"A personal look into the lives of a handful of...instantly likable characters. You leave the film with an appreciation of the immense challenges faced by inner-city educators. The New Public doesn’t provide an answer, but it looks at how one imperfect solution has succeeded and failed in the face of impossible odds."                                                                        -  David Accamazzo, BOULDER WEEKLY

“Setting aside political debates over school funding and philosophy to examine one school’s real world experience, The New Public...is a fine addition to the larger conversation and has theatrical appeal.”

- John Defore, HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

In fall 2006, former DJ, point guard and teacher turned first-time principal, James O’Brien, opened a small public high school in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, where 1/3 of residents live below the poverty line and the graduation rate is 40%.


With infectious optimism, O’Brien and his team of eight undertook an unconventional approach and ambitious mission: Create a school with an arts-oriented curriculum that also emphasizes self-development, community collaboration and social change. Initially, the buzz from everyone was that this was a dream come true.


But conflicts arose when untested idealism was challenged by long-standing realities far bigger than school.

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“A powerful and important film, [The New Public] uniquely documents the reality of urban schools...without reifying stereotypical images of urban education. It is both a well-crafted and emotionally gripping American story and an invaluable learning tool for potential and practicing educators everywhere." 

-  Anand R. Marri, PHD TEACHERS COLLEGE, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY    

Over four years, this heartfelt verité film follows the journey of students, parents and educators striving to make a difference in the futures of young people whose lives are stark representations of our country’s education and opportunity gaps. 


Through the prism of one inner-city public school, we witness complexities faced by urban public schools and communities everywhere.

Missed us on PBS? Click HERE for other ways to see the film.

 
 

2012

SAN FRANCISCO DOC FEST

2013

OFFICIAL SELECTION

17th annual URBAN WORLD

FILM FESTIVAL

2013

WINNER BEST DOC


REEL Independent

Film Extravaganza

2013

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SXSW

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FILM  FESTIVAL

2013

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deadCENTER

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2013

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North Hampton

INTERNATIONAL

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2013

2014

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INTERNATIONAL

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2013

2013

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2013

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2013