|Written by Thomas Rickman|
Theme music composer Mark Adler
Original language(s) English
Director James Steven Sadwith
|Directed by James Steven Sadwith|
Country of origin United States
Initial release 29 January 2012
Story by Joe Layden, Mike Kersjes
|Starring John Corbett
Peter ten Brink
E. Roger Mitchell
Film series Hallmark Hall of Fame Film Series
Produced by Cameron Johann, Dan Paulson, Brent Shields
Cast John Corbett, Jessy Schram, Logan Huffman, Moira Kelly, Cynthia Watros
Similar John Corbett movies, Teacher movies
A smile as big as the moon 2012
A Smile as Big as the Moon is a Hallmark Hall of Fame television movie. The film debuted on ABC on January 29, 2012.
John Corbett stars in this film based on the 2002 memoir of the same title by teacher Mike Kersjes and Joe Layden. The movie shows the challenges Kersjes faced as he worked to bring out the best from his special education students by taking them to Space Camp, which had, until that time been perceived as a program best suited to advanced science and math students, well beyond the reach of special education students. Several actors playing students in the film have Down syndrome, autism and/or learning disabilities.
A smile as big as the moon trailer
Ben, a student with Down syndrome, in Mike Kersjes's Forest Hills Northern High School, Grand Rapids, Michigan, special education class, dreams of becoming an astronaut. Kersjes, who is also a football coach is inspired to pursue Space Camp for his students. Obstacles mount as school administrators object to the expense and Space Camp officials have no experience with special-ed students. Teacher Robynn McKinney supports Kersjes's efforts.
Eventually the trip is approved by the necessary parties, and Kersjes faces another set of challenges: fundraising, preparing the students for their trip with science and physical education, and battling bullying and belittling from other students. Kersjes engages the football team in these endeavors.
The film was shot primarily in Wilmington, North Carolina and at United States Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama. One scene used Sky Theater inside Ingram Planetarium of Sunset Beach, North Carolina, which was adapted to appear as a planetarium would have in 1988. Filming took place there September 28, 2011.