“POV: SWIM TEAM”
IS A TRIUMPHANT PORTRAIT OF THREE YOUNG AUTISTIC MEN
A Coming-Of-Age Story That Shows How Sports Transcend Disabilities
Available and on DVD from PBS Distribution on November 7
Available now on digital HD
Arlington, Va. – November 1, 2017 – PBS Distribution has announced that they will be releasing the inspiring documentary, “POV: SWIM TEAM” on DVD. The film chronicles the lives of three diverse young men on the autistic spectrum with a common passion and love for swimming.
When doctors told Michael and Maria McQuay that their son with autism would never be self-sufficient, the pair responded by seeking out a series of therapies and programs for him. After discovering there was a dearth of suitable public services, they formed their own swim team for children with developmental disabilities.
The film follows three diverse young men—Michael McQuay Jr., Robert Justino and Kelvin Truong—from Perth Amboy, New Jersey, who fall on the autism spectrum. New Jersey reports the highest rate of autism in the country, with one in 26 boys on the spectrum. On the McQuays’ team, the Jersey Hammerheads, these young men find inclusion, independence and space to achieve their loftiest goals.
“POV: SWIM TEAM” will be available on DVD November 7, 2017. The run time of the program is approximately 100 minutes on 1 disc, and has an SRP of $24.99. The program is also available for digital download.
At its heart, the eye-opening Swim Team chronicles the hard work and dedication the Hammerheads undertake to make life work in, and out, of the swimming pool. Justino dreams of making video games, despite predictions from his teachers that store clerking will be the only job available to him. Truong, who also has Tourette’s syndrome, struggles with controlling verbal and physical outbursts.
Compassionate and perceptive, filmmaker Lara Stolman also manages to capture the parents’ hopes and frustrations. As Truong’s mother shows the holes that Truong has made in the walls at home, she maintains a smile, though her voice quavers at times. Stolman makes clear that the parents face financial burdens, compounded by an underfunded public school system ill-equipped to support special-needs children and young adults.
The Jersey Hammerheads rack up medals and eventually make it to the state Summer Games at the Special Olympics. One member of the team even goes on to compete in the national Special Olympics games.
The Hammerheads feel most comfortable in the pool’s fast lane. “When I’m swimming,” says Michael McQuay Jr., “I feel normal.”
About Lara Stolman
Lara Stolman is an award-winning director, producer and writer whose work has appeared on NBC, MSNBC, TLC, AMC, VH1 and the New York Times website. Her film Portraits of Survival, about coming to terms with the tragedy of 9/11 through art, premiered at the Hamptons International Film Festival, aired on MSNBC and was awarded a CINE Golden Eagle.
For Swim Team, her first feature documentary film, she was named an IFP Filmmaker Lab Fellow, was awarded the New York Women in Film and Television Loreen Arbus Disability Awareness grant and was provided with funding from Easterseals, the Aetna Foundation and the Karma Foundation. Swim Team has screened at more than 30 international festivals, has won more than 10 awards and was released theatrically in July 2017.
Stolman has guest lectured on documentary production at New York University, served as a juror for the News and Documentary Emmy Awards and writes for The Huffington Post. She has a B.A. in political science from Columbia College of Columbia University and a J.D. from Yeshiva University’s Benjamin Cardozo School of Law.
Produced by American Documentary, Inc., POV is public television’s premier showcase for nonfiction films. Since 1988, POV has been the home for the world’s boldest contemporary filmmakers, celebrating intriguing personal stories that spark conversation and inspire action. Always an innovator, POV discovers fresh new voices and creates interactive experiences that shine a light on social issues and elevate the art of storytelling. With our documentary broadcasts, original online programming and dynamic community engagement campaigns, we are committed to supporting films that capture the imagination and present diverse perspectives.
POV films have won 36 Emmy® Awards, 19 George Foster Peabody Awards, 12 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards, three Academy Awards®, the first-ever George Polk Documentary Film Award and the Prix Italia. The POV series has been honored with a Special News & Documentary Emmy Award for Excellence in Television Documentary Filmmaking, three IDA Awards for Best Curated Series and the National Association of Latino Independent Producers Award for Corporate Commitment to Diversity. Learn more at www.pbs.org/pov/.
About PBS Distribution
PBS Distribution is the leading media distributor for the public television community, both domestically and internationally, extending the reach of these programs beyond broadcast while generating revenue for the public television system, stations, and producers.
PBS Distribution offers a broad range of high quality content in multiple formats including DVD, Blu-ray, digital download, and digital streaming. PBS International offers factual content for broadcast, cable, and satellite services internationally. The PBS Distribution catalog includes films from Ken Burns, documentaries from award-winning series such as NOVA, FRONTLINE, AMERICAN MASTERS, NATURE, and AMERICAN EXPERIENCE, dramas from MASTERPIECE, as well as films from independent producers and popular children’s programming.
POV: SWIM TEAM
Street Date: November 7, 2017
Run Time: 100 minutes on 1 disc