A dedicated group of Public School Educators questions the value of their life’s work, as they mentor a naïve new teacher, and fight for their students’ futures during parent-teacher conference week.
Artist’s Statement by Writer/Director/Producer Angela Garcia Combs:
Parent/Teacher is an unflinching narrative about the disparaged and misunderstood teachers on the front lines of education, and the students and families of many backgrounds whom they serve. This feature will take us inside an urban public school to depict what it is really like to send your children there, to show what teachers are really doing and how kids are really behaving in the system of public education. The crisis, conflict and drama of this film will come from unanticipated sources and strike a deep chord. Parent/Teacher is a gauntlet with which I aim to provoke a discourse on this most important foundation of our society.
The gritty, empathic, honest, humorous slice-of-life tone of Parent/Teacher is based on my own experience with public schools (as both student and parent) and many months of interviews with public school teachers all over the United States. As the recollections of the dedicated educators streamed in, I found themes in their stories that were repeated across cultural and economic divides and I have amalgamated those motifs into the situations that face our characters in Parent/Teacher. I seek to illuminate the bravery, fatigue and thwarted dreams of our inspired teachers as they nurture the young lives and longings of the children in their charge. The story is set in Los Angeles, where I am familiar with the cultural cross section and where these characters would organically exist in one place together. Parent/Teacher observes how different personalities, teaching styles and cultures interact, conflict and coincide in the shared struggle to keep the students’ best interests at the forefront in an imperfect system.
Angela Garcia Combs - Director/Writer/Producer
Angela Garcia Combs is an award-winning writer/director who focuses on the female perspective while maintaining a light touch, a sharp wit and an accessible style. Her work has been highly regarded for its unique point of view and skillful craft, earning accolades in film reviews and receiving multiple awards, including: Best Director at The Female Eye Film Festival; Best Feature at The Philadelphia International Film Festival; the Audience Award at Iowa Independent Film Festival; the Henry Jaglom Award for Creative Excellence in Direction. Garcia Combs’ feature film, Nothing Special, was curated by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences into its "Permanent Core Collection" and marks Karen Black's last starring role. Nothing Special had a theatrical release and is now available on Hulu and Amazon.
Meredith Riley Stewart – Co-Producer
A 21st century triple threat, Meredith is an actor, producer, and content creator. Her recent credits in front of the camera include Scandal, Criminal Minds:Beyond Borders and Devious Maids. She was tapped by Women In Film to create their first-ever digital series, Flip The Script, a comedy about gender parity. It has over 9 million social media impressions and is gearing up for its second season. The mash-up comedy short fan film she produced, Orphan is the New Orange, has over half-a-million YouTube views and toured the globe as part of ComicCon. Her digital series AutocorrectFU was featured on Funny or Die and includes cameos by major YouTube stars. An executive member of Women In Film, Meredith serves on the Business Affairs committee of the PSA program where she produced the Telly Award winning spot for River LA. Above all, Meredith is passionate about utilizing film as a platform for social change.
Asher Huey – Co-Producer/Education Consultant/Digital Outreach
Asher Huey is a DC based progressive organizer. He's an assistant director in the communications department of the American Federation of Teachers, where he crafts digital campaigns for one of the largest public education organizations in the US. He works with various progressive organizations and coalitions to create substantive change on both local and national levels. He’s particularly active in the areas of LGBT rights, education, labor, environment and social justice. Over the years he has worked on various electoral and issue-based campaigns. He was one of the lead organizers for the Food Truck Association of Metropolitan Washington. He's on the national executive board of Pride At Work. His background in theater and film, along with his current work crafting public messaging, all fit squarely into the wheelhouse of purpose driven filmmaking. He has a theatre degree from American University.
Nancy Schreiber – Director of Photography
Nancy Schreiber ASC is an award winning cinematographer who received the 2017 ASC President’s Award, the first woman to receive this honor. She was the fourth woman ever voted into membership at the American Society of Cinematographers. In addition to serving on the ASC Board of Governors, she was on the board of Women In Film (WIF) and is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Schreiber has taught advanced cinematography at the American Film Institute and, between shooting, continues to guest lecture at film schools in California, New York, and around the world. Schreiber’s extensive and eclectic list of narrative film and television credits as well as commercials, music videos and documentaries can be found on IMDB.
Laura Karpman – Composer
Four-time Emmy winning composer and composer of the Grammy-winning album, Ask Your Mama, Laura Karpman maintains a vibrant career in film, television, video game and concert music. Her distinguished credits include the series, Underground, in collaboration with Raphael Saadig and John Legend, Step, a Sundance 2017 favorite, Eleanor Coppola’s Paris Can Wait starring Diane Lane and Alec Baldwin, Kassi Lemmon’s Black Nativity starring Jennifer Hudson and Forest Whitaker, Stephen Spielberg’s miniseries, Taken, the Showtime series, Odyssey 5, and Masters of Science Fiction for which she received Emmy nominations. She also contributed to Sophia Coppola’s 2017 The Beguiled.