Dolly Parton’s Dollywood and Abramorama are teaming on a coronavirus lockdown-inspired initiative in which Parton will read a children’s book online at bedtime. The series, GoodNight with Dolly, launches Tuesday at 7 PM ET and will air once a week.
The project comes as Abramorama had been readying the April 2 release in 330 theaters nationwide of its documentary The Library That Dolly Built. Then came the coronavirus outbreak. The distributor is now shifting the bow to the week of September 21, a date that coincides with the library celebrates its 25th anniversary.
The docu, directed by Nick Geidner, focuses on Parton’s work to end illiteracy via her non-profit foundation Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. Since inception in 1995, the library has gifted more than 135 million books to children and is currently gifting books to 1.5 million children around the world each month.
“Although it was the right thing to do, postponing the screening of our documentary was a disappointment,” she said Monday. “So many of our Imagination Library affiliates had organized events around the nationwide screenings, however things do have a way of working out so the documentary will still have its day.”
The books in the checkout bin for GoodNight with Dolly include among others Imagination Library books like There's a Hole in the Log on the Bottom of the Lake by Loren Long, Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney, The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper and Parton’s own I Am a Rainbow and Coat of Many Colors.
“This is something I have been wanting to do for quite a while, but the timing never felt quite right,” she said. “I think it is pretty clear that now is the time to share a story and to share some love. It is an honor for me to share the incredible talent of these authors and illustrators. They make us smile, they make us laugh and they make us think.”
Here’s a video intro’ing the series, which will be available on the Imagination Library, Dolly Parton, World Choice Investments and Dollywood channels.
When the Oscar nominations were announced earlier this month, two documentaries about Syria made it through: Feras Fayyad's The Cave, about a courageous woman doctor running a subterranean hospital outside Damascus, and For Sama, directed by Waad Al-Kateab and Edward Watts, the story of Al-Kateab's effort to raise her baby daughter in Aleppo as the city was systematically destroyed.
“Before the revolution there’s no Syrian film that made it to the [Oscars'] final five,” Al-Kateab notes. “And for the Academy people to [nominate] these two films, it was for us the best thing that could ever happen.”
Watts adds, “When we were making the film, we were told so often that people didn’t care about Syria anymore, that everyone was exhausted by it. And so to see at this level people engaging and supporting two films about Syria, it gives you hope that actually people do care about the fate of people who are living thousands of miles away.”PBS
For Sama was produced by the U.K.'s Channel 4 and distributed in the U.S. by PBS National Geographic released The Cave. As the Oscars approached, Deadline spoke with the For Sama filmmakers about their Academy Award nomination and the journey of bringing the documentary to the screen.
DEADLINE: Most viewers expected For Sama to be nominated. What was your confidence level going into the Oscars announcement?
WAAD AL-KATEAB: I had some feeling before, a while ago that, “Yes, we will make it.” But it’s not clear...And really when you think about all the other films, really great films, but also they have very great people behind them, a very big money machine. And we just felt that we are the little fish through all of this.
EDWARD WATTS: We watched [the nomination announcement] on TV. It was a nerve-wracking thing because of the whole alphabetical order. So it’s first one, cool. Second one, fine. Third one, okay. And then…I was so sure that Honeyland would get a nomination as well because we love those guys, an amazing film. I knew we had to be [announced] before Honeyland. That was in my brain.
DEADLINE: Waad, you shot hundreds of hours of video over the years of siege in Aleppo. How did you and Edward settle on the structure, framing the film as a sort of love letter to your daughter Sama?PBS
AL-KATEAB: We went together through the whole material from minute one to the last and it took us days and weeks to just go through everything.
WATTS: I was writing notes and it ended up even from that first couple of weeks being this 300-page document with names, places, maps, footage, screenshots.
AL-KATEAB: It took us the first, let’s say, six months just to structure the story...
Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert American Factory,USA / Netflix WINNER
Petra Costa The Edge of Democracy,Brazil, USA / Netflix
Rachel Leah Jones and Philippe Bellaiche Advocate,Canada, Israel, Switzerland / Film Movement
Tamara Kotevska and Ljubomir Stefanov Honeyland,Macedonia / NEON
Waad al-Kateab and Edward Watts For Sama,Syria, U.K. / PBS Distribution, Channel 4, FRONTLINE
Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone if you're a girl Afghanistan, U.K., USA / Lifetime Films, A&E IndieFilms. Director: Carol Dysinger. Producer: Elena Andreicheva WINNER
A Love Song for Latasha USA. Director and Producer: Sophia Nahli Allison. Producers: Janice Duncan and Fam Udeorji
After Maria USA / Netflix. Director: Nadia Hallgren. Producer: Lauren Cioffi
America USA / Aubin Pictures. Director: Garrett Bradley. Producers: Lauren Domino and Catherine Gund
Black to Techno USA / Frieze. Director: Jenn Nkiru. Producer: Jacqueline Edenbrow
Easter Snap USA. Director and Producer: RaMell Ross. Producers: Joslyn Barnes and Su Kim
In the Absence Korea, USA / Field of Vision. Director: Yi Seung-Jun. Producer: Gary Byung-Seok Kam
Sam and the Plant Next Door U.K. / The Guardian. Director and Producer: Omer Sami
The Nightcrawlers Philippines, USA / National Geographic. Director: Alexander Mora. Producers: Joanna Natasegara, Doireann Maddock and Abigail Anketell-Jones
Valley of the Rulers Israel, Serbia. Director: Efim Graboy. Producer: Dejan Petrovic
Dokumania Denmark / Danish Broadcasting Corporation. Executive Producer: Anders Bruus WINNER
American Experience USA / PBS. Executive Producer: Mark Samels
BBC Storyville China, Hungary, UK / BBC. Executive Producer: Mandy Chang
POV USA / PBS. Executive Producers: Justine Nagan and Chris White
AJE Witness Qatar / AJE English. Executive Producer: Fiona Lawson-Baker
Abstract: The Art of Design USA / Netflix. Executive Producers: Scott Dadich, Morgan Neville, Dave O'Connor, Justin Wilkes and Jon Kamen WINNER
Finding Justice USA / BET. Executive Producers: Dwayne Johnson, Dany Garcia, David Leepson, Brian Gewirtz, dream hampton, Jackson Nguyen, Aaron Rice, Todd Crites, Hiram Garcia, Aaron Bowden and Stephanie Lydecker
Kids Behind Bars: Life or Parole USA / A&E. Executive Producers: Eli Holzman, Aaron Saidman, Peter LoGreco, Joshua Rofe, Devon Hammonds, Evan Lerner, Amy Savitsky and Elaine Frontain Bryant
Living Undocumented USA / Netflix. Directors and Executive Producers: Anna Chai and Aaron Saidman. Executive Producers: Eli Holzman, Sean O'Grady, Selena Gomez and Mandy Teefey
Our Planet U.K., USA / Netflix. Directors: Adam Chapman, Mandi Stark, Jeff Wilson, Sophie Lanfear, Hugh Pearson and Huw Cordey. Executive Producers: Alastair Fothergill and Keith Scholey
Leaving Neverland USA / HBO. Director and Producer: Dan Reed. Executive Producers: Nancy Abraham and Lisa Heller WINNER
Chasing the Moon USA / PBS. Director and Producer: Robert Stone. Executive Producer: Mark Samels. Producers: Susan Bellows, Daniel Aegerter, Keith Haviland and Ray Rothrock
Lorena USA / Amazon. Director and Executive Producer: Joshua Rofé. Executive Producers: Jordan Peele, Steven J. Berger, Win Rosenfeld, Jenna Santoianni, Tom Lesinski and Andrea Harner. Producer: M. Elizabeth Hughes
Surviving R. Kelly USA / Lifetime. Executive Producers: Joel Karsberg, Dream Hampton, Tamra Simmons, Jesse Daniels and Brie Miranda Bryant
Wu-Tang Clan: Of Mics and MenUSA / Showtime. Executive Producers: Peter J. Scalettar, Peter Bittenbender, Sacha Jenkins and Vinnie Malhotra
A Moment in Mexico — The New York Times Op-Docs Mexico, USA / New York Times. Executive Producer: Kathleen Lingo. Coordinating Producer: Lindsay Crouse WINNER
A Cure for Fear USA / Topic.com. Director and Producer: Lana Wilson. Producer: Shrihari Sathe. Executive Producers: Anna Holmes, Jeff Seelbach and Diane L. Max
Guardian Documentaries U.K. / The Guardian. Executive Producer: Charlie Phillips, Lindsay Poulton and Jacqueline Edenbrow
POV Shorts USA / PBS. Producer: Chloe Gbai. Executive Producers: Justine Nagan and Chris White
The F Word USA / Participant Media, SoulPancake. Director and Producer: Nicole Opper. Producer: Kristan Cassady
A Sense of Quietness U.K. / BBC Radio 4. Producer: Eleanor McDowall. Executive Producers: Alan Hall and Rachel Hooper WINNER
Gladiator: The Aaron Hernandez Story USA / The Boston Globe, Wondery. Reporters: Bob Hohler, Beth Healy, Sacha Pfieffer and Andrew Ryan. Producer: Amy Pedulla. Executive Producers: Hernan Lopez, Marshall Lewy and George Lavender
Headlong: Running From COPS USA / Stitcher Premium, Topic Studios. Host and Producer: Dan Taberski. Producers: Henry Molofsky, Courtney Harrell and Diane Hodson. Executive Producers: Max Linsky, Jenna Weiss-Berman, Lisa Leingang and Leital Molad
