More than a feel good movie about kids and school, Once in a Lullaby: The PS 22 Chorus Documentary, goes to the heart of the purpose of education.The fifth grade PS 22 Chorus from Staten Island is preparing for a performance at the 83rd Annual Academy Awards ceremony. The story is set into motion by PS22 Chorus’ vibrant performances on their viral YouTube videos. Driven by the vision and passion of an unconventional music teacher who encourages students to connect to their own spirit and to perform from the inside out, Once in a Lullaby captures the journey of children whose complex life circumstances need the power of music to elevate and focus them at a time when they are making the transition to their middle school years.
Jonathan Kalafer is an award-winning director/producer and an innovative educator serving at Dickinson High School in Jersey City for over ten years. His teaching has been acknowledged by the George Lucas Educational Foundation and he procured a “VH1 Save the Music” grant for Jersey City Public Schools. His students serve as both inspiration and collaborators for his professional documentary filmmaking, and he often includes them in the decision making process. Past films include We Love You which premiered at the L.A. International Short Film Festival, where it won the “Best Documentary” award. It also won “Best Short Documentary” at the New Jersey Film Festival and was a finalist in the U.S.A. Film Festival. Diary of Immaculee made the official shortlist for an Academy Award nomination and was part of the One X One program at The Toronto International Film Festival. It was also selected as a part of the I.D.A.s DocuWeeks program.