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POV: Accepted

Mike Landry, the founder of T.M. Landry College Prep, surveys his students during the daily morning meeting.
Dan Chen
/
POV / American Doc
Mike Landry, the founder of T.M. Landry College Prep, surveys his students during the daily morning meeting.

Monday, Oct. 10, 2022 at 11 p.m. on KPBS TV / PBS Video App

POV offers an intriguing look at the high stakes quest for college admissions at a prep school in Louisiana, known for its viral videos of seniors being accepted to Ivy League schools in "Accepted." The film examines the double standards between the haves and the have-nots in the quest for the elusive college acceptance letter. Director Dan Chen chronicles the stories of four ambitious students attending the singular TM Landry Prep School in rural Louisiana.

POV Trailer | Accepted
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The remarkable 100 percent college acceptance rate for its underprivileged, high school graduates, is attributed to the school’s dynamic founder, Mike Landry. His adherence to an unconventional teaching program and strict discipline guaranteed admission into the country’s most elite colleges. TM Landry was an example of the transformative benefits that come from prioritizing education above all other concerns.

Alicia, a junior at T.M. Landry College Prep, shows off her reading list.
Daphne Qin Wu
/
POV / American Doc
Alicia, a junior at T.M. Landry College Prep, shows off her reading list.

When The New York Times publishes an explosive article about Landry’s controversial methods, the scandal leaves the students' fates hanging in the balance. Through intimate, first-person accounts, Chen provides well-rounded portraits of the students’ home lives, their confusion and anxieties, while also seeking to understand Landry's rationale.

Cathy, a student from T.M. Landry College Prep, waits for an important email.
Dan Chen
/
POV / American Doc
Cathy, a student from T.M. Landry College Prep, waits for an important email.

Filmmaker Quotes:

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Director/Producer Dan Chen said: ”As someone who grew up in a small town with big dreams, I wanted to center what it felt like to be a student at this school. We filmed as if the camera belonged to one of the students in the Class of 2019. We show you the inspirational speeches, the long hours, the fireworks in the park, the tears in the classroom, and the joy and terror of clicking on a webpage that will change your life forever. I hope this film helps viewers question the comfortable lies we tell ourselves about our society. And I hope that audiences will find inspiration in a new generation of students that see the world with clear and unsparing eyes.”

“Despite the inherent inequity of our higher education systems and structures, what shines through in this film is the vibrancy, creativity, and immeasurable potential of these wonderful students trying to make their way in the world,” said POV executive producer Chris White. “Their experience at TM Landry punctuates our failure to provide equal opportunity to those who need it most.”

An official selection of the 2021 Tribeca Film Festival

Adia, a senior at T.M. Landry College Prep, attends a crawfish boil with friends.
Dan Chen
/
POV / American Doc
Adia, a senior at T.M. Landry College Prep, attends a crawfish boil with friends.

Watch On Your Schedule:

“Accepted” will make its national broadcast premiere on Monday, Oct. 10, 2022 and will be available to stream free until Nov. 10, 2022 at pbs.org, and the PBS Video app.

In addition to standard closed captioning for the film, POV, in partnership with audio description service DiCapta, provides real time audio interpretations for audiences with sensory disabilities.

Join The Conversation:

POV on Facebook / Instagram / @POVdocs on Twitter #ACCEPTEDFILMPBS

Credits:

A Concordia Studio, Jubilee Media, and American Documentary | POV co-production in association with Boardwalk Pictures and Diamond Docs. Dan Chen is the director. The producers are Jason Y. Lee, Chen, Jesse Einstein and Mark Monroe. Executive Producers are Laurene Powell Jobs, Davis Guggenheim, Jonathan Silberberg, Nicole Stott, Andrew Fried, Dane Lillegard, Jordan Wynn, Ryan Hashemi, Ien Chi and Erika Dildayand Chris White for American Documentary | POV.

Producers Dan Chen Jesse Einstein Jason Y. Lee
Zack DeZon/ Contour by Getty Images
/
Contour
Dan Chen, Jesse Einstein and Jason Y. Lee of ‘Accepted’ pose for a portrait during the 2021 Tribeca Festival at Spring Studio on June 12, 2021 in New York City.

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