Young kids growing up in urban poverty must grapple with circumstances that have seemingly nothing — yet everything — to do with getting into college: homelessness, poverty, homophobia, food scarcity. To make matters worse, most public schools don't have enough counseling support to help students navigate the increasingly complicated application process. That's why three ambitious and enlightened student activists decided to become the very resource they didn't have for themselves. Determined not to become statistics in an unjust system, high schoolers Karoline, Enoch and Christine are working as college counselors even as they are applying to college themselves. They are fighting for a better future for themselves and their peers. In a film populated by feisty, hard-hitting students and nurturing mentors, Personal Statement is an inspiring chronicle of dedication, promise, challenges, and also disappointment. But perhaps the real story is in the big hearts that everyone exhibits, and it’s stories like this that make the future of America look much brighter. —Dainara Delija
BIO: Juliane Dressner is a director, producer and cinematographer who makes character-based films that often focus on young people who are overcoming challenging circumstances. Her films have shed light on economic and racial justice issues in education and the criminal justice system, including The Scars of Stop-and-Frisk, which was published as an Op-Doc by The New York Times. She won the National Magazine Award for video for her short film, An Education, which was published by The New York Times Magazine. Her other short films have been published by The New York Times, The Guardian, The Atlantic, New York magazine, and Buzzfeed. Personal Statement is her first feature-length documentary.
The Woodstock Film Festival is a not-for-profit, 501c3 organization with a mission to present an
annual program and year-round schedule of film, music,
and art-related activities that promote artists, culture,
inspired learning, and diversity. The Hudson Valley Film
Commission promotes sustainable economic development
by attracting and supporting film, video and media production.