Giannis Antetokounmpo, NBA Player for the Milwaukee Bucks, Has Joined the Project as an Executive Producer
WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Today, in anticipation of its world premiere at the Camden International Film Festival, National Geographic Documentary Films released the official trailer and poster for THE FLAGMAKERS, a short documentary from award-winning co-directors Cynthia Wade (“Freeheld”) and Sharon Liese (“Transhood”), and announced NBA superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo as executive producer.
THE FLAGMAKERS, a meditation on the American dream, follows workers at the country’s largest manufacturer of American flags and flagpoles, including the refugees and immigrants who have risked everything to come to the USA.
“When we first walked into this midwestern flag factory staffed by immigrants, refugees and locals, we instantly saw that this would be an ideal setting to explore the layered and deeply-nuanced relationships Americans have to our flag and to our country,” said Wade and Liese.
“As an immigrant myself, I find this film incredibly personal and a deeply moving testament to those who call this country ‘home.’ Each one of these inspiring individuals have overcome adversity and challenges in their lives and bring those unique experiences and stories as they craft the American flag,” said Antetokounmpo.
Employee-owned Eder Flag in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, sews and ships five million American flags a year. The flagmakers — locals, immigrants and refugees — stitch stars and stripes as they wrestle with identity and belonging. Sewing manager Radica, a Serbian immigrant, believes every flag has a soul. Ali, a war survivor from Iraq, is learning how to use a sewing machine after arriving in the United States just 90 days prior. Midwestern-born Barb’s genuine friendships with her immigrant co-workers belie her staunchly conservative beliefs. SugarRay, a Black man born and raised in Milwaukee, reflects on his complicated relationship with this country. Each considers: What does the American flag represent in a changing nation and world, and for whom? THE FLAGMAKERS is an intimate glimpse into the people whose hands make the most recognizable icon of our country.
THE FLAGMAKERS will have a limited qualifying theatrical run in Los Angeles, followed by a robust festival run and streaming premiere later this fall. In addition to Antetokounmpo, the film is executive produced by Carolyn Bernstein, Ryan Harrington, Mark Gordon, Ben Forkner, Pamela Ryckman, Sylvia Golden, Jenna Segal, Jayne Sherman, and Deborah C. Van Eck.
National Geographic Documentary Films recently released Sundance Film Festival award-winners “Fire of Love” and “The Territory”. Previously the banner released the Academy Award, BAFTA and seven-time Emmy Award-winning film “Free Solo” and the Academy Award-nominated film “The Cave.” In 2021, they released “Becoming Cousteau,” “Fauci,” “The First Wave,” “The Rescue” and “Torn.” Other critically acclaimed films include Ron Howard’s “Rebuilding Paradise”; Sundance Audience Award winners “Science Fair” and “Sea of Shadows”; Emmy winners “LA 92” and “Jane,” both of which were included in the top 15 documentaries considered for an Academy Award in 2017; and Dupont Award winner “Hell on Earth: The Fall of Syria and the Rise of Isis.”
About National Geographic Documentary Films
National Geographic Documentary Films is committed to bringing the world premium, feature documentaries that cover timely, provocative and globally relevant stories from the very best documentary filmmakers in the world. National Geographic Documentary Films is a division of National Geographic Partners, a joint venture between Disney and the National Geographic Society. Furthering knowledge and understanding of our world has been the core purpose of National Geographic for 133 years, and now we are committed to going deeper, pushing boundaries, going further for our consumers … and reaching millions of people around the world in 172 countries and 43 languages every month as we do it. NGP returns 27 percent of our proceeds to the nonprofit National Geographic Society to fund work in the areas of science, exploration, conservation and education. For more information visit natgeotv.com or nationalgeographic.com, or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn and Pinterest.
About The Directors
Cynthia Wade (Director/Producer)
Cynthia Wade is an Oscar®-winning director who recently helmed three episodes of Apple TV+’s “Gutsy,” featuring Hillary Clinton and Chelsea Clinton. Cynthia’s television documentaries include “Grit” (Emmy® Nominee, PBS), “Mondays at Racine” (Oscar nominee, HBO), “Freeheld” (Oscar winner, Sundance winner, HBO), “Born Sweet” (Sundance winner, Oscar shortlist), “Shelter Dogs” (HBO), “Grist for the Mill” (Cinemax), “Growing Hope Against Hunger” (Emmy Winner, PBS), “Generation Startup” (Netflix), “Living the Legacy” (Sundance Channel). Her fiction short “Sproutland” is currently on the festival circuit. She directs television commercials and films, including “Selfie” (Clio winner, Sundance Institute) and “Mommy Wars” (Similac). She has won over 60 film festival awards worldwide. She is currently directing and executive producing a four-part series for Netflix.
Sharon Liese (Director/Producer)
Sharon Liese is an acclaimed film director and producer known for having her finger on the Zeitgeist. Her films include “Transhood” (HBO); the award-winning feature documentary “The Gnomist,” which premiered at Tribeca Film Festival, won 14 awards and attracted 16M views on CNN’s “Great Big Story” platform; “Fight for the First” (“Meet The Press” Film Festival); and “Selfie” (Clio winner, Sundance Institute). Sharon has also created and directed documentary series for television, including “Pink Collar Crimes” (CBS), “High School Confidential” (WeTV, Gracie winner), as well as served as executive producer and showrunner for series on Discovery, MTV, OWN and Lifetime. She is currently directing and executive producing a four-part series for Starz.