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The Bad Kids


Presented by DocScapes, featuring a post-film Q&A with editor Jacob Bricca!

“Perceptive and persuasive … a timely documentary.” – Justin Lowe, Variety

At a remote Mojave Desert high school, extraordinary educators believe that empathy and life skills, more than academics, give at-risk students command of their own futures. This coming-of-age story watches education combat the crippling effects of poverty in the lives of these so-called “bad kids.” This observational documentary chronicles one extraordinary principal’s mission to realize the potential of these students whom the system has deemed lost causes. The film 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. Winner of a Special Jury Award at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival.  (Dir. by Keith Fulton & Lou Pepe, 2016, USA, 101 mins., Not Rated)

Jacob Bricca is an award-winning Tucson-based documentary editor, director, and teacher. He has edited over a dozen feature films including the international theatrical hit Lost In La Mancha, the New Yorker Films theatrical release Con Artist, the Independent Lens Audience Award Winner Jimmy Scott: If You Only Knew and the 2016 Sundance Special Jury Award Winner The Bad Kids. His directorial credits include Indies Under Fire: The Battle for the American Bookstore, Pure, and Finding Tatanka.  He is an Assistant Professor at the University of Arizona’s School of Theatre, Film and Television, where he teaches classes on editing and documentary filmmaking. He is currently at work on a book, forthcoming from Focal Press/Routledge in 2017, titled Documentary Editing: Principles and Practice.