National Geographic has announced a brand new documentary film, that is currently going by the working title of “Sally”, which will be about  Sally Ride, who became the first American woman to blast off into space; she forever changed the course of science, exploration and women’s empowerment. But as she flew into orbit, Ride faced the challenges of institutional critics and the prejudice of an American public who were sceptical that a woman could do the job of an astronaut. Undeterred, Ride dove headfirst into that struggle, propelled by a determination few could match.

Woven together through decades of astonishing, never-before-seen archival footage, filmed both on the ground and in space, “Sally” (working title) recounts the authentic, behind-the-scenes story of Sally Ride and chronicles the beautiful 27-year romance with life partner Tam O’Shaughnessy, which was kept secret from the public until the day of Ride’s death. The film presents the intimate, emotional truth of her journey as a pioneer who fought to expand the limits of what America imagined was possible. For the first time, the film allows us to see the real Ride, struggling with the limits and sacrifices true heroism demands.

The film comes from acclaimed director Cristina Costantini (“Mucho Mucho Amor,” “Science Fair”), who said in a statement:

“Sally was a powerful symbol to me as a kid – so much so that I painted a life-sized mural of her on the exterior of my elementary school in third grade. I thought, ‘If Sally, a woman, can go to space, what can’t I do?’.

Our society was not ready to celebrate Sally Ride for all of who she was when she broke the stratospheric glass ceiling back in 1983. It’s a great privilege to be able to tell her whole story today – who she really was, what she accomplished, and who she chose to love.  I have the utmost gratitude to National Geographic Documentaries Films for supporting our vision. I couldn’t think of a better partner.”

It will be produced by Dan Cogan (“Icarus,” “Becoming Cousteau”) and Lauren Cioffi (“Naomi Osaka,” “Becoming”). In partnership with award-winning production company Story Syndicate (“Last Call,” “Stolen Youth,” the Oscar-nominated “The Barber of Little Rock”) and in association with Muck Media (“Trafficked with Mariana van Zeller,” “Mucho Mucho Amor,” “Science Fair”), the film will capture the remarkable life and legacy of the groundbreaking astronaut Dr. Sally Ride.

This marks another enthralling project in National Geographic’s long-standing relationship with Story Syndicate, Muck Media and Costantini. “Sally” (working title) is edited by Kate Hackett and executive produced by Liz Garbus, Jon Bardin and Kate Barry for Story Syndicate and Carolyn Bernstein for National Geographic. Exclusive interviews with close friends and colleagues of Sally Ride include her life partner Tam O’Shaughnessy (also an executive producer), Billie Jean King and astronauts Anna Lee Fisher and Kathy Sullivan, to highlight a few.

Carolyn Bernstein, executive vice president of Scripted Content and Documentary Films for National Geographic, said in a statement:

“Cristina Costantini is the perfect filmmaker to tell Sally Ride’s story. Her passion for science and film and dedication to women’s equality bring depth and ethos to the project. We are thrilled to collaborate with her, Story Syndicate and Muck Media once again on this momentous project.  Sally Ride was a bold pioneer whose legacy continues to inspire new generations of astronauts, scientists and dreamers. This documentary will be a tribute to her accomplishments and a testament to the importance of diversity and inclusion in scientific exploration.”

The film’s producer, Dan Cogan, also added:

“I’m thrilled and honored to help tell the deeply resonant story of this extraordinary trailblazer, who has been a hero for young girls for generations, but nobody has told her full story until now.  This film has been a dream since the moment we started it. Getting to work with Carolyn again and getting to know Cristina, Tam and Lauren has been such a joy.”

No release details for “Sally” have been announced yet, so it’s unclear if this film will get a limited theatrical release, before being made available on Disney+.

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Roger Palmer

Roger has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and this interest has grown over the years. He has visited Disney Parks around the globe and has a vast collection of Disney movies and collectibles. He is the owner of What's On Disney Plus & DisKingdom. Email: Twitter: Facebook:

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