Five award-winning and -nominated filmmakers – including Shine Global – delve into children’s perspectives on some of today’s most challenging issues – homelessness, parental incarceration, military caregiving, and climate displacement

(June 8, 2021 – New York, N.Y.) – Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit behind Sesame Street and decades of award-winning educational programming, today announced its first documentary series Through Our Eyes, set to debut on Thursday, July 22 on HBO Max.  Shine Global is proud to have produced Through Our Eyes: HOMEFRONT, one of the four documentaries.

Through Our Eyes spotlights the perspectives of children as they experience some of the most challenging issues facing families today – homelessness, parental incarceration, military caregiving, and climate displacement – in four 30-minute films designed for adults and as a co-viewing experience for kids ages 9 and older. The series is produced by Sesame Workshop, with each episode directed by award-winning and -nominated filmmakers, several of whom have previously explored these topics through their cinematic work.

Shine Global’s documentary Through Our Eyes: HOMEFRONT is directed by News and Documentary Emmy Award winner Kristi Jacobson (The Election Effect: Anmal, A Place at the Table, Solitary) and produced by Shine Global’s Alexandra Blaney and Catalyst Films’ Netsanet Negussie. There are currently 1.9 million service members and veterans relying on caregiver support in the United States, and 3.4 million children live in the homes of these caregivers. In HOMEFRONT, three children of veteran families cope with the emotional impact of having a wounded parent, navigate the unique challenges of visible and invisible injuries sustained during military service, and together journey toward collective healing.

“Sesame Workshop has always worked to understand the most crucial needs of children and families, creating content that helps equip, inspire and build resilience to better prepare them for life,” said Kay Wilson Stallings, Sesame Workshop’s Executive Vice President of Creative & Production. “With Through Our Eyes, we bring viewers into our process of understanding the unique and immense challenges faced by children today. Our hope is to build empathy for families in crisis and remind those who are also enduring difficulty that they are never alone.”

The other three documentaries in the series are:

Through Our Eyes: APART

One in 14 American children will experience the incarceration of a parent, and 2.7 million children have a parent in prison right now. This introspective portrait of loss intertwined with moments of joy reminds us of the forgotten consequences of the criminal justice system – the families of those left behind. APART shares the experiences of three resilient children navigating the complex emotional challenges of their parents’ incarceration as their families work to provide stability and support. Directed by Primetime Emmy award-winners Geeta Gandbhir (I Am Evidence, Call Center Blues) and Rudy Valdez (The Sentence)

Through Our Eyes: UPROOTED

Since 2016, millions of people in the United States have been displaced by weather-related disasters that are occurring more frequently and with greater intensity. In UPROOTED, two children in Iowa face the loss of their family farm due to climate change, while a third in Texas waits for her hurricane-damaged home to be rebuilt. Directed by News and Documentary Emmy Award nominee Talleah Bridges McMahon (Black America Since MLK: And Still I Rise, My Name is Pauli Murray)

Through Our Eyes: SHELTER

America’s homelessness crisis can feel distant and bureaucratic until you see it through the eyes of a child. SHELTER follows three unhoused children and their parents in Los Angeles. While each family’s circumstances are different and their futures uncertain, they are bound by love and a common determination to keep their dreams alive. Directed by Academy Award nominee Smriti Mundhra (St. Louis Superman, A Suitable Girl)


About Shine Global

Shine Global is a non-profit media company that gives voice to children and their families by telling their stories of resilience to raise awareness, promote action, and inspire change. We produce inspiring films and compelling content about underserved 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. Since our founding in 2005, Shine Global films have won more than 100 major awards, including an Academy Award® for Best Documentary Short Subject for Inocente and an Academy Award®-nomination and two Emmys® for War/Dance. Recent films include the documentary-animation hybrid Liyana, the hit documentary The Eagle Huntress, and Tre Maison Dasan which broadcast on PBS’s Independent Lens, and Virtually Free which won the SIMA Jury Award for Impact.

About Sesame Workshop

Sesame Workshop is the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street, the pioneering television show that has been reaching and teaching children since 1969. Today, Sesame Workshop is an innovative force for change, with a mission to help kids everywhere grow smarter, stronger, and kinder. We’re present in more than 150 countries, serving vulnerable children through a wide range of media, formal education, and philanthropically funded social impact programs, each grounded in rigorous research and tailored to the needs and cultures of the communities we serve. For more information, please visit

About Catalyst Films

Founded by Emmy Award-winning Director/Producer Kristi Jacobson, Catalyst Films produces non-fiction films, television, and online content. We are committed to telling stories that treat societal issues with nuance, complexity, and high production values.

Some of our partners include HBO, HBO Max, Netflix, Discovery Channel, ITVS, PBS, Sundance, Tribeca Enterprises, Chicken & Egg Pictures, Magnolia Pictures, Procter & Gamble, Orangetheory Fitness, and more.

Equally important to our ambitious creative mission, Catalyst Films leads with conviction to center racial and gender equity, in our effort to challenge and re-shape the documentary industry behind and in front of the camera.