now” simply click to begin viewing. If your screen says “Unlock” enter your email and password (you will need to create an account with Eventive if you don’t have one already) to secure a ticket and the page will take you to the “Watch Now” screen.

3. You have 7 days to begin watching the film after unlocking. Once you begin watching, you have 48 hours to complete the film. You can watch at anytime before the panel discussion – the film is 1 hour and 28 minutes long.

4. On November 11th at 8pmET the same page will host the live Q&A. You must be signed into your account to view. You can type questions and comments into the chat box.

5. If you’d like to make it a Movie Night, follow this timeline to join in the fun simultaneously with the filmmakers and friends across the country:

Wednesday, November 11th
6:30pm EDT (NY) / 3:30pm PDT (CA)
Log in to Eventive to watch The Eagle Huntress from the comfort of your home. The film is 1 hour and 28 minutes long.

8:00pm EDT (NY) / 5pm PDT (CA)
Participate in our live Q&A

If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to reach out to sean@shineglobal.org for assistance and you can view the Help from Eventive


“Soaring! An enchanting tale.”
– Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles times

“A bliss-out.”
– Manohla Dargis, The New York Times

“One of the most beautifully shot movies I have ever seen.”
– Melissa Silverstein, Indiewire

“Thrilling! A movie that expands your sense of what is possible.”
– A.O. Scott, The New York Times

Narrated by Daisy Ridley, this spellbinding documentary follows Aisholpan, a 13-year-old nomadic Mongolian girl who is fighting to become the first female eagle hunter in twelve generations of her Kazakh family. Through breathtaking aerial cinematography and intimate verite footage, the film captures her personal journey while also addressing universal themes like female empowerment, the natural world, coming of age and the onset of modernity.

Running Time: 1 hour 17 minutes | Rating: G


Otto Bell – Director

Otto Bell runs Courageous, a commercial studio of filmmakers and designers based in New York. He has directed over fifteen documentary films as far afield as Uganda, Japan, Egypt, and Vietnam for brands such as IBM and Philips. During a decade in the industry he has also created and produced multi-award winning world affairs programming such as “Horizons” on BBC World News and “Shunya” on Times Now of India. Otto is a graduate of Oxford University and the prestigious WPP Fellowship Scheme. He lives in Manhattan, but originally hails from Northern England.

Stacey Reiss – Producer

Stacey Reiss is an Emmy award-winning filmmaker wh o has written, directed, and produced documentaries and long form programs for HBO, NBC, WNET and CNBC. Her films include THE PERFECTION starring Allison Williams (Netflix); IT’S A HARD TRUTH AIN’T IT co-directed by 13 incarcerated men (Tribeca 2018;) SUITED, a modern look at gender through the conduit of clothing (Sundance 2016;) THE DIPLOMAT, about the life and legacy of the late Ambassador Richard Holbrooke (Tribeca 2015;) IT’S ME, HILARY, a portrait of the artist behind the iconic “Eloise” books (Sundance 2015;) and I KNEW IT WAS YOU, about the late actor John Cazale best known as “Fredo” in “The Godfather” (Sundance 2009.) All were acquired by HBO. Prior to making films, Stacey was an award winning producer for DATELINE NBC for over a decade. She holds a Journalism degree from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Producers Guild, and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

Susan MacLaury – Moderator

Co-Founder and Executive Director of Shine Global Susan was Executive Producer of The Eagle Huntress. She also has Executive Produced the Emmy Award®-winning, Academy Award®-nominated documentary War/Dance, the Academy Award® Winner Inocente, The Harvest (La Cosecha), 1 Way Up in 3D, and Liyana and co-produced Tre Maison Dasan. She is also the producer of The Wrong Light and Virtually Free. Susan is in charge of the educational outreach and social advocacy efforts for all of Shine Global’s films. She is dually degreed in social work administration and health education and was associate professor of health education Ambienpro at Kean University from 1994 through 2013.

Virtually Free Shortlisted for IDA Documentary Awards

Virtually Free Shortlisted for IDA Documentary Awards


Virtually Free Shortlisted for IDA Documentary Awards

Virtually Free, Shine Global’s latest documentary produced by Susan MacLaury and Alexandra Blaney and Directed by André Robert Lee, has been shortlisted for the IDA Documentary Awards in the Shorts category. The IDA Documentary Awards is “the world’s most prestigious event dedicated to the documentary genre, celebrating the best nonfiction films and programs of the year. It seeks to represent excellence in the documentary field from around the world, by emerging and established documentarians.” Up to ten nominees in each of the feature and short documentary categories will be selected from the shortlist and will be announced on November 24th.

