Paris, TX, [January 23, 2015] – Oscar-winner Vanessa Roth’s The Texas Promise, a much-anticipated documentary about the high-stakes battle over funding for public education in Texas, is set to screen in Lamar County. When Texas cut $5.4 billion from public schools, affecting 5 million students and making Texas 49th in the country in per pupil spending, Texans protested and school districts sued the state and won. The Texas Promise is the gripping story of equity, politics, money, and our children as Texas and the nation make historic decisions about opportunity, the economy, and our democracy.
Lamar County schools will host a FREE community screening of The Texas Promise on Thursday, January 29 at 6:00 p.m. at the Weger Auditorium located at Paris Junior High School at 2400 Jefferson Road. This screening is open to the entire county.
The Austin Chronicle says, “Roth truly impresses… the film’s grasp of all the key [education] issues, in all their nuances, feels right.” Additionally, Liz Mims, Senior Film Programmer for the Austin Film Festival, where the film had its premiere says, “The Texas Promise is eye opening. Compelling at its core and empowering through its content.”
Set within courtrooms, classrooms and the Austin capitol, the film features Wendy Davis and State Representative Mike Villarreal arguing to restore funding while now Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick and State Senator Donna Campbell beat the drum for vouchers and charters rather than investing in “failing” schools.
The film also features an inspirational valedictorian from the Rio Grande Valley, an 80-year-old principal devoted to an inner city school in Houston, a mother-turned-protester, a wise oracle of a demographer, a pastor who preaches support for public schools and Judge John Dietz, who ruled that lawmakers were violating the state’s constitution by under-funding public schools.
“It is a powerful message, told by plain people, about a fundamental good for all humanity,” said Rev. Charles Foster Johnson, leader of Fort Worth-based Pastors for Texas Children, who is featured in the film. Director Vanessa Roth has written, produced and directed non-fiction films and headed up national community engagement and outreach through storytelling for nearly 20 years.
"My hope is that educators, parents and students feel heard through this film and that the film reaches past the rhetoric around public education and into the day-to-day realities of what school means to those inside,” said Roth. “I hope the film fuels a deeper conversation about the impact that our investment – or lack of investment – in educating all kids in Texas, and across the country, has on each of us personally and as a society as a whole."
Additional screenings of The Texas Promise and outreach events designed to engage communities in conversation about the direction of public education are now taking place in communities all over Texas. For information on hosting your own screening, visit TheTexasPromiseMovie.org. A national release across digital platforms is in the works for May 2015.
For more information about The Texas Promise and to watch the trailer go to thetexaspromisemovie.org.
You can find “The Texas Promise” on social media at Facebook.com/TheTexasPromiseMovie and Twitter @TheTexasPromise. If posting on social media about the film, please use #TheTexasPromise.
FILMMAKER CONTACT: Vanessa Roth