Night School is a feature documentary focusing on adult education in America. Indianapolis has one of the lowest high school graduation rates in the country. For adult learners Greg, Melissa and Shynika, finally earning their high school diplomas could be a life-changing achievement. The film follows these three students over the course of a school year as they challenge themselves to improve their lives at a specialized charter school in inner-city Indianapolis. Night School observes the students’ individual pursuits, fraught with the challenges of daily life and the broader systemic roadblocks faced by many low income Americans. The film examines the role that government should play in America’s quest to rebuild its vanishing middle-class, while challenging the notion that folks at the bottom are takers—not makers.
Public education is key in creating informed and socially conscious communities. Night School’s focus on education closely aligns to the Rogovy Foundation’s high regard of quality education as a tool to improve the global community. In order to encourage audiences to think critically and extend themselves compassionately, Night School allows intimate access into the lives of the working poor. The three students serve as inspirational role models for anyone striving to achieve their dreams. Diversity helps build stronger communities, as exemplified by the unique range of life experiences that the characters offer. The Rogovy Foundation visualizes a world where citizens are educated and embracing of one another and Night School aspires to encourage a more united and cohesive global society that values education for everyone.
See our other Grantees.
Andrew Cohn, Director
ANDREW COHN is an Emmy-winning documentary filmmaker and screenwriter living in Brooklyn, New York. His first feature-length film MEDORA, produced by Steve Buscemi and Stanley Tucci, premiered at the 2013 SXSW Film Festival and was featured on PBS' critically acclaimed Independent Lens series. In 2008, Cohn optioned his first screenplay DOWNRIVER to Paramount Pictures, and later directed the documentary-short DYNAMIC TOM, which was featured on McSweeney's Wholphin No. 12 DVD of short films.
Jason Orans, Producer
Twice nominated for Independent Spirit Awards as well as for a Primetime Emmy and the NAACP Image Award, JASON ORANS has served as producer on numerous feature documentary and narrative films, including Ramin Bahrani’s GOODBYE SOLO (winner of the FIPRESCI Critics Prize at Venice), NIGHT CATCHES US, and DARE. His most recent documentary, THE GREAT INVISIBLE, directed by Margaret Brown won the Grand Jury Prize at SXSW. Orans has received grants from organizations including Sundance’s Documentary Film Program, Tribeca Film Institute, Cinereach, AFI Silverdocs, and MEDIA (EU).
Stephen Bannatyne, Producer
STEPHEN BANNATYNE is a producer and founder of Lucky Hat Entertainment. Past projects include IF A TREE FALLS: A STORY OF THE EARTH LIBERATION FRONT (2012 Academy Award nominee for Best Documentary Feature), THE ORDER OF MYTH (winner of a 2009 Peabody Award), GOODBYE SOLO (named one of the top 10 films of the year by Roger Ebert), and INFORMANT (winner of the 2012 Grand Jury Prize at Doc NYC).