Documentary looking at New Orleans schools gets local filmmaker film festival awards

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POSTED: Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - 3:47pm

UPDATED: Thursday, October 20, 2011 - 11:07am

Ben Lemoine, a former news reporter, directed and produced a documentary on the New Orleans school system that won awards at the New Orleans Film Festival.

The film, called “The Experiment”, follows five students - ages nine to eleven - through the 2009-2010 school year at four different schools in the city.

Right now, 80 percent of the New Orleans public schools are run by charter organizations. The goal of the film is to show if this type of reform is working.

Lemoine says the lessons he learned in New Orleans could be used in school systems across the state.

"We know what it takes to do this. Just do it,” said Lemoine. “Stop making it about money and politics and backdoor deals and contracts. Stop making it about adults. Make it about these children. Do what's best for them and we can do this. It's possible. We show it. We show it in the movie."

The Experiment was recently picked up by the movie channel Starz; it will begin airing in December. The film has also been submitted to the 2012 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.

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