From National Geographic Documentary Films, Academy Award-winning director Cynthia Wade, award-winning director Sharon Liese and executive producer Giannis Antetokounmpo, THE FLAGMAKERS poses one of today’s most pressing questions: who is the American flag for? Employee-owned Eder Flag in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, sews and ships five million American flags a year. The flagmakers — locals, immigrants and refugees — stitch stars and stripes as they wrestle with identity and belonging. Sewing manager Radica, a Serbian immigrant, believes every flag has a soul. Ali, a war survivor from Iraq, is learning how to use a sewing machine after arriving in the United States just 90 days prior. Midwestern-born Barb’s genuine friendships with her immigrant co-workers belie her staunchly conservative beliefs. SugarRay, a Black man born and raised in Milwaukee, reflects on his complicated relationship with this country. Each considers: What does the American flag represent in a changing nation and world, and for whom? THE FLAGMAKERS is an intimate glimpse into the people whose hands make America’s most recognizable icon.
Meet the Filmmakers
CYNTHIA WADEDIRECTOR / PRODUCER
Cynthia Wade is an Oscar®-winning director who recently worked on three episodes of Apple TV+’s “Gutsy,” featuring Hillary Clinton and Chelsea Clinton. Cynthia’s television documentaries include “Grit” (Emmy® Nominee, PBS), “Mondays at Racine” (Oscar nominee, HBO), “Freeheld” (Oscar winner, Sundance winner, HBO), “Born Sweet” (Sundance winner, Oscar shortlist), “Shelter Dogs” (HBO), “Grist for the Mill” (Cinemax), “Growing Hope Against Hunger” (Emmy Winner, PBS), “Generation Startup” (Netflix), “Living the Legacy” (Sundance Channel). Her fiction short “Sproutland” is currently on the festival circuit. She directs television commercials and films, including “Selfie” (Clio winner, Sundance Institute) and “Mommy Wars” (Similac). She has won over 60 film festival awards worldwide. She is currently directing and executive producing a four-part series for Netflix.
SHARON LIESEDIRECTOR / PRODUCER
Sharon Liese is an acclaimed film director and producer known for having her finger on the Zeitgeist. Her films include “Transhood” (HBO); the award-winning feature documentary “The Gnomist,” which premiered at Tribeca Film Festival, won 14 awards and attracted 16M views on CNN’s “Great Big Story” platform; “Fight for the First” (“Meet The Press” Film Festival); and “Selfie” (Clio winner, Sundance Institute). Sharon has also created and directed documentary series for television, including “Pink Collar Crimes” (CBS), “High School Confidential” (WeTV, Gracie winner), as well as served as executive producer and showrunner for series on Discovery, MTV, OWN and Lifetime. She is currently directing and executive producing a four-part series for Starz.
Directed and Produced by Cynthia Wade, Sharon Liese
Executive Producers Carolyn Bernstein, Ryan Harrington, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Mark Gordon, Ben Forkner, Pamela Ryckman, Sylvia Golden, Jenna Segal, Jayne Sherman, Deborah C. van Eck
Rated PG-13 for brief strong language