Steve James, an Oak Park resident and documentary filmmaker, debuted his film “America to Me” featuring students from Oak Park-River Forest High School (OPRF) in January at Sundance Film Festival.
James and his team filmed at OPRF throughout the 2015-2016 high school year. They were granted access to the school and the students by the school board. That access seems to have paid off with the successful purchase of the documentary by Starz. The 10-episode series was picked up by Starz after its debut at Sundance and will premiere on Sunday, Aug. 26 at 9:00 p.m. CST on the subscription-based network.
James’ documentary showcases the lives of students, their parents, and their educators as they navigate through a year of school at OPRF. The documentary dives into what it looks like for marginalized students and the inequalities they face.
The academic gap between students who are white and students of color is significant and something that all schools struggle with, even one as progressive as OPRF. “America to Me” seeks to highlight these gaps and the efforts to correct them.