LA Study Away Faculty Director Lou Pepe and alumnus Keith Fulton's film The Bad Kids honored
Feature documentary The Bad Kids, directed by alumni Lou Pepe (MFA '97) and Keith Fulton (MFA '95) was selected as one of the world premiere films of the 2016 Sundance Film Festival. The documentary about a remote Mojave Desert high school is one of the sixteen US documentaries selected for competition. The film will have its first festival screening on Friday, January 22, aptly, at the Temple Theatre.
The Bad Kids follows Principal Vonda Viland, of Black Rock Continuation High School, as she coaches three at-risk teens through the traumas and obstacles that rob them of their spirit and threaten their goal of a high school diploma. Students in the impoverished Mojave Desert community have fallen so far behind in credits that they have no hope of earning a diploma at a traditional high school. Black Rock is their last chance. This coming-of-age story watches education combat the crippling effects of poverty in the lives of these so-called “bad kids.”
Lou Pepe and Keith Fulton are award-winning filmmakers of both documentary and fiction films, among them Lost in La Mancha, which was nominated for the European Film Award for Best Documentary, shortlisted for the Best Documentary Oscar, and winner of the Evening Standard's Peter Sellers Award. Pepe is an assistant professor in the Department of Film and Media Arts and faculty director for the LA Study Away program.
In the past two years Pepe and Fulton worked with many Temple students interns on the documentary: Jared Widman, Matt Lilly, Blake Morgan-Gamber, Tom Brady, and Eitan Kleinman, as well as a number of former students Megan Haney, Ben Roth, and Bill Hilferty who has been the assistant editor for the past year.
The 2016 Sundance Lineup includes 65 films for the U.S. Competition and World Cinema Competition Dramatic and Documentary categories as well as the out-of-competition NEXT slate. There were a total of 120 feature films selected out of 12,793 submissions, including 4,081 features and 8,712 short films.