Documentary highlighting Philadelphia high school makes world premiere at film festival

The documentary aired at the 32nd Philadelphia Film Festival with a pre-screening red carpet.

Katie Katro Image
Friday, October 20, 2023
Documentary highlighting Philadelphia high school makes world premiere at film festival
Documentary highlighting Philadelphia high school makes world premiere at film festival

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The Philadelphia Film Society presented the world premiere of 'Stand Up and Shout: Songs from a Philly High School' on Friday night.

John Legend is one of the executive producers on the show and two Philadelphia area locals also directed and produced the documentary.

The documentary aired at the 32nd Philadelphia Film Festival with a pre-screening red carpet.

"Wherever you live at, whatever stage you're in, you can do anything if you put your mind to it," said Danielle Hodges, a student.

Hodges is one of the students in the documentary, which is about sophomores at Philadelphia's Hill-Freedman World Academy who collaborate on an album of original songs.

With mentors like Kristal Oliver, students go from free-writing sessions through the recording process, ending with an album release performance.

"I'm hoping that others will see this and want to mentor and give back to students as well because it's so important," said Oliver.

It only made sense the world premiere was at the Philadelphia Film Center since Director Amy Schatz and Executive Producer Mike Jackson are both area natives.

"It's so wonderful to be here in Philadelphia, I feel like the film is a real tribute to the creative energy of the city," said Schatz.

Legend is an executive producer of the show. Students said they felt like a star since they were working with one.

"We worked so hard, it came true and now we're on the red carpet enjoying our time," said Santee Snaith, another student.

After the screening, there was a Q&A session. Legend had advice for aspiring artists.

Moviegoers told Action News they loved the film!

"I went to a Philadelphia public school, so it's really nice to see them doing something that is for students, a lot of whom don't have the opportunity," said Avery Monroe from Old City.

"We're both educators, we used to work in Philadelphia, and this is really inspirational," said Sarah Fleming from Warrington, Pennsylvania.