We Are Family — Behind the Scenes on Sunshine

Posted on April 30, 2010

What makes a family? It’s a question our society is grappling with, and the question that drove filmmaker Karen Skloss to make her film, Sunshine, which premieres on Independent Lens on PBS on May 4 (check local listings). In this exclusive behind-the-scenes footage, Skloss captures a storyline about single fathers and gay parents that didn’t make it into the final cut of the film, but which adds another layer of complexity to the broader societal discussion of family and identity, parenthood and pride. Jeremy, father to Skloss’s daughter Jasmine, is the product of divorce and was raised in part by his gay father in Houston in the late 1970s. As was the case for Skloss, and her biological mother before her, Jeremy’s father Mike had to deal with the social stigma of single parenthood, but he also had to navigate the more explosive territory of being a single dad who happened also to be gay in a very conservative place and time. Watch Sunshine: Single Dads >>


ITVS has explored this territory before back in 2003 when Johnny Symons’s film Daddy & Papa debuted on Independent Lens. The film tracks three unconventional families with gay fathers, and explores the challenges, triumphs, and social stigmas that surround their lives. As part of that film, we put together a list of common myths about gay parenting and adoption called Gay Parenting: Fiction vs. Fact, which explodes some common misconceptions. In both Sunshine and Daddy & Papa, the ultimate message is that the one common element in a true family is love.


From our blog

  1. ITVS Welcomes Brandii Rice as Head of Business and Legal Affairs

    August 10, 2023

    ITVS is pleased to welcome Brandii Rice as our new Head of Business and Legal Affairs. In her role Rice will oversee business and legal affairs across the ITVS brand portfolio. In addition, she will guide licensing and business strategies to support ITVS’ content development, production, distribution and audience development goals. She will join ITVS

  2. Carrie Lozano Will Lead ITVS as President & CEO, Succeeding Sally Jo Fifer

    June 7, 2023

    Carrie Lozano joins ITVS from the Sundance Institute, where she served as director of Documentary Film and Artist Programs, supporting boundary-breaking filmmakers across the globe. At ITVS, she will continue to protect independent artists’ voices, editorial control and copyright while elevating nonfiction storytelling as an essential strategy

  3. Lisa Tawil Joins the International Board of INPUT

    June 1, 2023

    Discover how Lisa Tawil's appointment to the International Board of INPUT strengthens worldwide collaboration in public media.