Bradley Cooper Exec Producing Caregiving Documentary


Production has begun on the two-hour documentary Caregiving, executive produced by Bradley Cooper for PBS.

The documentary will highlight the fact that there are more than 53 million unpaid family caregivers in the U.S., providing 34 billion hours of care annually, amounting to an estimated $67 billion in personal lost earnings. It will feature a diverse group of caregivers, who will share their personal stories of challenge and triumph, as the caregiving sector faces the pressures of an aging baby boomer generation and rising life expectancy.

The film will personalize the issue through these interviews with caregivers, as well as experts who are fighting to give caregivers the security and support they provide for others. It will examine caregiving from multiple perspectives: the creation and evolution of the care system; the social dynamics that shape the approach to caregiving today and the future possibilities; the lives of caregivers and their relationships with those in their care; the interpersonal and economic pressure faced by caregivers; and the broader societal context in which caregiving operates on the margins but affects everyone.

The caregiving experience is personal for Cooper, who was a caregiver for his late father during his battle with lung cancer. His dedication to highlighting portrayals of caregiving across film and TV inspired the documentary.

Caregiving is part of Well Beings, WETA’s multiplatform campaign addressing various health needs in the U.S. It is being produced by Lea Pictures and WETA Washington, D.C., in association with Ark Media. Sharon Percy Rockefeller, president and CEO of WETA, is serving as producer. Chris Durrance is directing.

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. The 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.

“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,” Cooper said. “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,” added Durrance. “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.”