Heavyweight — Episode: "Skye" USA / Gimlet Media. Reporter and Executive Producer: Jonathan Goldstein. Producers: Kalila Holt, Stevie Lane, Peter Bresnan and Jorge Just
Latino USA — Episode: "The Return" USA / National Public Radio. Producer: Sayre Quevedo. Executive Producer: Maria Hinojosa
Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé USA / Netflix. Director and Producer: Beyoncé Knowles-Carter. Director: Ed Burke. Producers: Steve Pamon and Erinn Williams WINNER
Amazing Grace USA / NEON. Producers: Alan Elliot, Tirrell D. Whittley, Sabrina V. Owens, Joe Boyd, Rob Johnson, Chiemi Karasawa, Spike Lee, Angie Seegers, Joseph Woolf
The ApolloUSA / HBO. Director and Producer: Roger Ross Williams. Producers: Lisa Cortés, Jeanne Elfant Festa and Cassidy Hartmann
The Gift: The Journey of Johnny Cash USA / YouTube. Director: Thom Zimny. Producers: Thom Zimny, Glen Zipper, Sean Stuart and Jillian Apfelbaum
Wu-Tang Clan: Of Mics and MenUSA / Showtime. Director: Sacha Jenkins. Executive Producers: Peter J. Scalettar, Peter Bittenbender, Sacha Jenkins and Vinnie Malhotra. Producers: Cary Graber, Vanessa Maruskin, Ghostface Killah, Robert F. Diggs, GZA, Lamont "UGod" Hawkins, Darryl Hill Sr., Jason Hunter, Icelene Jones, Method Man, E. Turner and Raekwon The Chef
Brewed in Palestine USA, Israel, Palestine / UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. Director and Producer: Emma Schwartz WINNER
All That Remains USA / UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. Director and Producer: Eva Rendle
Beyond the North Winds: A Post Nuclear Reverie U.K., Colombia / National Film & Television School U.K.. Director and Producer: Natalie Cubides-Brady
Follow the Sun USA / UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. Director and Producer: JoeBill Muñoz
In the Wake India, USA / Northwestern University. Director and Producer: Natasha Nair
Honeyland Macedonia / NEON. Cinematographers: Fejmi Daut and Samir Ljuma WINNER
Dark Suns Canada / Dogwoof. Cinematographers: Ernesto Pardo and François Messier-Rheault
Gods of Molenbeek Belgium, Finland, Germany / CAT&Docs. Cinematographer: Hannu Vitikainen
Midnight Family Mexico / 1091. Cinematographer: Luke Lorentzen
When Lambs Become Lions USA / Oscilloscope Laboratories. Cinematographer: Jon Kasbe
Midnight Family Mexico, USA / 1091. Editor: Luke Lorentzen. Co-Editor: Paloma López Carrillo WINNER
American Factory USA / Netflix. Editor: Lindsay Utz
Apollo 11 USA / NEON, CNN Films. Editor: Todd Douglas Miller
Diego Maradona U.K. / HBO. Editor: Chris King
Human Nature USA / Greenwich Entertainment. Editor: Regina Sobel
When Lambs Become Lions USA / Oscilloscope Laboratories. Editors: Jon Kasbe, Caitlyn Greene and Frederick Shanahan
The RaftDenmark, Sweden, USA / Metrograph Pictures. Composer: Hans Appelqvist WINNER
Apollo 11 USA / NEON, CNN Films. Composer: Matt Morton
Human Nature USA / Greenwich Entertainment. Composer: Keegan Dewitt
Sea of Shadows USA, Austria / National Geographic. Composer: H. Scott Salinas
The Biggest Little FarmUSA / NEON, LD Entertainment. Composer: Jeff Beal
The Cave Denmark, Syria, USA / National Geographic. Writer: Feras Fayyad WINNER
Always in Season USA / ITVS. Writers: Jackie Olive and Don Bernier
Dark Suns Canada / Dogwoof. Writer: Julien Elie
The Edge of Democracy Brazil, USA / Netflix. Writer: Petra Costa
The Great Hack USA / Netflix. Writers: Pedro Kos, Erin Barnett and Karim Amer
Winner: Honeyland Macedonia / NEON. Director: Tamara Kotevska. Director and Producer: Ljubomir Stefanov. Producer: Atanas Georgiev
Honorable mention: Anthropocene: The Human EpochCanada / Kino Lorber. Director: Jennifer Baichwal, Nicholas de Pencier and Edward Burtynsky. Producer: Nadia Tavazzani
WINNER Mike Wallace is Here USA / Magnolia Pictures. Director: Avi Belkin. Producers: Rafael Marmor, John Battsek, Peggy Drexler, Avi Belkin and Christopher Leggett
Halston USA / 1091. Director: Frédéric Tcheng. Producers: Roland Ballester, Frédéric Tcheng, Stephanie Levy and Paul Dallas
Meeting Gorbachev Germany, UK, USA / 1091. Directors: Werner Herzog and André Singer. Producers: Lucki Stipetic and Svetlana Palmer
Where's My Roy Cohn? USA / Sony Pictures Classics. Director: Matt Tyrnauer. Producers: Matt Tyrnauer, Corey Reeser, Marie Brenner, Joyce Deep and Andrea Lewis
Amicus Award: Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press
Career Achievement Award: Freida Lee Mock Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision, Anita
Courage Under Fire Award: Waad Al-Kateab For Sama
Emerging Documentary Filmmaker Award: Rachel Lears Knock Down the House, The Hand That Feeds
Truth to Power Award:Leah Remini
Pioneer Award: Cinereach