The New Public

Winner of the 2013 Cine Golden Eagle Award. Directed by Emmy Award winner Jyllian Gunther.

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 one third of residents live below the poverty line and the high school graduation rate is 40%. O'Brien and his team of eight undertake an ambitious and idealistic mission: to create an arts, media, and technology-oriented high school curriculum which emphasizes community collaboration and meaningful social change. When the harsh realities faced by the community confront their vision, they struggle to adapt.

The film follows the experiences of a student, a parent, and a teacher from the 1st day of school until the first graduation, four years later. It is a verité, character-driven narrative told in three acts, combining footage shot by the filmmakers with footage shot by the filmʼs subjects.