Jamie Duneier: Kid From Reading Rainbow is a Writer Today

The TV shows and programs that children grow up watching often play a significant role in shaping their memories. Unbeknownst to many, the effort that goes into creating these shows is immense. The Netflix documentary ‘Butterfly in the Sky: The Making of Reading Rainbow’ allows viewers to revisit a beloved TV show that ran for over two decades since its original premiere on June 6, 1983. Jamie Duneier, who watched and participated in ‘Reading Rainbow,’ shared how this experience served as a lifeline when he felt isolated.

Jamie Duneier Found Acceptance Through Reading Rainbow

Jamie Duneier was just nine years old when he got the chance to appear on ‘Reading Rainbow.’ As a long-time fan of the show, this opportunity was life-changing for him. He shared that he was not given professional guidelines on what to say but was encouraged to speak his mind. This made it challenging, but he was also excited to create and perform a book review independently. Despite the difficulties, it was an exciting experience that allowed him to exercise his creativity and develop something from scratch independently. Jamie chose to review ‘Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge’ by Mem Fox for the TV show. This book tells the story of a young boy who befriends a 96-year-old woman.

Jamie prepared diligently for the shoot, crafting an illustrious, imaginative, and evocative review. His thoughtful and creative approach allowed his review to stand out on a show he had always admired from a distance. Reflecting on the show that had been a significant part of his childhood, Jamie said that the world of books opens up countless portals for a young mind, and ‘Reading Rainbow’ was able to tap into that imagination and present it in a very grounded manner. As a child who often felt on the periphery of things, the show was a place where Jamie felt loved, warm, and entirely accepted. He shared that he was a queer kid, though he didn’t understand it at the time or know why he didn’t fit in with his peers. The show helped him find a comforting space where he felt a sense of belonging and acceptance.

Where is Jamie Duneier Now?

Jamie Duneier has made significant strides in the entertainment industry, carving out a niche for himself as a writer. After completing his Bachelor’s in Fine Arts from NYU Tisch School of the Arts in film production, he began his career as the showrunner’s assistant for the first three seasons of ‘Friday Night Lights‘ starting in 2006, working under the esteemed Jason Katims. This experience laid a solid foundation for his future endeavors. In 2010, he seized the opportunity to become a writing assistant for the first season of ‘Parenthood,’ another project spearheaded by Katims. His role on ‘Parenthood‘ allowed him to hone his writing skills and gain invaluable insights into the creative processes behind successful television series.

Jamie Duneier continued to make remarkable progress in the entertainment industry, showcasing his talent as a writer. He created an original television drama plot called ‘Savage,’ which he successfully sold to Fox 21. Another significant achievement came when he won the 2014 Humanitas New Voices Program, a recognition that provided him with further opportunities to expand his knowledge and skills. The year 2020 was pivotal for him as he embarked on developing a novel series titled ‘Proxy.’ USA Networks/Universal Cable Productions picked this project up for the Syfy Channel and Peacock. However, due to the COVID-19 restrictions, the project has yet to come to fruition.

In 2020, Jamie released a short film titled ‘Our Father,’ which he wrote, directed, and acted in. The film premiered at the El Dorado Film Festival and garnered critical acclaim, earning numerous awards. It was honored by the Venice Shorts Film Awards with both the Best U.S. Producer and Best U.C. Cinematography awards. Additionally, the short film factory named it as its winner for 2020. ‘Our Father’ was also selected as an official entry for the Montreal Indie Short Film Festival, further cementing Jamie’s reputation as a versatile and talented filmmaker.

Image Credit: Jamie Duneier/Threads

Jamie continued to work as a writer and is also a proud member of the LGBTQ community. A vocal advocate, he never shies away from championing causes that directly impact his life. He is also married to the love of his life, UCLA scientist Andrew Goldstein, though he keeps the details of that part of his life private. He has settled in Westwood, Los Angeles, and is a dog parent, reveling in the creativity that his life affords him. Jamie Duneier’s personal experiences and advocacy work continually inspire his writing, allowing him to explore new depths in his craft.

Read More: Best Kids Movies on Paramount+