An Independent Lens film From Academy Award®-Winning Director Morgan Neville
WTCI and the Bobby Stone Film Series at the Tivoli are pleased to announce a free screening of Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, the acclaimed documentary from Morgan Neville (the Oscar®-winning “20 Feet from Stardom”) on Wednesday, March 13 at 7 PM at Chattanooga’s historic Tivoli Theater. Tickets for this free community screening are available at the Tivoli box office, beginning 10 AM, Wednesday, February 27th. Tivoli box office hours are Monday through Friday, 10AM to 5PM. Seating for this screening is limited. Tickets are available on a first available basis and limited to 6 per order.
One of the most celebrated theatrical releases of 2018, Won’t You Be My Neighbor? takes an intimate look at America’s favorite neighbor: Fred Rogers. The documentary tells the story of a soft-spoken minister, puppeteer, writer and producer whose show was beamed daily into homes across America for more than 30 years. In his beloved television program, “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,” Rogers and his cast of puppets and friends spoke directly to young children about some of life’s weightiest issues in a simple, direct fashion. There hadn’t been anything like Mr. Rogers on television before, and there hasn’t been since.
Paul Grove, President and CEO of WTCI, says, “We value Mr. Rogers and his legacy in our children’s programming. His quiet message of positivity, kindness and inclusiveness continues to resonate with families today and we’re grateful to partner with our friends at the Tivoli to share this powerful film with our neighbors.” Fred Rogers’ career represented a sustained attempt to present a coherent, beneficent view of how television could be used as a positive force in society. Won’t You Be My Neighbor? explores his legacy, focusing on his radically kind ideas. While the nation changed around him, Rogers stood firm in his belief about the importance of protecting childhood. This intimate portrait goes beyond zip-up cardigans and the land of make-believe and into the heart of a creative genius who inspired generations of children with compassion and limitless imagination.
Since its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in Jan. 2018, the film has become the top-grossing biographical documentary of all time, earning more than $22 million at the domestic box office. It received three Documentary Critic’s Choice Awards, including Best Documentary, Best Director and Best Editing, as well as the Audience Award at the IFP Gotham Awards. Neville’s film is also nominated for the IDA Documentary Award for Best Documentary, five Cinema Eye Honors, including Best Documentary, the Producers Guild of America award for Best Documentary Motion Picture and the Film Independent Spirit Award for Best Documentary.
Named in honor of Chattanooga native and Tivoli Theater Foundation Director Emeritus Bobby Stone, this unique series has brought film back to the Tivoli. “We watched Mister Rogers all the time growing up. I’m sure that’s probably where some of Bobby’s creativity and imagination started taking root. He would have loved this event,” said Cindy Stone, Bobby’s sister. Made possible through generous contributions from Bobby Stone’s family and friends, the new equipment brought film projection back to the ‘Jewel of the South’ with a 4K digital projector, immersive surround sound and the largest drop-down screen in North America.
WTCI has served the children, families and neighbors in the Tennessee Valley region for almost 50 years, providing valuable, trusted resources and programming on-air, online and in the community. Members are at the heart of the community PBS station's mission and their support provides over half of the station's annual budget. New members and renewing members will have special opportunities to support PBS in their community at this special event and PBS and Mister Rogers-themed pledge gifts will be available. For additional information about programming, resources and membership opportunities, please visit wtciTV.org.