MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — If you were moved by Clouds, the story of Lakeland teen Zach Sobiech, now there’s another way to get involved. Disney+ is airing a musical tribute to Zach’s enduring legacy on Saturday, October 24, to raise money for the Children’s Cancer Research Fund in his name.
The film’s director and actor who played Zach spoke about the benefit and how Zach’s message lives on.
Clouds is the newly released streaming film on Disney+ inspired by Zach life, how he lived while battling terminal cancer as his catchy song reached people around the world.
Director Justin Baldoni met Zach during his cancer diagnosis.
“Zach had an effortless depth to him,” Baldoni said.
And Baldoni promised to share his music and story – and to raise awareness for Osteosarcoma research and treatment.
“One of the main things he really cared about was his fund, the Zach Sobiech Osteosarcoma Fund, which he set up before he died,” Baldoni said.
So Disney is bringing the cast together to highlight the reason behind Zach’s willingness to share his cancer journey. It will feature performances from Zach’s real best friend and musical partner, band One Republic, and Fin Argus, who plays Zach.
“We’re going to be celebrating a bit more of his musical legacy and life. It will be a nice full-circle moment,” Argus said.
Argus visited Minnesota and spent time with Zach’s family and friends before filming, and says their vulnerability allowed him to authentically tell his story.
“After meeting the family, that just gave me a sense of reassurance, a sense that this process was being guided by Zach. It felt like he was there every step of the way,” Argus said.
Baldoni kept an empty director’s chair with Zach’s name on it next to him while making Clouds. And says he hopes the film inspires people to recognize the power of living in the present and to live as if they are dying.
“We spend our lives trying to forget it unless you’re someone like Zach that’s forced to confront it, so I hope people look at their lives and say what do I want to do? What is my impact on the world, what do I want to say with the time that I have here,” Baldoni said.
He asks people to join them in continuing Zach’s legacy by joining Zach’s Movement.
“Because in our film business we always say, ‘oh, we’re not curing cancer,’ but Fin and I are now saying, ‘why the hell not,’” Baldoni said.
Clouds: A Musical Celebration will be available to view live on the Disney+ Facebook page Oct. 24 at 1 p.m.
Zach’s mom, Laura Sobiech, told WCCO: “The Sobiechs are excited about the Clouds virtual concert and are grateful that Justin Baldoni, the director of the movie, and Disney+ have chosen to join our family in the mission of raising awareness about Zach’s Movement, osteosarcoma and childhood cancer in general. The funds that Zach’s Movement raises will go directly to research that will lead to new and better treatments for kids diagnosed in the future.”