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Upcoming: "Whatever It Takes" Documentary Coming To PBS

I was getting a bit depressed thinking that with the end of September there would be no more great documentaries about schools. 

But then I got this email blast from a guy I met two or three years ago, Christopher Wong, with great news about his school-based documentary, Whatever It Takes, which describes a career-changing rookie Chinese-American principal's effort to start a small new school called the Bronx Center for Math and Science. 

The big news is that the film is scheduled to run in April 2010 on the PBS show Independent Lens.  Read here for a post about the documentary from early 2007.  Read here for a CBS News segment that ran over the summer.  Read below for other details.  

First of all, I’m glad to say that the awards keep coming… Many of you already know this from our Facebook/Twitter updates, but we are thrilled to report that WHATEVER IT TAKES won the top prize – the Audience Choice Award – at the Asian American International Film Festival in NYC!   Not only did we beat out the other documentary films, but we also bested the fiction films too… We also just found out that our film won the Best Documentary Feature Award at the DC Asian Pacific American Film Festival.

Speaking of festivals, we have eight different events coming up in October and November, hopefully one of them at a theater near you.  Here’s the list (along with an online link for schedules and ticket purchases):

Washington, D.C.

Sunday, 10/4/09, 2:00pm

DC Asian Pacific American Film Festival


Philadelphia, PA

Fri, 10/9/09 @ 1:00pm & Sun, 10/11/09 @ 4:45pm

Philadelphia Asian Film Festival


Bend, OR

Fri, 10/9/09 @ 1:00pm

Bend Film Festival


San Diego, CA

Sun, 10/18/09 @ 2:45pm & Sun, 10/25/09 @ 1:00pm

San Diego Asian Film Festival


Honolulu, HI

Sun, 10/18/09 @ 6:00pm & Thurs, 10/22/09 @ 2:30pm

Hawaii International Film Festival


Ojai, CA

Sun, 11/6/09 @ 10:00am & Sun, 11/8/09 @ 5:30pm

Ojai Ventura International Film Festival


Vancouver, BC (Canada)

Sat, 11/7/09 @ 3:40pm

Vancouver Asian Film Festival


Lastly, we continue to prepare for our national broadcast on PBS in April 2010.  WHATEVER IT TAKES will be showing on the series Independent Lens, hosted by film actress Maggie Gyllenhaal.  We’ll keep you posted on the actual date/time of the airing as we get closer to the broadcast day.  As for theatrical distribution plans, we hope to have some exciting news about that in our next newsletter…


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