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Gloria Estefan, Martin Sheen, Mitt Romney & More Headline ‘The Thread,’ New Documentary Series From Life Stories About Purpose-Driven Lives

EXCLUSIVE: Some of the most exceptional Americans in the arts, media, religion, and politics share their personal stories and life lessons in The Thread, a new documentary series coming to YouTube in March.

Gloria Estefan, Martin Sheen, The Rev. Dr. Jacqueline Lewis, New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast, Katie Couric, actor Jason Alexander, and Sen. Mitt Romney are among the roster of personalities who sit down for probing conversations in the 16-part series produced by Life Stories, a nonprofit media organization that makes and distributes “films about people whose lives inspire meaningful change.”

The episodes will roll out once a week from March 4-June 17 on the Life Stories YouTube channel and will be released as a podcast on major platforms. We have your first look at the series in the trailer above.

The Thread is an exploration of what it means to live a purpose-driven life,” noted George Kunhardt, executive director of Life Stories. “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. 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,” according to a release. The Kunhardts – father Peter and his sons Teddy and George – have earned a combined eight Emmy Awards, two Peabody Awards, a duPont-Columbia Award, an IDA Documentary Award, and two NAACP Image Awards.

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

Each conversation is recorded at the highest quality by Emmy award-winning filmmakers, notes a release, “and is accompanied by an educator guide so that the documentary series can be used in secondary classrooms and informal educational settings.”

This is the episode guide for season 1 of the series:

March 4 Gloria Estefan: Singing Through Struggles

March 11 Jason Reynolds: The Power of Narrative

March 18 Tova Friedman: Surviving Auschwitz

March 25 Martin Sheen: Lights, Camera, Activism

April 1 Roz Chast: Drawing From Life

April 8 Kurt “Big Boy” Alexander: A Hip Hop Odyssey

April 15 Rev. Dr. Jacqueline Lewis: Finding Wisdom in Pain

April 22 Mitt Romney: Family Ties

April 29 Cecile Richards: Championing Choice

May 6 Reginald Dwayne Betts: A Voice for the Incarcerated

May 13 Tony Hawk: Skateboarding’s Living Legend

May 20 Darren Walker: Hope and Courage in Action

May 27 Katie Couric: From Tragedies to Triumphs

June 3 Jason Alexander: The Power of Laughter

June 10 Betty Rollin: First You Cry

June 17 Father Greg Boyle: Welcoming the Unwelcome

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