Synopsis – Once in a Lullaby: The PS22 Chorus Story

Public School 22 in NYC has more than just an amazing chorus, they have an amazing story. These 5th graders went from performing in their school auditorium on Staten Island to closing the show at the 83rd Annual Academy Awards! It all started when their dynamic and caring teacher Gregg Breinberg starting posting videos of their performances on YouTube. The videos went viral captivating viewers from your house to the White House (where they performed for President Obama) with the students’ pure love of music. Celebrities and Indie Rockers alike started flocking to the elementary school to visit and perform. Then, at their annual Christmas concert they got a surprise visit from Oscar Co-Host Anne Hathaway who invited them to perform at the 83rd Annual Academy Awards. With unprecedented access our crew follows them from the hallways and streets of Staten Island to the Red Carpet and backstage at the Kodak Theater for their big Oscar performance. Back stage drama combines with homesickness as the 10 year olds navigate the world of the entertainment elite. The drama culminates when the chorus director and the producer of the Oscars broadcast clash over creative differences and half the chorus looses their voices screaming at Disney the day before the big show. This documentary is an inspiring feel-good story that shows us children have a lot to teach about music, and that a talented teacher can teach his students the most important lesson of all; within themselves is the power to do anything.

About New Jersey Pictures

Jonathan Kalafer is an award-winning director/producer of documentaries and an innovative educator serving at New Jersey Institute of Technology and The County College of Morris. His teaching has been acknowledged by the George Lucas Educational Foundation and he procured a “VH1 Save the Music” grant for Jersey City Public Schools. His students serve as both inspiration and collaborators for his professional documentary filmmaking, and he often includes them in the decision making process. Most recently he began working with The TriBeCa Institute to bring their unique programming and opportunities to his students. His most recent documentary "Once in a Lullaby: The PS 22 Chorus Story" (2012 director/producer) premiered at TriBeCa to a sold out audience and critical acclaim. Most recently it was selected by Toronto International Film Festival Tiff.Kids program and selected by the US State Department and USC for their Documentary Diplomacy program American Film Showcase. It earned the "Audience Award" at Woodstock Film Fest and "Best Documentary" at the New Jersey Film Festival. It was also nominated for a Gotham Award and was an official selection at numerous high profile film fests. Past films include We Love You (director/producer 2009) which premiered at the L.A. International Short Film Festival, where it won the “Best Documentary” award. It also won “Best Short Documentary” at the New Jersey Film Festival and was a finalist in the U.S.A. Film Festival. vimeo.com/5562245 "Diary of Immaculee" (producer 2006) made the official shortlist for an Academy Award nomination and was part of the One X One program at The Toronto International Film Festival. It was also selected as a part of the DocuWeeks program and nominated for a "Best Short Documentary" by the I.D.A. Jonathan produced a segment for Universal's "Katy Perry: The 3D Experience" documentary and his video work has appeared on taste-making websites such as Brooklyn Vegan and Pitchfork. He has written pieces that have appeared on the Wall Street Journal's website and in print in Chilltown Magazine. He authored an innovative Media Arts and Sciences curriculum for JCPS that empowers students to be more informed consumers of media as well as producers of media themselves. Jonathan resides in Mendham with his wife Kori and his two sons Zachary 7 and Broden 5.This page contains my professional work, personal clips and is the archive of my students' work.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s