Award-winning short film showcases progress in Petersburg schools

PETERSBURG, Va. (WRIC) — A short film showcasing how Petersburg is improving its public schools won first place in the Oliver Hill Foundation’s inaugural social justice short film competition. 

“Petersburg Rising” explores how Petersburg is overcoming economic hardships to strengthen public schools and build a successful future. Click here to watch the short film, which is a preview of a full-length documentary that people throughout Petersburg and across the country are working on. 

The Oliver White Hill Foundation awarded “Petersburg Rising” first place in the professional category. The competition highlights the life and legacy of groundbreaking civil rights attorney and Presidential Medal of Freedom winner Oliver Hill.

The documentary crew has been in and out of Petersburg for several months, talking with school and city leaders, alumni of Petersburg City Public Schools, partners and supporters and getting to know several Petersburg High students whose stories will form a major part of “Petersburg Rising.”

 “This success would not have been possible without all of the people who are working to bring to life a full-length ‘Petersburg Rising’ documentary,” said Alan Blankstein, the “Petersburg Rising” producer, author of “Failure is Not an Option” and founder of the HOPE Foundation. “This award is surely a sign that more successes are on the horizon. I believe that together we can share this uplifting story of Petersburg rising.”

Winning films from each category in the competition were screened Feb. 22 at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

Find 8News on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram; send your news tips to iReport8@wric.com.