SYNOPSIS It’s tough being a kid. Especially when you’re a wookiee with two left feet and a changing voice. But not so long ago, in a city not too far away, kids from all walks of life struggled to audition, rehearse and perform their own live musical parody of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back.
Jedi Junior High is a comedic, slice of life documentary filmed in Orange County, California. In the film we follow a group of aspiring adolescent actors as they perform a musical parody of Star Wars. Our story is really about that moment in every tween’s life when you have no idea who you are, what you’re doing and everything is awkward. Now add a dash of singing, unrequited crushes and repeat. The film is shot in a traditional, nonfiction follow style, with interviews from the characters and ends with a live stage performance.
PROJECT STATUS Available on Netflix, Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, Vimeo and VUDU, as well as On Demand with AT&T, Charter, Comcast, Cox, DirecTV, Time Warner Cable, Verizon, and Vubiquity.
Jedi Junior High | Official Trailer
Available for Rental + On Demand
UNIVISION | FUSION
ROLE Producer, Director
OVERVIEW In 2016, Heidi Burkey worked as a Producer for Fusion's Digital Documentary team. During her time there, she produced a 30 minute Primetime Special that aired on Fusion TV in conjunction with the Olympics and five documentary short films that collectively garnered over 400K views on Fusion's YouTube Channel and over 4.5M views on Fusion's Facebook page.
SERIES DESCRIPTION EIGHTEEN: A Fusion original series that explores how young people across the globe react to their new right to vote and how they hope to make change in their country.
WE MAKE AMERICA GREAT: In a political season infused with slander and finger pointing, this series celebrates the accomplishments of young Americans who's passion and innovation are what make America great. Through the lens of fresh young voices, we'll come to understand how far this country has come and how far we have yet to go to truly realize a country we can all be proud to call our own.
NO LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN: An original TV Special, this film examines the question: do transgender athletes have a competitive advantage? Through professional and personal voices we explore the debate and break down some of the assumptions associated with competitive advantage and address the question of whether or not transgender athletes are in it simply to dominate sports.
The digital age is redefining the way we engage in the political process. As an immigrant from China, one 18-year-old voter researched both political parties to find her own voice and vote, and she's raising political awareness through tweets to teens.
We Make America Great | Saving America's Dying Cities
Mayor Pete Buttigieg doesn't want to be confined by labels and he's working hard to make sure South Bend isn't either. In a rustbelt economy once labeled as one of America's dying cities, he is re-inventing the city by using the structures of the past to create new business for today.
We Make America Great | Ending Health Care Discrimination
Baltimore City Health Commissioner, Dr. Leana Wen, is changing the way we view health care. 80% of what determines if a person lives, is not the care they get in a hospital but all of the other factors in their life. Health is about poverty, race, housing, and the environments we live in. We cannot address health without first addressing the disparities in our health care system.
30 MINUTE TV SPECIAL
ROLE Director, Producer
LOGLINE The life and legacy of the most famous swim coach you’ve never heard of.
SYNOPSIS Bell’s Angels is the untold story of Coach Franke Ann Bell, a woman who defied all odds to become one of the most famous swim coaches you’ve never heard of. Franke’s coaching career has all the makings of a classic underdog story. She was one of the first female head coaches in the ‘good ol’ boys club’ of swimming in Charlotte, North Carolina in the late 1950s. Working on the "wrong side of town" with no prior coaching experience and limited resources, Franke became a student of the sport. She studied the bottom of ships to find new ways of reducing resistance, she handcrafted paddles out of plexi glass and was one of the first coaches to incorporate dry land training. In a few years time, Franke turned a ragtag team of kids who barely knew one stroke into national and world champions. Her innovative coaching techniques and unusually fast swimmers put Franke and Charlotte swimming on the map. As Franke gained notoriety in the swim world, job offers came pouring in. She was sought after to coach at the Pan Am Games, to be the first female coach at the Olympics in Munich and the first female coach at a Top 10 university. Even though she could have made two or three times the salary anywhere else, she turned down all of these offers to stay in Charlotte. To Franke, it was never about the medals. It was always about the kids. But that decision didn’t come without it’s own challenges.
Now at 83-years-old, Franke’s greatest adversary isn’t gender inequality or lack of resources, it’s post-polio and an auto-immune disease. With 60 years of coaching, Franke refuses to throw in the towel. She’s harnessing that same innovative spirit that made her one of the best swim coaches of all time to find a way to continue to coach until her very last breath. It is her relentless drive through the years that ultimately leads her to be the first female inducted into the International Swimming Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2015.
PROJECT STATUS Final Development + Initial Production. We are currently seeking funding to cover production, post-production and distribution costs.
Bell's Angels | Teaser
The Elder Series
ROLE Director, Producer, Cinematographer
LOGLINE Stories from the age inside.
SYNOPSIS A new character-driven documentary short series that highlights the personal stories of individuals age 70 years and older.