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FilmRise Acquires Sundance Documentary THE BAD KIDS

Film and television distributor FilmRise today announced that it has acquired the worldwide distribution rights for the Sundance Film Festival documentary, THE BAD KDIS. The film will receive a theatrical release in September 2016 and make its television debut on the upcoming season of the PBS series Independent Lens.

From award-winning filmmakers Keith Fulton and Lou Pepe (Lost in La Mancha), the observational documentary chronicles one extraordinary principal's mission to realize the potential of students whom the system has deemed lost causes. Located in an impoverished Mojave Desert community, Black Rock Continuation High School is one of California's alternative schools for students at risk of dropping out. Every student has fallen so far behind that they have no hope of earning a diploma at a traditional high school-Black Rock is their last chance.

Employing a verité approach during one year at the school, The Bad Kids follows Principal Vonda Viland as she coaches three at-risk teens--a new father who can't support his family, a young woman grappling with sexual abuse, and an angry young man from an unstable home--through the traumas and obstacles that rob them of their spirit and threaten their goal of a high school diploma.

Variety applauded the film's ability to hit "a raw nerve of cross-generational adversity, tapping into the ways in which literal, emotional, and psychological neglect and abuse can often only be halted when someone refuses to let the past influence the future." IndieWire's The Playlist recognized the documentary's purpose: "to show these teens are not beyond saving."

"Tackling one of the most pressing issues in the American educational system, The Bad Kids sheds light on the exceptional work of public school TEACHERS helping students rise above generational poverty," said Danny Fisher, CEO of FilmRise. "An inspirational story, the film proves there is hope in even the most difficult circumstances, and we are honored to be bringing the film to theaters this fall."

"This remarkable film illustrates the power that dedicated TEACHERS have to change the lives and futures of their students," said INDEPENDENT LENS Executive Producer Lois Vossen. "We're looking forward to working with the filmmakers and FilmRise to bring The Bad Kids to the widest possible audience."

The deal was negotiated by Fisher and FilmRise's VP of Acquisitions Max Einhorn with Zac Bright and Abby Davis of Preferred Content.

ABOUT FILMRISE FilmRise is a film and TV distribution company founded by veteran producer/financiers Danny Fisher, Jack Fisher and Alan Klingenstein. With over 6,000 titles in a wide range of genres, the company's film acquisitions and releases include HBO's multiple Emmy®-winning "Going Clear" and "Janis: Little Girl Blue," directed by Oscar®-nominated filmmaker Amy J. Berg and produced by Oscar®-winner Alex Gibney. Television titles include hit series such as Showtime's Emmy®-winning "Years of Living Dangerously," and the longest running true crime show on television "Forensic Files." Titles are in release digitally on Amazon Prime, iTunes, Netflix, Hulu, VUDU, Xbox, Sony PlayStation, Crackle and other platforms, and on DVD and BluRay on Amazon and over 200 online retailers, including Walmart and Barnes & Noble. FilmRise's recent acquisitions are two-time Academy Award®-nominee Julie Delpy's "Lolo"; the Star Wars documentary "Elstree 1976"; the acclaimed true crime documentary "The Witness"; "Five Nights in Maine," starring Oscar®-winner Dianne Wiest, David Oyelowo, and Oscar®-nominee Rosie Perez; the Sundance documentary "Holy Hell"; and the buzzed-about horror-comedy "The Greasy Strangler."

For more information go to:

ABOUT INDEPENDENT LENS Independent Lens is an Emmy® Award-winning weekly series airing on PBS Monday nights at 10:00 PM. The acclaimed series features documentaries united by the creative freedom, artistic achievement, and unflinching visions of independent filmmakers. Presented by Independent Television Service, the series is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people, with additional funding from PBS and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. For more Join the conversation: and on Twitter @IndependentLens.

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