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SXSWedu: Lights, Camera, Learn

Film programming includes 'Bully', 'Brooklyn Castle'
Richard Whittaker, 2:58pm, Thu. Feb. 7, 2013
It's good to be king: Chess champ Justus Williams, one of the stars of "Brooklyn Castle", screening at SXSWedu

SXSWedu has announced its lineup of eight documentaries to screen during the 2013 conference and festival. And in case you think that they're just wheeling out an old 8mm projector for some drivers' ed reels, they have major documentaries like Bully and Brooklyn Castle, and Q&As with the directors and cast.

All screenings will be at be at the Alamo Ritz. Conference attendees will also get to see the Texas High School Shorts program (one of the most low-key but important parts of SXSW Film's programming), as well as a super-secret screening (will it be American Teacher? Will it be Waiting for "Superman"? Will it be The Breakfast Club? Who knows?)

SXSWedu runs March 4-7. More info at Now here's the full list of titles and attendees.

Brooklyn Castle
The SXSW 2012 audience award winning documentary about the remarkable chess program in Brooklyn's I.S. 318. Executive producer Robert McLellan in attendance. (Read our review here and watch our interview with director Katie Dellamaggiore here.)

Building Hope
Charting how the Nobelity Project fought floods, famine and fundraising obstacles to build a high school in rural Kenya. Q&A with writer/director Turk Pipkin, executive producer Christy Pipkin, and producer Matt Naylor. (Read our review here, and our interview with Pipkin here.)

The Weinsteins' unexpectedly controversial documenatry about how bullying has become a plague in American schools, and how it can be eradicated. Director Lee Hirsch in attendance. (Read our review here.)

The Revisionaries
Catching the Texas State Board of Education in mid-idiocy, as a lens to see how fringe radicals are trying to drive science out of school text books. Director Scott Thurman in attendance. (Read our review here.)

Great Expectations: Raising Educational Achievement
The Connecticut Council for Education Reform commissioned director/producer Jonathan Robinson to examine why there are such disparities between the highest- and lowest-achieving students, the role of poverty in performance, and how Pre-K programs can break that cycle. Q&A with director Jonathan Robinson and producer/writer Dana Rae Warren after the screening.

Look! I'm Learning
Detroit-based producer Allyson Rockwell highlights how educational technology on Chicago, Detroit and rural Ludington is starting to revolutionize education. Q&A with Rockwell, producer Bruce Umpstead, and featured teacher Amber Kowatch.

The New Public
Four years charting the personal and policy struggles to found the Brooklyn Community Arts and Media High School, and the tough lessons in how one band of educators tried to give 108 students a real start. Director Jyllian Gunther in attendance.

Startup Weekend Education
Public schools have looked the same for the last century, but who is going to develop the tech that will really change how they operate - and can they make sure it's for the better?

Next in SXSW: SXSW Film: Selected Shorts »