WETA Washington, D.C. today announced that production is underway on Caregiving, a two-hour documentary by executive producer Bradley Cooper. Sharon Percy Rockefeller, president and Chief Executive Officer of public media station WETA, a producer on the project, shared that the film will feature a diverse group of caregivers sharing their personal stories of challenge and triumph and is slated to premiere on PBS in Spring 2025.

In the U.S., more than 53 million family caregivers are unpaid, providing 34 billion hours of care annually, amounting to an estimated $67 billion in personal lost earnings.1 As caregiving in America faces the twin pressures of an aging baby boomer generation and rising life expectancy, the United States’ long-term care system threatens to tip into crisis. The film will personalize this urgent national issue through stories from caregivers and interviews with experts as they fight to give caregivers the security and support they provide for so many others. The project also includes a robust national engagement campaign.

The Caregiving sizzle reel is available HERE. Rockefeller’s announcement about the project funder and partners is HERE.

Well Beings, WETA’s award-winning multiplatform campaign addressing various health needs in America, will present Caregiving as its next feature film.  A production of Lea Pictures and WETA Washington, D.C., in association with Ark media, Caregiving will reveal the vital impact of the caregiver’s role in the family, the workplace, and the country’s economy.

The series will examine caregiving from multiple perspectives: the creation and evolution of the care system; the social dynamics that shape our approach to caregiving today and the future possibilities; the lives of caregivers and their relationships with those in their care; the interpersonal and economic pressures faced by caregivers; and the broader societal context in which caregiving operates on the margins, yet affects everyone.

The caregiving experience is personal for Cooper, who was a caregiver for his late father, Charles J. Cooper, during his battle with lung cancer. Cooper’s dedication to elevating portrayals of caregiving across film and television inspired the Caregiving documentary — Cooper’s first project produced for PBS.

“When my father was diagnosed with cancer, that was a wake-up call for me, one that really opened my eyes to the world of caregiving,” remarked Bradley Cooper, actor, producer, director, and caregiver. “Everyone will end up caring for a loved one at some point in their life. The level of loneliness can overcome an individual going through this – it’s overwhelming. Raising this conversation on a national level will help, and together, I believe we can make a difference. I’m extremely proud to produce this documentary. Together, we can help raise the banner for caregivers.”

Rockefeller noted, “The act of giving and receiving care touches the lives of every American. Caregiving underscores the challenging and fulfilling work of individuals who are the bedrock of the nation’s long-term care system. The selfless act of caregiving is a most worthy cause to activate the power of public media to connect and galvanize providers and supporters to join forces and bring attention to the urgent support system needed to protect this often-overlooked population.”

“Caregiving is one of the most consequential issues affecting families today and, like most Americans, many of us on the production team at Ark media have been directly impacted, each in our own way. We are so proud to be working on this project and giving voice to the caregivers whose lives, work and struggles have for too long gone unrecognized,” commented Chris Durrance, Caregiving‘s director. 

The project will include a national outreach, engagement, education and digital campaign to help audiences better understand the issues caregivers face and build awareness for programs available in their communities. This effort will build a resource network between local PBS stations, community organizations, national sponsors, and partners, including the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregivers, Milken Institute Center for the Future of Aging, Grantmakers In Aging, Global Coalition on Aging, and National Alliance for Caregiving to immerse audiences into the world of caregiving and build communities to sustain caregivers during an unprecedented moment in which there is an opportunity to transform our country’s caregiving system into one that works for us all.

Generous underwriters committed to greater education about health and wellness have made this ambitious project possible. Support for Caregiving is made possible by Otsuka America Pharmaceutical Inc.; Evelyn Y. Davis Foundation; Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation; Care.com; and the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Support for the engagement and outreach for Caregiving is made possible by the John A. Hartford Foundation.

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