Interview Series - ' Life Stories' - to Launch Documentary Interview on YouTube - AmNews Curtain Raiser


Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Interview Series - ' Life Stories' - to Launch Documentary Interview on YouTube

 THE THREAD: Episode I “Gloria Estefan: Singing Through Struggles” - Photo by Bill Winters. 

Distributor Life Stories to Launch Documentary Interview Series on YouTube

“THE THREAD” Debuts on March 4th with Episode I: “Gloria Estefan: Singing Through Struggles”

New Episodes Released Each Monday 

Kunhardt Film Foundation’s Emmy, Peabody and duPont-Columbia award winning production team preserves inspiring human stories of purpose and shares them at no cost with communities and classrooms

Life Stories, a nonprofit media organization that produces and distributes films about people whose lives inspire meaningful change, announced it will stream THE THREAD, a new documentary interview series on YouTube in which exceptional individuals share the different paths they have taken to lead meaningful lives.

16 episodes of THE THREAD will premiere weekly from March 4 - June 17, 2024 and feature interviews with Gloria EstefanMartin SheenKurt "Big Boy" AlexanderTony HawkKatie CouricMitt Romney, and other notable figures. THE THREAD will be made available to the public through the Life Stories website (, Life Stories YouTube channel, and as a podcast across all major platforms. 

Season One of The THREAD features activists, politicians, media personalities, philanthropists, cartoonists, authors and athletes – all of whom inspire viewers to find meaning in their own lives.  Each conversation is recorded at the highest quality by Emmy award-winning filmmakers and is accompanied by an educator guide so that the documentary series can be used in secondary classrooms and informal educational settings.

In THE THREAD: Episode I “Gloria Estefan: Singing Through Struggles”, debuting on March 4th, features one of the greatest recording artists of all time, winner of eight Grammy Awards, Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient, and the Cuban American global sensation whose life inspired a Broadway show. Estefan reflects on being raised in a Cuban family that faced challenges upon immigrating to the United States and how her unexpected journey into music served as an emotional outlet from a young age. She discusses how she met her husband, explores their personal and professional dynamics, and highlights the impact of their collaboration.

In this episode, Estefan tells interviewer David Bender, an executive producer on the show, the story of the journey of father from Cuban police officer to a participant in the failed Bay of Pigs invasion by Cuban exiles, and ultimately as a U.S. military officer, as well as her own early work in government as an immigration translator and near-brush with a career as a spy for the CIA.

Estefan discusses being a child victim of sexual abuse and the advocacy work this experience informed, the importance of empowering children, and the need to seek justice and put offenders behind bars. A harrowing escape from Cuba in the aftermath of the coup that brought Fidel Castro to power, her humble U.S. upbringing among a sisterhood of Cuban women who fled their country, her path from a child musician performing for family at home to becoming a musician and joining the Miami Sound Machine and stardom, and the fateful day where it all, seemingly, came crashing down. This deeply moving episode is Estefan in her own words, telling her personal story before the glory and record-breaking stages in her career, the Grammy awards, the Super Bowl halftime performance, and the Kennedy Center Honors – it’s her life story.

THE THREAD: Episode II “Jason Reynolds: The Power of Narrative” will debut on March 11th. A full list of episodes is included below.

THE THREAD is an exploration of what it means to live a purpose-driven life. The voices we amplify in this series spark curiosity, ignite inspiration, and connect us to the multi-faceted people who have helped shape our society” said George Kunhardt, Executive Director of Life Stories. “Our mission as filmmakers is to shine a spotlight on the stories of moral leaders to help people find passion and purpose in their own lives.”

Life Stories is a new division of the Kunhardt Film Foundation, an organization that has introduced a generation of viewers to artists, cultural, political, and civil rights leaders. Its interviews, series, features, and educational resources have addressed issues of social justice, history, politics, the arts, and culture by sharing relatable human stories of purpose and meaning in times of collective change.

As Life Stories, the organization will build on the legacy of the Kunhardt family’s award-winning documentary filmmaking – including 8 Emmy Awards, 2 Peabody Awards, a duPont-Columbia Award, an IDA Documentary Award, and two NAACP Image Awards – and continue its work to showcases diverse perspectives and the importance of connection in an era when the world needs it most.

“We are bringing our longstanding dedication to quality with increased focus on the power of individual narrative,” said Teddy Kunhardt, Executive Producer of THE THREAD. “We believe that life stories, thoughtfully told, have the power to create change.”

Below is a list of episode premiere dates  and interviewees from Season One of THE THREAD:

March 4, 2024

Gloria Estefan: Singing Through Struggles

March 11, 2024

Jason Reynolds: The Power of Narrative

March 18, 2024

Tova Friedman: Surviving Auschwitz 

March 25, 2024

Martin Sheen: Lights, Camera, Activism 

April 1, 2024

Roz Chast: Drawing From Life

April 8, 2024

Kurt "Big Boy" Alexander: A Hip Hop Odyssey

April 15, 2024

Rev. Dr. Jacqueline Lewis: Finding Wisdom in Pain

April 22, 2024

Mitt Romney: Family Ties

April 29, 2024

Cecile Richards: Championing Choice

May 6, 2024

Reginald Dwayne Betts: A Voice for the Incarcerated

May 13, 2024

Tony Hawk: Skateboarding’s Living Legend

May 20, 2024

Darren Walker: Hope and Courage in Action

May 27, 2024

Katie Couric: From Tragedies to Triumphs

June 3, 2024

Jason Alexander: The Power of Laughter 

June 10, 2024

Betty Rollin: First You Cry

June 17, 2024

Father Greg Boyle: Welcoming the Unwelcome

For more information about Life Stories and Season One of THE THREAD, please visit

Life Stories produces and distributes documentary films about people whose lives inspire meaningful change. Our interviews, series, films, and educational resources address issues of social justice, history, politics, the arts, and culture by shining the spotlight on relatable human stories of purpose and meaning in times of collective change. Visit to learn more.

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