Documentary from New Jersey filmmaker Jonathan Kalafer tells inspiring tale of Staten Island music teacher Gregg Breinberg and PS22’s fifth grade chorus, whose YouTube popularity led them to a performance of a lifetime: the Academy Awards.
February 26, 2014 – JERSEY CITY, NJ — NJTV, New Jersey’s public television network, will air a special presentation of its local documentary series NJDOCS featuring Once In A Lullaby: The PS22 Chorus Story on Monday, March 3 at 9:30pm (check local listings).
The 82-minute documentary from New Jersey filmmaker Jonathan Kalafer relays the story of Staten Island music teacher Gregg Breinberg and PS22’s fifth grade chorus, whose YouTube popularity led them to a performance of a lifetime: the Academy Awards.
Encouraged by peers, Breinberg started blogging about and posting PS22 Chorus performances on YouTube. Their unique executions of classic and popular music, from artists like Katy Perry and Adele, coupled with the students’ expressive performance style, helped the videos go viral, leading to international popularity and celebrity fans like actress Anne Hathaway.
Kalafer, a teacher himself at Dickinson High School in Jersey City, spotlights Breinberg’s teaching style, the chorus’s camaraderie and work ethic and parallels the personal lives of some of its members as they journey through the 2010-11 school year, during which they receive a very special invitation to close the Academy Awards, hosted by Hathaway.
The documentary, which was also featured at the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival, tracks the chorus through their appearance at the Oscars to sing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” as creative differences, lost voices, and homesickness threaten their performance along the way.
Prior to the film, NJTV’s General Manager John Servidio sits down with Kalafer for insight on the documentary.
Once in a Lullaby: The PS22 Chorus Story is produced by New Jersey Pictures LLC.
NJDOCS, produced by Public Media NJ, Inc., features documentaries with a Garden State connection. For more information on the series, as well as how to submit a film, visit https://www.njtvonline.org/programs/njdocs/
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