Welcome

Television and Film Production
Media Distribution and Promotion

Sky Films Incorporated creates and distributes independent documentary film and television programs.

Founded by veteran filmmakers Maureen Castle and Jim Tusty, Sky Films seeks to share inspirational stories about the triumph of the human spirit and connect them with an international audience.

What We Do

Develop theatrical and television documentary projects

James Tusty and Maureen Castle Tusty (husband & wife) have individually produced and/or directed various documentary projects throughout their careers. The past several years they have joined forces to pursue collaborative projects.

Their most noted completed collaboration is The Singing Revolution. This feature documentary tells the moving story of Estonia’s non-violent march to freedom after enduring over fifty years of a brutal Soviet occupation. Massive singing demonstrations played a pivotal, though little known, role in the collapse of the Soviet Union. The Singing Revolution tells the story of one country’s undeniable thirst for self-determination and its unshakable belief in what it means to be free—to be Estonian.

Compared to Casablanca by the New York Times, The Singing Revolution was one of the most successful feature documentaries of 2008. Using unique web and niche marketing strategies, the film played theatrically in 125 North American markets, and was cited as one of five “maverick” films changing the independent film industry by the New York TimesThe Singing Revolution was nationally broadcast in 2011, and has been distributed with accompanying lesson plans to 10,000 American middle and high schools reaching millions of students.

To Breathe As One is another project focused on the country of Estonia.  This film follows the Piedmont Children’s Choir of Oakland, California, as they became one of the few non-Estonian choirs invited to participate in Laulupidu, Estonia’s massive song festival founded in 1869.  As many as 30,000 singers take the stage to sing songs of defiance, joy and unity.  To Breathe As One will be broadcast across the country in May and June.  Click here for a listing of airings.

Changing Lives: Economic Freedom in Action followed the extraordinary lives of five entrepreneurs in Zambia, South Korea, Chile and Slovakia.  The film shows how their struggles to establish small businesses ended up benefiting many of their fellow citizens.  The four countries selected all have recently come out of centrally-planned economies where entrepreneurship was discouraged or outright banned.  This film was produced for Free To Choose Media and broadcast nationally on public television.

Breaking the Caste: Unlocking India’s Human Potential is their current film, to be released on public television in the spring of 2015.  This film focuses on massive changes happening in India that, among other benefits, is allowing lower caste “untouchables” to break free from their social and economic chains.

Distribution consultation of select film and television projects

Sky Films Inc. also consults with other independent filmmakers and non-profit corporations to help them get their projects seen by as wide an audience as possible.

Corporate Consultation and Production

High-level corporate communications, consultation and production grew to be a specialty of Jim and Maureen’s former company, Mountain View Group (founded in 1981, purchased by two long-time employees/friends in 2008). Jim worked at SVP and CEO levels for several Fortune 100 companies, and still practices limited organizational communications consultation (on a daily, monthly, or annual basis.) For more information about his specialized communications strategies go to: WorkForce Instinct™.

SSky Films can be retained to produce specific corporate projects by working through their former company, Mountain View Group, Ltd.

James Tusty

James Tusty is an independent filmmaker, speaker, and entrepreneur.  He is Executive Producer and Co-Filmmaker along with his wife, Maureen, in their company Sky Films Incorporated.  Jim originally founded Mountain View Group, Ltd. in 1981, and built it into a high-level filmmaking and communications consulting firm that serviced some of the largest companies in the world, including GE, Coca-Cola, and The Home Depot. Jim sold his company in 2008 to two long-standing employees. While helming Mountain View, he developed WorkForce Instinct™ (WFI), an organizational communications process that drives corporate missions into the gut of the entire organization. Working with senior management, WFI was a communications and motivational tool primarily used during major periods of change, such as CEO transitions.

Jim and Maureen released the feature documentary, The Singing Revolution, in the U.S., Canada and Europe in 2008, which was compared to Casablanca by the New York Times, and later was cited by the Times as one of five “maverick” films that were changing distribution in the independent film industry.  Today Jim’s primary focus is international documentary work, along with select consulting projects for independent distribution and communications.

Some Specific Accomplishments:

Production

  • The Singing Revolution generated over 300 million press impressions and reached 125 North American theatrical markets, almost unheard of for a cinema art film.
  • Executive produced a fifteen-part series on free markets for Hungarian television immediately after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Funded by the World Bank, the series was broadcast nationally as well as made available through universities to help Hungary make the transition from a command economy to a free market economy. Some new Hungarian economic terms had to be created for the series.
  • Selected as a “Top 100 Producer” in the U.S. in 1997 and 1999 by AV Video and Multimedia Producer magazine for his corporate work.
  • Executive produced, produced, and/or directed over 100 programs and TV commercials for GE, IBM, Coca-Cola, The National Basketball Association, The New York Yankees, and various state and federal agencies while owner of Mountain View Group, Ltd.
  • Mountain View won over 150 national and international awards for its work from 1981-2008.

