FilmRise Acquires The Worldwide Rights To Acclaimed Documentary “The Bad Kids”

March 22, 2016 — FilmRise has Acquired the worldwide rights to The Bad Kids, Keith Fulton and Lou Pepe‘s documentary which premiered at Sundance on January 22 of this year.

The film tells the story of a progressive high school program serving impoverished neighborhoods in the Mojave Desert area which is trying to support at-risk students.

Vonda Viland, the principal of Black Rock High School is featured, and her compassionate and determined efforts to help her students and keep them in school are inspiring.

She knows her students by name, often greets them at the door. She is so determined to get them to class that she frequently arrives at dawn to call those who might not otherwise make it, and see to it that they are out of bed. She often drives those who are without transportation.

Her school is part of a collective of alternative schools, a last-resort for the student labelled the “bad kids.” Many of them are from poor, dysfunctional and disturbed family situations. Without help, most would never continue schooling once the next family issue arises. In some cases, she and her staff are the only responsible and helpful grown-ups these children know.

Told through the examples of some of Viland’s most troubled teens, The Bad Kids shows how poverty, teen pregnancy, drug use and parental neglect add difficulties to the lives of these children that even a doggedly caring and inspiring educator may not be able to overcome. But Viland and her staff continue, even though Black Rock is considered to be the toughest assignment in the school district.

Fulton and Pepe  previously produced and directed Lost in La Mancha, a documentary about director Terry Gilliam’s failed attempts to bring his version of Don Quixote to the screen.

FilmRise CEO Danny Fisher described The Bad Kids“Tackling one of the most pressing issues in the American educational system, The Bad Kids sheds light on the exceptional work of public school teachers helping students rise above generational poverty. …An inspirational story, the film proves there is hope in even the most difficult circumstances, and we are honored to be bringing the film to theaters this fall.”

Independent Lens executive producer Lois Vossen added: “This remarkable film illustrates the power that dedicated teachers have to change the lives and futures of their students. We’re looking forward to working with the filmmakers and FilmRise to bring The Bad Kids to the widest possible audience.”

FilmRise is planning a theatrical release in September 2016. The film will make its television debut on the upcoming season of the PBS series Independent Lens.

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