Academy Award-winning filmmaker Morgan Neville examines the life and legacy of Fred Rogers, the beloved host of the popular children’s TV show “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.” A portrait of a man whom we all think we know, this emotional and moving film takes us beyond the zip-up cardigans and the land of make-believe, and into the heart of a creative genius who inspired generations of children with compassion and limitless imagination. NOW PLAYING.
Innovating the way smart, soulful stories are marketed, publicized, and released.
We live in the most cluttered media marketplace in history, with audiences more fragmented than ever, and conventional approaches falling short of expectations. How, then, will the best stories reach the most audiences? Aspiration Entertainment produces marketing and distribution solutions that blend insider experience with outsider innovation. We have a long history of being different drummers for studios, networks, indies, causes, and family brands. And we are just getting started.
For over twenty years, the Aspiration team has defined and redefined the industries of music, politics, media, entertainment, non-profits, and the arts through an unconventional approach to ideas, imagination, and impact. During the past ten years Aspiration’s team has brought this “different” approach to more than 150 film and television campaigns across major studios, networks, award-winning indie filmmakers, and media brands.
Aspiration provides an entirely unique approach to:
- Acquiring, activating, and accelerating audiences through dynamic and multi-dimensional marketing, publicity, and social campaigns;
- Eventizing releases/shows in theaters, non-theatrical venues, homes and small screens; and
- Designing online and offline experiences that create measurable momentum.
What, exactly, is a producer of marketing, distribution, and impact?
Producers make things happen.
Marketing makes things known.
Distribution makes things available.
Impact makes things meaningful.
Aspiration specializes in distribution (theatrical through digital) and marketing (ideation through execution) for films, TV, and media programming that goes higher, further, and deeper than common entertainment — what the company terms “screen forward entertainment.”
Eventizing distribution across theatrical, semi-theatrical, and digital platforms through data-and-demand-driven strategies that put audiences and filmmakers first.
Creating kids and family entertainment and education experiences in the classroom, in the home, and in retail spaces.
Connecting smart films and television with belief-motivated audiences — and the globally-minded, cause-conscious, media-savvy, socially-influential leaders who are driving the changes in faith in America and around the globe.
Partnering with storytellers from script to screen as producers of marketing and distribution (PMDs) … from shorts to documentaries to feature narratives. Executive producers of Sundance-premiered Last Days In The Desert, starring Ewan McGregor.
THE COMPANY WE KEEP
Erik Lokkesmoe has more than 20 years of experience popularizing and populating great ideas and stories. A former speechwriter, press secretary, studio executive, and thought-leader on aspirational audiences.
Over twelve years Erik served as a congressional press secretary, Senate campaign communications director, political communications advisor at the National Association of Broadcasters, speechwriter in the George W. Bush Administration, and head of communications for the National Endowment of the Humanities.
During his political career Erik launched Brewing Culture, a “third-place” initiative to bring variety of beliefs and backgrounds together around great art and ideas. In 2006, Anschutz Film Group & Walden Media asked Erik to be the project manager for the movie Amazing Grace, a political thriller chronicling the heroic story of 18th century abolitionist William Wilberforce. He and his team were heralded by the LA Times for crafting an unconventional marketing campaign and social impact effort to end modern-day slavery.
Erik served as the Vice President of Strategic Partnerships for AFG/Walden Media in Los Angeles until 2008 when he and two others launched Different Drummer, an unconventional marketing and publicity firm. For the next ten years, across more than 100 entertainment projects, Erik led the vision and strategy of the fast-growing agency that included projects for all major movie studios, television networks, publishers, labels, and causes.
Expanding into production and distribution, Erik and four partners created Aspiration, executive producing the Sundance-premiered, NY Times Critics Pick film LAST DAYS IN THE DESERT starring Ewan McGregor. The company also distributed the festival-winning independent film Noble, with several new films in production.
Erik is the author and co-author of three books, including his most recent, DIFFERENT DRUMMER. He and his wife, Monica, have three children and, after moving from DC to LA to DC to LA to NYC to Nashville over the past seven years, are glad to call Music City (aka “Storyville”) their home.
Andy Peterson is a senior creative media executive at the forefront of marketing entertainment properties and brands to cause conscious audiences.
As a principal at Aspiration, Andy has been involved in launching dozens of independent and studio feature films and TV series including projects from Paramount Pictures, Participant Media, Sony Pictures, AMC, FOX, dick clark productions, Abramorama and National Geographic among others.
He is also leading Aspiration’s new Docs/ology initiative for curating, servicing and funding ‘praise-worthy’ documentary films.
In 2012 Andy created the Justice Film Festival, a film experience that promotes social justice and celebrates emerging filmmakers from around the world. The festival just announced its 6th annual event in New York City at the Sheen Center for Thought & Culture November 1-4, 2018.
Andy is a graduate of Taylor University, and has lived in Nashville for over 20-years with his wife Rebecca. They have three children. An avid record collector Andy has over 1,000 pieces of vinyl in his collection, and can usually be found visiting contemporary art museums and other sacred spaces during his travels.
Janeal Bernhart began her film publicity career over 10 years ago, working for LA-based agencies MPRM Communications and Ginsberg Libby where she handled online & digital publicity.
In her time at the two agencies, she worked on more than 100 films with clients such as Roadside Attractions, Magnolia Pictures, Fox Searchlight, CBS Films, and Focus Features.
One of her career highlights was working on the awards team for the 2013 Academy Award Best Picture Winner, 12 Years a Slave. She also handled film publicity at the Sundance Film Festival & the Toronto International Film Festival, working on films such as documentary film The Queen of Versailles, Morgan Spurlock’s The Greatest Movie Ever Sold, and Lake Bell’s film In a World.
As a Belmont University graduate, Janeal returned to Nashville in 2014 and began working for Aspiration as a senior publicist and project manager.
With nearly 20 years of experience, Livia Beasley has written, produced, and developed media for clients across the children’s media landscape.
In addition to her work on Emmy-nominated projects for Sesame Workshop, Livia has worked with Nickelodeon, Sprout, Universal Kids, PBS, Baby First TV, Out of the Blue, Fisher Price, and Amazon. Livia is also the Founder of the premier industry organization CHILDREN’S MEDIA ASSOCIATION and Chief Pebble Skipper of the development and production boutique PIXEL & PEBBLE.
Josh studied film and photography at Ithaca College before earning his masters in film studies from NYU. He has worked in film development and finance for 5 years.
As a student he worked on many short films and even interned for producers attempting to pull together a documentary film about now notorious comedian Bill Cosby just before the truth about his past reached the public.
After graduate school, Josh worked with New York City based company Andrew Lauren Productions for three and half years. While there he helped the team bring to life the independent film THE SPECTACULAR NOW (2013) and developed two commissioned projects with writer Taylor Sheridan. Deal also took part in developing several other projects and in the production of a documentary film before leaving the team in 2015.
Deal then transitioned to Nashville where he resides today. While with Aspiration Entertainment, he has helped to develop a digital film distribution platform called TheatriCast. Using the platform, Josh has distributed several documentary films, as well as the North American event film WORSHIP NIGHT IN AMERICA, starring Chris Tomlin.
As a Nashville based film and commercial producer, Josh continues to work on aspirational films and commercials.
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