Business

  • Was an early investor and board member for the company that produced Pappyland, a how-to-draw show for children. Named a “Top Ten Kids TV Show” by TV Guide in 1996, the series went on to phenomenal success at both PBS and The Learning Channel (an early example of “dual carriage”) and became the number one show on TLC’s children’s block in the 1990s. Jim is now partnering with Vern Oakley, former director of Reading Rainbow to rejuvenate the 65 episodes as a virtual world where children can interactively create and display art.
  • Was part of a four-person committee for The Coca-Cola Company that consulted on its 15-year vision and mission in 2004/2005.
  • Jim receives the Order of the Cross of Terra Mariana, the highest award given to non-Estonians, from Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves

  • Developed a corporate alignment video series for Coca-Cola that resulted in 91% of employees reporting the series useful, 88% reporting they learned something new about their company, and 80% reporting feeling more connected to their colleagues worldwide.
  • Developed employee recruitment, retention, and motivational strategies for the opening of Home Depot, Manhattan. The challenge was taking a suburban/country do-it-yourself brand into the most urbane setting in the world.
  • Worked closely with senior executives of GE Energy for over twenty years on internal and external communications issues.

Other

  • Was President of the International Quorum of Motion Picture Producers and was President of the New York City chapter of the International Television Association. He has sat on numerous non-profit boards.
  • Guest Instructor for the Media School, Tallinn University, Estonia. With his wife Maureen, they taught advanced film production courses in 1999 and 2001. Many of their former students have taken key positions in the Baltic media community.
  • Has been a public speaker on topics ranging from corporate alignment to employee motivation to entrepreneurship to presentations on the subject matters of his films (such as the Singing Revolution).
  • On a 2010 economic advisory committee to the President of Estonia.

Maureen Castle Tusty

Maureen Castle Tusty is the primary producer/director for Sky Films Incorporated.  In Maureen & Jim’s previous company, Maureen produced many of the award-winning films at Mountain View Group, Ltd. as Senior Producer. She has produced films in dozens of countries around the world, and has developed a particular expertise in international production. Her documentary films have been seen in theaters and on PBS, and she has an extensive array of major corporate and commercial production behind her.

Maureen was co-filmmaker with Jim on The Singing Revolution. She continues to produce and direct her own her own documentary productions through Sky Films, as well as select high-profile corporate and commercial work for Mountain View Group.

Notable Accomplishments:

  • Has produced and/or directed a variety of production genres (documentary, commercial, and corporate) often integrating US and local crews in China, Taiwan, Japan, Singapore, Thailand, Australia, India, Great Britain, Scotland, France, Italy, Germany, The Netherlands, Norway, Finland, Estonia, Russia, Romania, Canada, US.
  • Co-Filmmaker on To Breathe as One, broadcast documentary on U.S. Public Television as well as select screenings and international release.
  • Producer/Director on the Public Television documentary Changing Lives; Economic Freedom in Action.
  • Producer/Director for a high-profile corporate film on Three Gorges Dam, the world’s largest hydropower project.
  • Producer for a high-profile corporate film on wind energy, featuring what will be the Europe’s largest on-shore wind farm located in Romania.
  • In addition to working on the film itself, produced and managed all viral PR and promotion and web activity for The Singing Revolution.
  • Producer of the broadcast documentary The Natural Corridor, a 90-minute film on the history of transportation in New York State from ancient to modern times for PBS broadcast and distribution in schools.
  • Produced instructional sporting videos for The Orvis Company, as well as managing web distribution of the products.
  • Maureen receives the Order of the Cross of Terra Mariana, the highest award given to non-Estonians, from Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves

  • Producer/Director the SUNY Research Foundation’s Childcare Provider Educational Teleconferences. A series of 13 monthly two-hour programs live broadcast to multiple training facilities throughout New York State using experts and childcare providers connected live via satellite integrated with pre-produced films.
  • Among many commercials, produced a 30-second commercial featuring WNBA star Rebecca Lobo used to promote Spaulding basketballs.
  • Co-Editor of the NYS Theatre Institute adaptation of Cinderella. A full-length children’s feature broadcast on a major cable system as well as released by Time-Warner on home video.
  • Guest Instructor for the Media School, Tallinn University, Estonia. With her husband, Jim, they taught advanced film production courses in 1999 and 2001. Many of their former students have taken key positions in the Baltic media community.

Contact Us

Sky Films Incorporated

Main Office:

45 Teal Road
Averill Park, NY 12018
518-674-1630

New York City Office:

375 Greenwich Street
New York, NY 10013

  1. *
  2. *
 

cforms contact form by delicious:days