Virtually Free is a documentary about unlikely allies in Richmond, VA who partner to transform the juvenile justice system and stop mass incarceration. In the film, we meet Sid, Tae, and AR, three teens currently being held in a Richmond, VA detention center who are offered the chance to become activists speaking truth to power. Participating in a local arts organizations’ program, Performing Statistics, they are taught by different artists to deliver their powerful, authentic messages to the public, law enforcement, and government officials using their art, including a virtual reality jail cell they’ve helped create.

More information on how to book an exclusive virtual screening and workshop can be found at: https://www.virtuallyfreemovie.com/watch

Watch the trailer:

Shorts Shortlist

Abortion Helpline, This is Lisa (USA / Woman Make Movies. Directors/Producers: Barbara Attie, Mike Attie, Janet Goldwater)

All That Perishes at the Edge of Land (Pakistan. Director/Producer: Hira Nabi. Producer: Till Passow)

Tutwiler (USA / Frontline, PBS, The Marshall Project, American Documentary, WORLD Channel. Director: Elaine McMillion Sheldon. Producer: Alysia Santo)

Call Center Blues (USA, Mexico / TOPIC. Director: Geeta Gandbhir. Producer: Jessica Devaney)

Eddy’s World (USA. Director/Producer: Lyn Goldfarb. Producers: Jannat Gargi, Daniel Zimbaldi)

Huntsville Station (USA / NY Times Op-Docs. Directors/Producers: Chris Filippone, Jamie Meltzer)

Hysterical Girl (USA / NY Times Op-Docs. Director: Kate Novack. Producer: Andrew Rossi)

John Was Trying to Contact Aliens (USA / Netflix. Director/Producer: Matthew Killip)

The Lost Astronaut (USA / NY Times Op-Docs. Director: Ben Proudfoot. Producers: Abby Lynn Kang Davis, Gabriel Berk Godoi)

Mizuko (USA, Japan. Directors/Producers: Kira Dane, Katelyn Rebelo)

Racially Charged: America’s Misdemeanor Problem (USA. Director/Producer: Robert Greenwald. Producers: Casey Cooper Johnson, Jim Miller)

sống ở đây (USA / University of California, Santa Cruz. Director/Producer: Melanie Ho)

To Calm the Pig Inside (Ang Pagpakalma sa Unos) (Philippines. Director/Producer: Joanna Vasquez Arong) 

Unforgivable (El Salvador. Director/Producer: Marlén Viñayo. Producer: Carlos Martínez)

Virtually Free (USA. Director: André Robert Lee. Producers: Alexandra Blaney, Susan MacLaury)

Features Shortlist

76 Days (USA, China / MTV Documentary Films. Directors: Anonymous, Weixi Chen. Director/Producer: Hao Wu. Producer: Jean Tsien)

Acasă, My Home (Romania, Germany, Finland / Manifest Film, HBO Europe. Director: Radu Ciorniciuc. Producer: Monica Lăzurean-Gorgan)

Boys State (USA / Apple, A24. Directors/Producers: Amanda McBaine, Jesse Moss)

City Hall (USA / Zipporah Films, Inc. Director: Frederick Wiseman. Producer: Karen Konicek)

Collective  (Romania / Magnolia Pictures, Participant. Director/Producer: Alexander Nanau. Producer: Bianca Oana)

Crip Camp (USA / Netflix. Directors/Producers: Jim LeBrecht, Nicole Newnham. Producer: Sara Bolder)

Disclosure (USA / Netflix. Director/Producer: Sam Feder. Producer: Amy Scholder)

The Earth is Blue as an Orange (Ukraine, Lithuania / TVP. Director: Iryna Tsilyk. Producers: Anna Kapustina, Giedrė Žickytė)

The Forbidden Reel (Canada / National Film Board of Canada. Director: Ariel Nasr. Producers: Kat Baulu, Sergeo Kirby)

Gunda (Norway, USA / NEON. Director: Victor Kossakovsky. Producer: Anita Rehoff Larsen)

I Walk on Water (USA / Grasshopper Film. Director: Khalik Allah. Producers: Sofian Khan, Vikki Tobak)

Me and the Cult Leader (Japan. Director/Producer: Atsushi Sakahara. Producers: Pearl Chan, Matsuo Etsuko)

A Metamorfose dos Pássaros (Portugal / Portugal Film – Portuguese Film Agency. Director: Catarina Vasconcelos. Producers: Pedro Fernandes Duarte, Joana Gusmão)

MLK/FBI (USA / IFC Films. Director: Sam Pollard. Producer: Benjamin Hedin)

