Sundance Filmmakers, Producers Commit to More Care-Inclusive Storytelling

SALT LAKE CITY — Filmmakers, producers and other creatives who attended Sundance Film Festival have committed to more care-inclusive storytelling after attending a series of events spotlighting aging and disability care. “Thelma,”“Out of My Mind,” “Super/Man: The Christopher Reeve Story,” “Ibelin,” “Suncoast” and “Winding Path” were among this year’s narrative films and documentaries that center disabled people, older adults end-of-life care, and multigenerational, culturally specific care experiences. Meanwhile, Caring Across Generations, Participant and Sunrise Collective, and the new Sundance Impact Lounge hosted panels addressing the role that films can play in driving cultural shifts and policy change for long-term care, and the growing demand for more diverse and authentic care-inclusive storytelling.

“Long an unseen story, long-term care is finally taking center stage in ways that reflect the reality of many of our lives,” said Ai-jen Poo, executive director of Caring Across.

Added her colleague, Lydia Storie, director of culture change at Caring Across: “Audiences are hungry for more authentic and expansive care representation on screen. Including more care experiences in our stories can shift how we both as individuals and as a society value and support everyone who has care responsibilities or needs.”

Storie, who previously spent over a decade as a scripted development executive, teased a new study done with the Norman Lear Center showing AUDIENCE DEMAND FOR CULTURALLY-SPECIFIC CARE STORYLINES. She also discussed recent research with the Geena Davis Institute, which found that TV REPRESENTATION OF CARE IS STILL OVERWHELMINGLY WHITE and leaves out many common caregiving-related activities, especially those experienced in BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ communities.

Richard Lui — MSNBC journalist, filmmaker and member of the CARING ACROSS CREATIVE CARE COUNCIL — shared how he has used his documentary, “Unconditional,” about military veteran family caregivers as well as his own experience doing long-distance care for his dad with Alzheimer’s, to engage with policymakers and connect audiences across the political spectrum.

What’s next: Caring Across is thrilled to announce our groundbreaking partnership with the Justice Film Festival, featuring the first-ever care-focused programming block at the upcoming February festival in NYC! More details to come.


Caring Across Generations is a national organization of family caregivers, care workers, disabled people, and aging adults working to transform the way we care in this country so that care is accessible, affordable and equitable — and our systems of care enable everyone to live and age with dignity. To achieve our vision, we transform cultural norms and narratives about aging, disability and care; win federal and state-level policies; and build power amongst the people touched by care. For more information, visit CARINGACROSS.ORG.

Ai-jen Poo (far right), executive director of Caring Across Generations, is joined by (left to right) Phoebe-Rae Taylor, actor (“Out of My Mind”); California Senator Laphonza Butler; Cashmere Jasmine, filmmaker (“Down The Rabbit Hole”) and FWD-Doc member; Leyla Fayyaz, producer (“Flower”); and Richard Lui, MSNBC anchor and journalist, author and filmmaker (“Unconditional”) for the “Creating A Culture of Care: How Onscreen Stories are Shifting How We View Aging, Disability, and Caregiving” panel at the Impact Lounge. (Photos by Derek Ray at Caspian Agency)
Ai-jen Poo, executive director of Caring Across Generations, moderates “Caregiving: The Unseen Story” panel at Sunrise Collective House alongside panelists Jenna Murray, healer, participant in Sundance documentary “Winding Path”; Liz Sargent, filmmaker (“Take Me Home”); and Richard Lui, MSNBC anchor and journalist, author and filmmaker (“Unconditional”). (Photo by Christine Chang)