Annika Hoiem

@annika-hoiem | contributor
Annika Hoiem is a culture and social impact writer. She was a Business Insider fellow and has written for NYLON and Darling Magazine. She holds a B.S. in magazine journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. You can follow her on Instagram @annikahoiem.
Annika Hoiem

New Disney+ Movie ‘Clouds’ Features Zach Sobiech’s Cancer Journey

On Wednesday, Disney released the trailer for “Clouds,” a true story about Zach Sobiech, a teen with osteosarcoma, a rare bone cancer, who inspired others through music. The film is based off of his mother’s memoir, “Fly a Little Higher.” “Clouds” is inspired by Sobiech’s journey as a musician while living with cancer. Director Justin Baldoni, who starred in “Jane the Virgin” and also directed “Five Feet Apart, ” first got to know Sobiech when he shot a documentary for SoulPancake about the boy’s extraordinary spirit. “I came here and I was expecting to meet a great kid who had a cool YouTube video and was inspiring, but I was not expecting to meet a 17-year-old who would change my life,” said Baldoni, addressing Sobiech and his family while shooting the project in 2013. “I just want you to know, this stuff’s not happening because you’re dying. It’s really because of the way you’re living.” After his diagnosis, Sobiech began writing songs as a way of embracing life and saying “goodbye” to his loved ones. “You can either sit in your basement and wait, or you can get out there and do some crazy stuff,” he reflected in “My Last Days.” “I want to be remembered as a kid who went down fighting and didn’t really lose.” Sobiech died on May 20, 2013, at the age of 18. A week after the SoulPancake documentary’s release, Sobiech’s song “Clouds” shot to number one on iTunes on the day of his funeral, making him the first unsigned artist to achieve this feat. Baldoni told Entertainment Tonight that it was especially meaningful to “reintroduce people to the magic that was Zach” this September with the trailer “Clouds,” as it is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. According to the American Cancer Society, 800 to 900 patients are diagnosed with osteosarcoma (the most common type of bone cancer) each year, and half of these new cases are in children and teens. Sobiech’s family has now raised over $2 million for the Children’s Cancer Research Fund in his name. “You act with courage and kindness, you can change the world, and Zach is such a great example of it,” said his mother, Laura Sobiech, told CBSN Minnesota . “He showed us what it can look like if we choose not to be controlled by fear or despair but by hope.” “Clouds” will be available to stream on Disney+ on Oct. 16. Fin Argus stars as Sobiech alongside Disney Channel alum Sabrina Carpenter as his best friend, Sammy. Madison Iseman plays his girlfriend, Amy. Watch the full trailer below.