The Mole Agent (Chile, Germany, USA / POV, Hulu, Gravitas Ventures. Director: Maite Alberdi. Producer: Marcela Santibañez)

Notturno (Italy, France, Germany. Director/Producer: Gianfranco Rosi. Producers: Camille Laemlé, Serge Lalou, Orwa Nyrabia, Donatella Palermo, Eva-Maria Weerts)

Once Upon a Time in Venezuela (Venezuela, UK, Brazil / Cargo Film Releasing. Director: Anabel Rodríguez Ríos. Producer: Sepp Brudermann) 

The Reason I Jump (USA, UK / Kino Lorber. Director: Jerry Rothwell. Producers: Jeremy Dear, Stevie Lee, Al Morrow)

Reunited (Denmark. Director: Mira Jargil. Producer: Kirstine Barfod)

Self Portrait (Norway. Directors: Katja Høgset, Margreth Olin, Espen Wallin. Director/Producer: Margreth Olin)

Softie (Kenya / POV. Director/Producer: Sam Soko. Producer: Toni Kamau)

Stray (USA / Magnolia Pictures. Director/Producer: Elizabeth Lo. Producers: Shane Boris, Ceylan Carhoglu, Ina Fichman)

‘Til Kingdom Come (Israel, UK, Norway / IPBC Kan, NDR. Director/Producer: Maya Zinshtein. Producers: John Battsek, Abraham (Abie) Troen)

Time (USA / Amazon Studios, Concordia Studio, The New York Times. Director/Producer: Garrett Bradley. Producers: Lauren Domino, Kellen Quinn) 

To See You Again (Mexico. Director: Carolina Corral Paredes. Producer: Magali Rocha Donnadieu)

The Truffle Hunters (USA / Sony Pictures Classics. Directors/Producers: Michael Dweck, Gregory Kershaw)

Unapologetic (USA. Director/Producer: Ashley O’Shay. Producer: Morgan Elise Johnson)

The Viewing Booth (Israel, USA / ro*co films, Temple University, Channel 8 (Israel). Director/Producer: Ra’anan Alexandrowicz. Producer: Liran Atzmor)

Welcome to Chechnya (USA / HBO. Director/Producer: David France. Producers: Alice Henty and Askold Kurov)

Wintopia (Canada / National Film Board of Canada. Director: Mira Burt-Wintonick. Producers: Annette Clarke, Bob Moore)

Virtually Free Shortlisted for IDA Documentary Awards

Virtually Free Trailer Premiere


Virtually Free Trailer

Hot off winning three film festival awards for Best Documentary Short – we are pleased to share the Virtually Free trailer with you!

And now is the time to book an exclusive virtual screening of the award-winning short documentary along with a workshop with Director and Educator André Robert Lee. You can share the film with your coworkers, classroom, or community.

A documentary about unlikely allies in Richmond, VA who partner to transform the juvenile justice system and stop mass incarceration. 
Directed by André Robert Lee and Produced by Susan MacLaury and Alexandra Blaney of Shine Global

Expand and deepen the way you talk about anti-racism,  policing in America, education, and the power of the arts in your community.

A workshop and screening package includes:

  • Private viewing of the 40-minute film for your community
  • Facilitated conversations and activities tailored to your groups needs and interest
  • Discussion guide and standards-based curriculum to help your community continue the conversations in a constructive way after we leave

Director André Robert Lee

André Robert Lee previously directed and produced The Prep School Negro, served as Producer on the documentary I’m Not Racist… Am I? and partnered with Shine Global (War Dance; Inocente) on an episode of “The Election Effect” for Paramount TV. He has served as a facilitator, reader, and speaker for the National Association of Independent Schools People of Color Conference and The Gates Millennium Scholars Program. André is a recipient of many awards and acknowledgements; he also teaches filmmaking at the Germantown Friends School where he is designing a film program and is a former Professor at Wharton. André leads Civil Rights Tours for students of the Carolina Friends School and with adults for The Nation Magazine.

Kids Give Advice: How To Stop Overthinking

Kids Give Advice: How To Stop Overthinking


Kids Give Advice: How To Stop Overthinking


By Sean Conrad

It turns out “How To Stop Overthinking” is one of the most-searched questions on the internet. Asking google that question might even be what brought you to this webpage! But sometimes even Google doesn’t have the answers to the questions we seek, which is why I’ve started a new YouTube series called Kids Give Advice where I ask the youth of NYC the internet’s most-searched questions. Watch this week’s episode below, about How To Stop Overthinking:


Subscribing to Shine Global on YouTube is one of the easiest, most helpful ways to support us in our mission of making films about underserved youth and their families. Thank you so much for your support!