Schooled (film)

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Directed byBrooks Elms
Produced byBrian Hennessy, Lorenda Starfelt
Written byBrooks Elms
StarringDaniel Kucan
Alysia Reiner
Vladimir Borges
Kelly Sheerin
Ashley Argota
Music byAndrew Hollander
CinematographySkye Borgman
Edited byFrederick Marx, Ken Scribner
Release date
  • April 3, 2007 (2007-04-03) (Method Fest Independent Film Festival)
Running time
100 minutes
CountryUnited States

Schooled is a 2007 American independent drama film, written and directed by Brooks Elms, and produced by Brian Hennessy and Lorenda Starfelt. The film follows a traditional East Coast school teacher (Daniel Kucan), who becomes involved with a non-traditional, alternative school in California, which leads to significant changes in his personal philosophy and lifestyle. The film co-stars Alysia Reiner, and was co-edited by Frederick Marx, the writer/producer/co-editor of the 1994 documentary Hoop Dreams.


Schooled was shot on a limited budget in and around Los Angeles county in 2005–06.


Schooled premiered at the Method Fest Independent Film Festival in Calabasas, California,[1] where it was nominated for "Best Ensemble Cast." According to the Alternative Education Resource Organization, the film "stormed education conferences around the globe including: New York, San Francisco, Dallas, and Sydney, Australia."[2] Schooled was also featured at the 2008 European Democratic Education Conference.[3] The film had its East Coast premiere at the Queens International Film Festival.[4][5]


In his lengthy online review of the film at DVDtalk, Chris Nielson harshly criticizes Schooled's low-budget production values, while at the same time exploring writer/director Brooks Elms' various themes regarding "democratic schools".[6] According to a press release for the film, Schooled writer/director Brooks Elms studied film at New York University, where he received the Warner Bros. Production Grant, the NYU Film Fest Screenplay Award, and the Steven J. Ross Filmmaker’s Grant from the Hamptons Film Festival.[7]


Since its release in 2007, the film has generated debate amongst communities contemplating involvement in alternative education.[8]


  1. ^ "[unknown]". LA Weekly. March 29, 2007. Archived from the original on June 4, 2011.
  2. ^ "Schooled". Archived from the original on 2009-03-27.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on July 6, 2011. Retrieved January 4, 2010.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on May 14, 2009. Retrieved January 4, 2010.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ "[unknown]". East Hampton Star.[dead link]
  6. ^ "Schooled".
  7. ^ "What if Kids Ran Schools? Indie Film œSchooled Answers".
  8. ^ "Articles, Essays, and Commentary: What's New -".

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