LET THE LITTLE LIGHT SHINE - Now Playing in NYC IFC - AmNews Curtain Raiser


Monday, August 29, 2022



Now Playing in New York at IFC Center
Opens next Friday, Sept. 9 in Los Angeles

100% FRESH

"One of the year’s best documentaries."

– Matt Fagerholm, RogerEbert.com

"Riveting. Surprising and heartwarming."


Director Kevin Shaw's Critically-Acclaimed Documentary Feature Awards Contender


To Have U.S. Theatrical Release
in August and September

Now Playing  in at  New York at IFC Center

Opens next Friday, September 9 in Los Angeles
Laemmle Monica Film Center

When a thriving, top-ranked African American elementary school is threatened to be replaced by a new high school favoring the community's wealthier residents, parents, students, and educators fight for the elementary school's survival.

From Executive Producer Steve James

World Premiere at 2022 True/False Film Festival
Official Selection 2022 SXSW EDU (Austin)
Official Selection 2022 Full Frame Docu. Film Festival (Durham)
Official Selection 2022 Doc 10 Film Festival (Chicago)
Official Selection 2022 Rooftop Films (New York)
Official Selection 2022 Black Star Film Festival (Philadelphia)



“The world premiere of a sensationally effective Chicago documentary tore the roof clean off three different theaters at the 2022 True/False Film Fest.”

“At True/False, the nation’s most beloved nonfiction cinema showcase, director Kevin Shaw’s film delivered the visceral impact of all six “Rocky” movies and a couple of “Creed” films put together.”

"It’s a rousing tribute to grassroots activism.”
“In the film, the ardently pro-public school philanthropist Chance the Rapper — who was forbidden, he says on camera, to visit NTA for a school event, even though CPS had solicited his visits to other schools in other circumstances — talks about the NTA students’ qualities of serious, effective civic engagement. He uses three words to describe them: “Focused. Organized. Militant.” They all apply to this electric charge of a movie.”
– Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune

“A David vs. Goliath struggle that Shaw details with thrilling elan. Shaw was a segment director on Steve James’ excellent series America to Me—James serves as a producer here—and Let The Little Light Shine has the same ground-level feel for the racial dynamics of Chicago schools and the inspiring individuals willing to fight the good fight.”
– Scott Tobias, The Reveal 

"Let the Little Light Shine, from director Kevin Shaw, should stay with engaged True/False audiences for a very long time. The film does double duty: Shaw crafts a joyful portrait of a particularly warm and successful Chicago school, then introduces any number of question marks into conversations about race, education and gentrification. This is one of the strongest films about American education ever to play the festival.”
– Aarik Danielsen, Columbia Daily Tribune

“Watching the determination and growing momentum to save a vital elementary school is as inspirational as it is electric, with scenes of daily activities in the school revealing the unsurpassed, supportive education taking place. The screening I attended, the first public one, was a landmark in my cinematic experiences, with the audience directly involved in every twist and turn, shouting, applauding, cheering, and talking back to the screen. Standing ovations that went on for minutes...”
– Diane Carson, Alliance of Women Film Journalists

“Documentaries being what they are, one doesn’t normally worry about spoilers when writing about them. But Kevin Shaw’s Let the Little Light Shine ends with such a “power of filmmaking” bang that it’s a struggle not to lead with it.”
“Shaw’s ability to maintain a propulsive beat while making a movie that involves a fair number of school board meetings borders on the miraculous.”
“During its premiere at True/False, where it was chosen as the Show Me True/False honoree, “Little Light” regularly moved members of the audience to groans, gasps, cheers, tears and, finally, a standing ovation.”
– Mary McNamara, 
Los Angeles Times

"It cements Shaw’s status as a born filmmaker, with a camera that never intrudes upon the action while denying none of its subjects their inherent humanity. Though the tendency in this streaming era is to wait for documentaries such as this to arrive on an at-home platform, Shaw’s film provides an indelible reminder of cinema’s enduring power as a communal experience. If you’re fortunate enough to see this picture on a big screen with an engaged audience, you will be reminded of why we, as a species, go to the movies in the first place: to enter the lives of others and perceive the world through their eyes until our hearts have become intertwined with their own. With fascism posing a consistent threat to the future of democracy, here is an example of grassroots activism that manages to achieve what few had thought possible, while refusing to let the cries of the people be silenced. What a glorious sight to behold."
– Matt Fagerholm, RogerEbert.com

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