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ABOUT THE FILM
An independent documentary film about Charity Woodrum, a young woman from rural Oregon whose dream of becoming an astrophysicist is nearly derailed when she suffers a devastating tragedy.
Charity was a nontraditional university student, raised in poverty, the first in her family to graduate from high school. In her mid-20s, she was married and nine months pregnant when she decided to return to school to study physics. Life felt perfect. Then, what she calls "The Worst Day." Her world was destroyed.
With help from friends old and new, she finds her way back to the distant galaxies where she feels most at peace.
ABOUT CHARITY WOODRUM
Charity has come a long way from her childhood in Canyonville, Oregon, where she found peace many nights looking up at the night sky. Her dream from early on was to work for NASA one day, but it felt like a crazy goal for a kid from rural Oregon who had never met a scientist.
Through devastating tragedy, she has kept her eyes on the sky. She is a Ph.D. candidate and NSF Graduate Research Fellow at Steward Observatory, University of Arizona. She is working with Professor Marcia Rieke and Dr. Christina Williams as part of NASA's James Webb Space Telescope Near-IR Camera (NIRCam) science team. Her research uses the Universe as a time machine to tell the story of how galaxies evolve over cosmic time.
After losing her son Woody, Charity dreamed of honoring him by offering financial support and mentorship to students in his name. The Woody’s Stars Fund of The Oregon Community Foundation supports college students as they follow their own dreams of succeeding in STEM.
You can help make their dreams come true.
Donate online by clicking "donate" below or send a check to:
Oregon Community Foundation
1221 SW Yamhill St., #100
Portland, OR 97205
Be sure to specify "Woody's Stars Fund" on the memo line of your check.
MEET THE FILMMAKERS
Sandy is an award-winning broadcast journalist (3 national EMMY awards, a Columbia-DuPont Award, an Edward R. Murrow Award, Overseas Press Club Award, several Gabriel Awards and numerous nominations) with more than 20 years of experience working for NBC News as a senior producer and a producer, mostly for Dateline NBC.
She has covered breaking news, investigative stories, legal stories, entertainment, medical stories and spent years producing long-form programs for the network before venturing out on her own.
Some of the stories Sandy has told include 9/11, the massacre at Columbine, Hurricane Katrina, the OJ Simpson trial, Australia's Stolen Generation, Nazis hiding in plain sight in Canada, a family enduring heart transplants in three of their children.
While she has had the pleasure of telling stories of famous people, what she loves most is the stories of ordinary people overcoming extraordinary challenges. Charity Woodrum is one of them. Sandy's work has aired on NBC, MSNBC, OPB, and on digital platforms such as Amazon Prime and iTunes.
She has built a reputation for earning the trust of the people whose stories she tells, and taking the storytelling to a deeper level.
Diana is an award winning editor who has worked in network television news, and on nonfiction programs and independent documentary films for more than two decades. She is an Emmy and Peabody Award winner who has worked for NBC News, ABC, WNET, A&E, and many others.
Diana brings a sensitivity and passion to her work that sets her apart. She has worked with Sandy and Tom for many years and has edited documentaries for them both. When told about “Space, Hope and Charity,” her immediate reaction was, “I’m in.”
Director of Photography
Tom has worked as a photojournalist for more than 40 years, many of those as a director of photography on major interviews and stories for NBC News.
Tom played an extensive role in determining the look of Dateline NBC and has been instrumental in creating innovative ways to visually illustrate stories.
He has won two national EMMY awards, 4 local EMMY awards, a Peabody, an Edward R. Murrow and a DuPont.
Tom also has directed and produced two feature-length documentaries: “Hand Drawn Life,” a history of comic strips, and “Finding Our Ancient Wisdom: The Spiritual Origins of Western Society.” “Hand Drawn Life” was broadcast on KCET, a PBS station in Los Angeles. “Finding Our Ancient Wisdom” was distributed through New Leaf in Atlanta and is available on Netflix.
Tom co-authored a college-level textbook about news and production filming and teaches documentary filmmaking at the Dodge School of Media Arts at Chapman University in Orange, CA.
Alexandra Harwood is a BAFTA Cymru Award-winning composer, whose films have screened worldwide. Most recently Alexandra completed scoring the new seven-part Drama-Comedy series "All Creatures Great and Small" for Channel 5 and PBS Masterpiece, starring Samuel West, Dame Diana Rigg, Rachel Shenton and Nicholas Ralph.
Prior to this, she composed scores for the Ballet "Geisha" for the Northern Ballet, "Thatcher: A Very British Revolution" BBC Documentary Series, and Mike Newell’s feature film, "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society" starring Lily James, Michiel Huisman, Glen Powell and Sir Tom Courtenay.
Alexandra is a classically trained composer. After graduating from the Royal College of Music (Dip Mus) and The Juilliard School (MA), she was Composer in Residence for the Juilliard Drama Division.
Her music for film has won awards and nominations with the British Animation Awards-Best Sound and Music (Winner 2018) , BAFTA Cymru (Winner 2015), BIFA (2013), Anima Mundi, Edinburgh Film Festival, IDFA and Locarno.