KCET Airs Inspirational Documentaries 'School of My Dreams' and 'Girls of Daraja' May 9 at 10:30 PM

Two Short Films Show Remarkable Work of Daraja Academy, a School for Girls Struggling with Poverty in Kenya, and What Happens Next

 Screens May 9 on opening night of the Women's Independent Film Festival in Los Angeles followed by a panel discussion on global issues around girls' education

 

BURBANK, CA--April 23, 2013--"I want to be an independent lady." "I want to be a doctor." "I want to be a banker, accountant and dentist."  These are the words of young students from Daraja Academy, a free all-girls boarding school in Kenya, and the subject of the inspirational documentaries Girls of Daraja and School of My Dreams, premiering back to back on KCET May 9, 2013 at 10:30 p.m. PST.

Girls of Daraja and School of My Dreams by Emmy® award winning director/producer  Barbara Rick and Out Of The Blue Films, Inc., and Executive Producer Deborah Santana, draw viewers into the world of Daraja Academy, a secondary boarding school located in the valley below Mount Kenya, north of Nairobi.  There, young girls receive a chance to transcend poverty through education.  Due to the financial circumstances of their families, many young girls in the region are unable to afford the costs of secondary schooling. Daraja Academy awards four-year annual scholarships to these exceptional academically driven students and provides them other essentials like uniforms, textbooks, pens and pencils. The films focus on the first 52 students--now 104--and how they excel in the classroom and in life.

"We are thrilled to be able to bring to light this truly inspirational story, as well as the important issues surrounding girls' education opportunities in nations struggling with poverty," said Bohdan Zachary, vice president, Broadcast, Syndication & Program Development for KCETLink.


In Girls of Daraja, viewers meet students such as Cate, who bids farewell to her family and travels along the dusty, cattle-lined road away from her village toward campus with her backpack slung over her shoulders. Jenni Doherty, the Academy's founder, meets her with open arms.  "Welcome to school!" she says, embracing Cate.

 

The film emphasizes that while girls are given an incredible educational opportunity to have a life beyond poverty through their Daraja experience--which means "bridge" in Swahili--it's really what they decide to do with their education that counts.  As Academy principal Jason Doherty puts it: "They're standing on a precipice, and want to be on other side but had no access... How they cross that bridge is up to them."

 

With the sequel short film School of My Dreams, which makes its west coast premier on KCET, viewers will follow the students' progress after their Daraja experience into real life.  "I want to change my community, I want to change Kenya, and I want to change the world!" one student proclaims.

 

Girls of Daraja and School of My Dreams have been awarded opening night honors at the Women's Independent Film Festival on May 9, and there will be a reception and filmmaker panel discussion to follow on global education for girls.

Girls of Daraja and School of My Dreams, which air on KCET the same night of the WIFF screening, are both directed and produced by Barbara Rick. Executive Producer Deborah Santana is an author, philanthropist, and founder of Do A Little Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to the health, education, and happiness of women and girls around the world. 

Both films' cinematography and sound is by Jim Anderson, and the editors are Laure Sullivan and Ann Collins, with Julia Wrona as assistant editor/associate producer.  Featuring new music by Salvador Santana and others.


KCET airdates:

-          Thursday, May 9 at 10:30 p.m.


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ABOUT KCET

On-air, online and in the community, KCET plays a vital role in the cultural and educational enrichment of Southern and Central California. KCET offers a wide range of award-winning local programming as well as the finest public television programs from around the world. KCET currently produces the Emmy®, duPont-Columbia and Peabody Award-winning SoCal Connected, a hard-hitting prime-time weekly television news program that examines the issues and people of Southern California. Throughout its 48-year history, KCET has won hundreds of major awards for its local and regional news and public affairs programming, its national drama and documentary productions, its quality educational family and children's programs, its outreach and community services and its website, kcet.org. KCET is a donor-supported community institution. For additional information about KCET productions, web-exclusive content, programming schedules and community events, please visit kcet.org. KCET is a service of KCETLink.

 

ABOUT OUT OF THE BLUE FILMS

Out of The Blue Films, Inc. is an Emmy Award-winning documentary nonprofit dedicated to exceptional storytelling that explores, articulates, and celebrates humanity.

Designated a 501(c)(3) for public service through the artistry of film, we have received financial support from the following for our groundbreaking films on spirituality, justice, journalism, LGBTQ equality, girls' education, race relations, HIV/Aids, creativity, music, and women's rights:

 

Mary Catherine Bunting, Ellen DeGeneres, Do A Little Foundation, Jane Fonda, Tom Fontana, Ford Foundation, Andrew Goodman Foundation, Agnes Gund, John S. & James L. Knight Foundation, N. Peter Hamilton, Moby, Bill Moyers, Deborah Santana, Susan Sarandon, Sexton Foundation, Trudie Styler, van Ameringen Foundation, Whitehead Foundation, and many more.

 

Out of The Blue Films, Inc. is run by founder Barbara Rick, an accomplished filmmaker, writer, and journalist with more than twenty years experience in award-winning documentary filmmaking and television news.

 

The Out of The Blue Films Board of Directors and Advisory Board include leading philanthropists, journalists, filmmakers, and media professionals.

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