NIGHT SCHOOL is a feature-length, verite documentary about adult education and the dropout epidemic plaguing inner-city America. The film is an inside look at a cutting-edge high school located in one of the most violent neighborhoods in America, and the brave students who attend it. Night School closely follows three students over the course of an entire school year, as they attempt to improve their lives and face their fears and attitudes about education. Following students with a variety of different challenges, Night School is not just a film about adult education, but an intimate and deeply personal look at the roadblocks many individuals face as they attempt to move upward in society. In a place where simply surviving often trumps education, these students boldly challenge the notion that folks at the bottom are takers, and not makers.
Andrew Cohn Director
Andrew Cohn is a screenwriter and documentary filmmaker living in Brooklyn, New York. His first feature-length film MEDORA, produced by Steve Buscemi and Stanley Tucci, premiered at the 2013 SXSW Film Festival and was featured on PBS' critically acclaimed Independent Lens series. In 2008, Cohn optioned his first screenplay DOWNRIVER to Paramount Pictures, and later directed the documentary-short DYNAMIC TOM, which was featured on McSweeney's Wholphin No. 12 DVD of short films. He is the creator and producer of the off-Broadway play Found: People Find Stuff, Now It's a Show, and most recently directed the DOCUMENTARY KID DANNY for ESPN's 30 for 30 series. He is currently working on his next documentary, NIGHT SCHOOL, as well as directing a film about Detroit rapper Danny Brown.
Stephen Bannatyne Producer
Stephen Bannatyne is a producer and founder of Lucky Hat Entertainment. Past projects include IF A TREE FALLS: A STORY OF THE EARTH LIBERATION FRONT, 2012 Academy Award nominee for Best Documentary Feature; THE ORDER OF MYTHS, winner of a 2009 Peabody Award; GOODBYE SOLO, named one of the top 10 films of the year by Roger Ebert and INFORMANT, winner of the 2012 Grand Jury Prize at Doc NYC.
Jason Orans Producer
Jason Orans is currently in production on a new documentary from Margaret Brown, whose THE ORDER OF MYTHS won the Independent Spirit Award and Peabody Award. His most recent dramatic feature, NIGHT CATCHES US premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in the Dramatic Competition, was released in theaters in 2011 by Magnolia and was nominated for Gotham, Spirit and Image Awards. His other recent theatrical releases were Sundance Dramatic Competition feature DARE starring Emmy Rossum and Alan Cumming, and Ramin Bahrani's GOODBYE SOLO, winner of the FIPRESCI International Critics Prize at Venice, and a Gotham and Spirit Award nominee. Bahrani and Orans also collaborated on Bahrani's next film PLASTIC BAG and are developing a new documentary film project. Orans teaches a masters class in producing at New York Film Academy and was nominated for Independent Spirit Awards in 2009 and 2011 for the NAACP Image Award in 2011.
Festivals & Awards
Tribeca Film Festival 2016
"Indianapolis has one of the lowest high school graduation rates in the country. Night School follows three adult students living in the city’s more impoverished neighborhoods as they attempt to earn their diplomas while juggling other difficult responsibilities and realities. Through their stories, the filmmakers explore many issues that low-income Americans deal with, including unjust minimum wage and working conditions, arbitrary legal hindrances, and race and gender inequality.
Director Andrew Cohn observes the individual journeys of Greg, Melissa and Shynika as they fight to better themselves and their situations. Each has their own personal reasons and motivations but ultimately they have realized graduating to be a crucial stepping stone to bettering their lives. As in Cohn’s directorial debut, Medora, the remarkable authenticity of these stories and the way in which they are woven together is both sobering and enlightening. These dynamic and empathetic characters are inspiring in their perseverance, and their small individual stories take on a larger importance in the context of the ongoing struggle for equal access to education in America."