WHAT WE DO
Sky Films Inc. produces moving documentaries on significant topics and insures they find a wide audience.
After decades of specializing in international productions for worldwide companies such as Coca-Cola, GE and IBM, James Tusty and Maureen (Mo) Castle Tusty decided in 2008 to fully dedicate their time to documentary films on topics that inform and uplift. They sold their first production company Mountain View Group, Ltd. and founded Sky Films Inc.
Their first collaborative project was The Singing Revolution. This feature documentary tells the moving and remarkable story of Estonia’s non-violent march to freedom after enduring over fifty years of a brutal Soviet occupation.
Compared to the power of Casablanca by the New York Times, The Singing Revolution was one of the most successful feature documentaries of 2008. Using unique marketing strategies, the film played theatrically in 125 North American markets, and was later cited as one of five “maverick” films changing the independent film industry by the New York Times.
Sky Films Inc. has produced multiple full length documentary films for television broadcast. Their films have played in theaters across North America, been broadcast nationally and internationally, and are distributed into schools across the U.S.
Their films include:
Sky Films most recent project in development is a documentary entitled She Rises Up. She Rises Up is a feature documentary film that will tell the stories of inspiring women who are pulling themselves and their families out of extreme poverty. While over a billion people have come out of extreme poverty in the last 25 years, many women remain trapped without equal access to economic opportunities and legal rights.
She Rises Up will explore the explosive implications of women’s economic participation as we meet individual women in the midst of dramatic change. This film will share powerful methods that work toward the eradication of extreme poverty in our world. She Rises Up is planned for theatrical release in fall, 2022, including a robust PR and promotion campaign.
Imagine the scene in ``Casablanca`` in which the French patrons sing 'La Marseillaise' in defiance of the Germans, then multiply its power by a factor of thousands, and you've only begun to imagine the force of ``The Singing Revolution``.
— The New York Times
Forget those reality shows where budding inventors and entrepreneurs compete at begging celebrities to endorse and invest in them; PBS has the real story of smart, gutsy determined people who built their companies from the ground up and brought jobs and hope to their families and communities. In the one-hour documentary ``Economic Freedom in Action: Changing Lives``, directors James Tusty and Maureen Castle Tusty profile five people in four corners of the globe who did what they were told was impossible.”
``The Singing Revolution`` is an undeniably important film.”
— Chicago Tribune
If a tree falls in the woods, but no one is there to hear it…then distribution failed to create an audience for the tree.
Sky Films is dedicated not only to the creation of moving, inspirational stories, but ensuring that the stories are shared as widely as possible.
One of the unique aspects of Sky Films Inc. is its dedication to insuring distribution for all its productions. A colleague of Jim and Maureen’s once said, “The problem with most independent filmmakers is that they think their job is done when the film is finished. In fact, the business proposition has just begun.”
Jim and Maureen take this to heart. They believe in the content of their films (that includes their work-for-hire films), and they want to maximize audience exposure. Documentaries will rarely achieve pop culture distribution standards, but it is very possible to reach millions of viewers with a strategic distribution plan. Sky Films Inc. chooses the best distribution vehicle and then executes on the strategy with each of its films.
Sky Films has successful experience with theatrical releases, Public Television releases, commercial television releases and educational releases.
Sky Films projects usually include educational institution distribution, and some have included the publication and release of companion books.
As part of Sky Film’s dedication to distribution, they became 50% partners in New Visions Worldwide Distribution, Inc in 2013 (NVWD). NVWD has distributed over 250 programs on commercial television in its 35-year history, and since becoming a business partner Sky Films Inc. has taken part in the distribution of a dozen more programs.
``India Awakes” reveals the enormous power of unlocking human potential and ambition, and how doing so, could establish this country as a preeminent world leader.
— University of Chicago
Even if you think chorale music is not your bag, the performances at Laulupidu seen in ``To Breathe As One`` will make the hair on the back of your neck stand on end. You can literally hear one hundred fifty years of tumultuous history crescendoing in triumph over their Czarist and Communist Oppressors. It is also a timely reminder of the precariousness of liberty, particularly in light of Putin’s expansionist ambitions.”
— JB SPINS blog
“It’s one of the most inspirational and powerful documentaries I’ve ever seen.”
— ``Reel Talk`` review of ``The Singing Revolution``
WHO WE ARE
James Tusty is an independent filmmaker, speaker, and entrepreneur. He is Co-Owner and Co-Filmmaker of Sky Films Inc, along with his wife/business partner, Maureen Castle Tusty.
In 1981, Jim founded Mountain View Group, Ltd. 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. 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 sold his company in 2008 to two long-standing employees, and established Sky Films Incorporated with Maureen. Returning to his filmmaker roots, Sky Films released its first feature film, The Singing Revolution, 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 the independent film industry due to their creative distribution plan.
James Tusty receiving the Order of the Cross of Terra Mariana award from President Toomas Ilves for special services provided to the Republic of Estonia. In recognition for his work on the film “The Singing Revolution”.
Maureen (Mo) Castle Tusty is co-owner and the primary creative director and film director for Sky Films Inc. She was co-filmmaker with her husband/partner, Jim Tusty, on The Singing Revolution, which was the first project they produced together. Her documentary films have been seen in theaters, on Public Television, and in classrooms across the country.
Previously, as Senior Producer, Maureen was responsible for many of the award-winning corporate and educational films at Mountain View Group, Ltd., their former company. She has produced films in more than 50 countries around the world, resulting in a particular expertise in international production. She continues to occasionally produce and direct high-profile corporate and commercial work for Mountain View Group.
Maureen was the primary director/researcher on the Sky Films productions of To Breathe as One, India Awakes, Changing Lives: Economic Freedom in Action, and Trailblazers: the New Zealand Story, Sweden: Lessons for America?, and Corporate Welfare: Where’s the Outrage?.
Maureen Castle Tusty receiving the Order of the Cross of Terra Mariana award from President Toomas Ilves for special services provided to the Republic of Estonia. In recognition for her work on the film “The Singing Revolution”.