Two seconds into the bubbling synth sounds of itstheme song will have a child of the 1980s or ‘90s exclaiming “Reading Rainbow!” Such is the beloved and ubiquitous nature of the classic children’s literary television show that introduced millions of kids to the wonder and importance of books. Not only did the series insist on having kids speak to kids about their favorite stories, but Reading Rainbow introduced the world to one of the most adored television hosts of all time in LeVar Burton. Thanks to his direct, non-patronizing and, most importantly, kind delivery, Burton became a conduit to learning for children of every background—an entrancing guide to subjects unknown.
In co-directors Bradford Thomason and Brett Whitcomb’s wonderfully nostalgic look back at the origin story of Reading Rainbow, you’re invited to learn about the foundation of a show that for 25 years dedicated itself to not only bringing literature into children’s lives but delving behind the pages to the people, places, and things each new story explored. --Liza Domnitz
After the Premiere Screening: A conversation with education advocate and former Reading Rainbow host, LeVar Burton.
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Bradford Thomason and Brett Whitcomb are a filmmaking team with a catalog that oscillates between archive-rich nostalgic portraits of pop culture and observational snapshots of under-explored cultures. Bradford and Brett recently co-directed the feature length documentary Jasper Mall.