Feature Film Program

Let the Little Light Shine

New York Premiere! A high-achieving elementary school in Chicago’s expanding neighborhood is a lifeline for Black children, until gentrification threatens its closure.


Sat Jun 25 8:00 PM

The Films

Let the Little Light Shine

Kevin Shaw | US | 86

Let the Little Light Shine is about a high-performing, top-ranked African American elementary school in Chicago, The National Teachers Academy (NTA), which is threatened to be closed and transformed into a high school favoring the needs of the community’s wealthier residents. Parents, students, and educators mobilize to fight for the elementary school’s survival.

The story follows everyday parents-turned-organizers, alongside NTA students and staff, as they advocate to keep their elementary school which is a safe haven for children and a community bedrock in Chicago’s fastest growing neighborhood, The South Loop.

The film also posits the point-of-view of residents in favor of changing NTA into a high school that is sorely needed for its neighborhood. The theme of gentrification is rarely viewed through this lens of education, where “well-intentions” can be critically viewed as privileged desires, creating a disconnect dividing and reshaping communities across the country.

Under-resourced schools across the United States have been closed due to underperformance, but Let the Little Light Shine tells a unique story of a high-performing school with a 100% graduation rate potentially being shuttered for the benefit of a higher social strata.

El Carrito

Zahida Pirani | US | 15

Nelly lives alone with her elderly father. The only way she makes ends meet is by working as a street vendor from dawn to dusk. She has learned not to trust anyone until one day she is forced to take a leap of faith or be resigned to her position forever.

Event Details

8:00 PM
Doors Open
9:00 PM
Films Begin


Brooklyn Army Terminal

80 58th St, Brooklyn, NY 11220

venue on Google Map

The show presented in partnership with