Short film ‘Petersburg Rising’ highlights improvements in city’s public school system

The Tri-Cities

PETERSBURG, Va. (WRIC) — Filmmakers from New York are highlighting a community right in our backyard.

The short film “Petersburg Rising” is just the start of a larger project, which will be a “full-length film” on the city’s school system. It begins in the 1980s and highlights the city’s failing economy. The short then narrows in on the public school system.

The short film "Petersburg Rising" is just the start of a larger project, which will be a "full-length film" on the city's school system. It begins in the 1980s and highlights the city's failing economy.

“The city will not thrive in the absence of good schools,” Alan Blankstein, the producer, said. Filmmakers told 8News the documentary is about how the current school leadership has overcome economic hardships and turned failing schools back around. 

The documentary crew has been in and out of Petersburg making the short film. It recently won a social justice award from the foundation named after famous Richmond civil rights attorney Oliver Hill.  

You can watch the film here

The short film "Petersburg Rising" is just the start of a larger project, which will be a "full-length film" on the city's school system. It begins in the 1980s and highlights the city's failing economy.

“In Petersburg, the future is the students. Your business or your organization is gonna rise or fall with whether the students are doing better and contributing to the economic base,” Blankstein said.​​​​​​​It’s part of a larger vision to create a full-length film, which will follow seniors on their journeys to graduation.

“Other communities that are experiencing the same types of challenges as Petersburg can benefit from hearing about our approach, our strategies, to build a stronger school system,” Petersburg schools Superintendent Dr. Marcus Newsome said. 

They’re now looking for donations to help make that film happen. You can donate here

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