Filmmaker Takes on 'No Child Left Behind'

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Polarizing Film Finds Home at WTVS Â? Detroit Public Television

Filmmaker Lerone Wilson, 23, never envisioned himself producing a politically charged hour-long television documentary on the federal education program. Nevertheless two-and-a-half years later, the resulting film 'No Child Left Behind' will air Aug. 28, on WTVS – Detroit Public Television at 2 p.m.

During the course of his senior year at the New York University film school, Wilson spent a great deal of time tutoring students at PS217 as part of a work/study program. It was there that he became familiar with many educators' discontent with the new legislation. “I remember one particular conversation where a teacher, knowing I was a film student, said 'Lerone you have to do something' …and she was right,” said Wilson.

The film, which was designed to be a balanced look into the issues surrounding the NCLB program, has shown to be highly polarizing. “One woman who saw my website, even called to berate me about how I was essentially a liberal propagandist.” he recalled. Wilson has since re-edited the film's trailer, yet complaints concerning its alleged political leanings continue from liberals and conservatives alike. “I've seen lots of hurtful and offensive remarks flung around surrounding this issue. But after producing this film I've realized it's not out of ill will, rather because it's an issue that lots of people have a vested interest in, and care passionately about.”

Having attended schools in both Southfield, and Birmingham, Lerone spends a great deal the film's time exploring a controversial aspect of the NCLB discussion, the black/white achievement gap. “Growing up I studied in these two demographically distinct school districts. I always wondered why despite the negligible economic differences, one group consistently outperformed the other. This really bothered me.” Wilson said. While he and his production company startup Boondoggle Films don't intend to single-handedly solve the issues raised in the film, they do hope to have an impact upon social discourse.

Boondoggle Films, LLC is the brainchild of Lerone D. Wilson, a graduate of New York University, with degrees in both Film & Television, and Economics. This is his first feature length film, following a documentary short about the life of his late father, Detroit FBI Special Agent David J. Wilson.

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