The Newark Project

: Documentary Feature
GENRE: Documentary
STATUS: Post-Production


Six Newark, NJ students struggle to build a future as one of the most troubled cities in America tries to fix a “failing” education system.


One of the most important, yet often overlooked components in the heated discussion around education in this country is how environments outside the classroom are impacting children’s performance in school. "The Newark Project: Safe Passage," the first film of a four part series, will explore poverty and the influences that family and community have on a child’s educational trajectory.


As a native Newarker, Director Derek Koen was educated in some of the same schools in the film, so he personally understands the obstacles our student characters face. We have chosen to tell this story through the lives of the children because in the “fight to reform education in Newark and around the country, they are often sadly the very ones damaged or forgotten all together. It's important for us to tell an emotional story that acknowledges that these young people have the same promise and hope as any other child in this nation and despite their families' economic or social standing, they deserve to have the same opportunities to succeed as the suburban kid just a few miles away. So this project, like several of our other films, is about shedding light on the communities who exist in the shadows.


Ouida Washington - Producer

Derek Koen - Director


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