FilmRise takes “The Bad Kids” doc worldwide

The New York-based distributor has acquired the worldwide distribution rights to Keith Fulton and Lou Pepe's Sundance-awarded ob-doc The Bad Kids (pictured).
March 23, 2016

New York-based distributor FilmRise has acquired the worldwide distribution rights to Keith Fulton and Lou Pepe’s observational documentary The Bad Kids (pictured).

The film - which received the U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Vérité Filmmaking at the Sundance Film Festival in January – chronicles the efforts of Vonda Viland, a principal at a remote Mojave Desert high school, as she helps at-risk students rise above generational poverty and other obstacles in order to earn a high school diploma.

Featured in the film are three at-risk teens that include 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.

The deal was negotiated by FilmRise CEO Danny Fisher and Max Einhorn, the firm’s VP of acquisitions, with Zachary Bright and Abby Davis of Preferred Content.

The Bad Kids will receive a theatrical release in September and will also make its television debut on the forthcoming season of PBS documentary strand ‘Independent Lens.’

“An inspirational story, the film proves there is hope in even the most difficult circumstances, and we are honored to be bringing the film to theaters this fall,” said Fisher in a statement.

“This remarkable film illustrates the power that dedicated teachers have to change the lives and futures of their students,” added Lois Vossen, executive producer at PBS’ ‘Independent Lens.’ “We’re looking forward to working with the filmmakers and FilmRise to bring The Bad Kids to the widest possible audience.”

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.