About this project
LACHSA (FAME HIGH) is one of the most respected and competitive public arts high schools in the country.
Our film, FAME HIGH, captures the in-class and at-home drama, competition, heartbreak, and triumph during one school year at the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts (LACHSA), also known as Fame High, a place where talented teenagers reach for their dreams of becoming actors, singers, dancers, and musicians.
In FAME HIGH we follow a group of novice freshman and seasoned seniors struggling to find their voice – not only in their art but in life - with the help of, and sometimes in spite of, their passionate and opinionated families. Each student has sacrificed countless hours to become artistically good... but will they become excellent and be satisfied both personally and professionally?
"Are our dreams worth the sacrifice?" This question is as relevant to these young artists as it is to their parents. In a time when performance-based entertainment is commonplace, it is safe to call FAME HIGH, "the facts behind the fiction." Overnight success is a myth, and FAME HIGH shows that the true reality is nothing trumps endless hours of hard work.
FAME HIGH isn’t your run-of-the-mill social issue documentary: it is a highly ENTERTAINING, HEARTBREAKING, and INSPIRING film that plays like a great COMING-OF-AGE MUSICAL. We think it is a film that you and your family would very much enjoy.
WHAT WE ARE ASKING FOR & WHAT YOUR FUNDS WILL GO TOWARD:
The audience reaction to FAME HIGH has been amazing! At film festivals like Tribeca and Silverdocs - where we were chosen one of the Best of Fest –eight-year-old girls to eighty-year-old men were laughing, crying, and cheering at the screen.
And that is why we are asking you to support our Kickstarter campaign: we want as many people as possible to have the experience of seeing this inspiring story the way it was meant to be seen: in a movie theatre with a live audience.
Of course there is a lot to do in preparing the film for our initial theatrical release in the fall of 2012 before expanding to a larger release in 2013, including - fingers crossed!!! - throwing our hat in the ring for awards season! And while all of this is incredibly competitive, out of respect to the fearless, give-it-your-all dedication of these young people we feel we must give it our best shot. As the teachers at LACHSA say:
“If it's easy, it isn’t worth doing!”
**Over the next 30 days, you can look forward to updates from us --- like meeting the stars of FAME HIGH!
LACHSA is a tuition-free public school offering a rigorous college-preparatory academic curriculum and conservatory-style training in the visual and performing arts. At a time when the arts are being cut from so many schools across the country, LACHSA is a shining example of the importance of arts in education. Named one of the five best arts high schools in America by the Kennedy Center Network of Creative Alliances for the Arts and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, LACHSA sends more than 95% of its graduates to higher education, a stunning contrast to the national average of approximately 65%.
SOME OF LACHSA’S FAMOUS ALUMS:
Some of the famous alumni include singing superstars like Josh Groban and Fergie, as well as actors like Claire Danes, Corbin Bleu and Anthony Anderson, and principal dancer of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Matt Rushing. And so many more.
HOW (ELSE) YOU CAN HELP:
Please watch the intro video, review our prizes and consider backing FAME HIGH. And even if you can’t give $$$ at this time, there are lots of other ways to support us:
- Like our Facebook page
- Follow us on Twitter!
- Help us spread the word to all your list and social media asking them to give us the same attention.
- Suggest to us groups, organizations and individuals who should know about FAME HIGH.
- Sign up for our mailing list!
“Grace's parallels - longing for a romantic life her parents won't allow - with challenges she faces as a dancer - tending to be stiffly perfect instead of freely passionate - are so clear you'd think a screenwriter sketched them out. Viewers can't help but want the doc's sympathetic teens to escape the heartbreak most would-be artists face.”
- John DeFore, Hollywood Reporter
MEET OUR SUPPORTERS
SPECIAL NOTE FROM OSCAR NOMINATED DIRECTOR, SCOTT HAMILTON KENNEDY:
I have been a fan of and fascinated by the performing arts all my life. Starting at a young age when my two sets of parents exposed me to a wide variety of live music, theatre and cinema in both the San Francisco Bay Area and New York City. I went on to study theatre in college and started directing music videos soon after graduating. But it wasn’t until after finishing my first documentary, OT: our town, that I wanted to bring these worlds together: a raw verite story mixed with the magical performance vocabulary of musicals and music videos. A high school for the performing arts was the answer.
I researched several arts schools before finding LACHSA, one of the most top rated in the country, with an acceptance rate that rivals the Ivy League. It is also a public school with a diverse racial and socioeconomic population, a rare combination in most inner city schools in the United States. Because of my prior experience filming high school students in a performance setting with OT: our town, LACHSA - who in the past had turned down almost all requests to film - opened their doors to our project. I began by observing LACHSA classes, interviewing students and teachers, and after a few weeks the story came to life before my eyes. I discovered incredibly talented teens trying to fulfill their dreams of becoming actors, singers, dancers, and musicians. Serendipity struck when I met producer Leilani Makuakane who had attended LACHSA in her youth, and Fame High was on its way… Fame High could easily be compared to some of the other performance entertainment on TV and in theatres (Glee, Save The Last Dance, even American Idol), but we have never seen it captured like this: a fun but raw high school movie, with performance elements and lots of soul. We came to call it this unique hybrid: a Robert Altman-esque, coming-of-age, documentary-musical. A completely real unpretentious engine fueled by the wonderful zing of the performing arts. We sure hope you enjoy it.
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