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New York, NY - July 18, 2012 - Kino Lorber, Inc. is proud to announce the acquisition of all US and Canadian rights to Scott Thurman's documentary THE REVISIONARIES (2012), an urgent expose of the power struggle inside the Texas State Board of Education, the governing body that determines what students learn in Texas public schools and, due to the buying power of their system, often the entire country.
THE REVISIONARIES showcases how public education has become the latest battleground in a new wave of cultural, religious and ideological clashes, with local Texas education board members advancing agendas of Creationism and other religious issues in public schools. This documentary highlights how their tactics have had the effect of rewriting key tenets of U.S. democracy and are affecting educational policies at the national level - for generations to come.
The film premiere at this year's Tribeca Film Festival, where it won a Special Jury Prize for Best Documentary, also receiving rave reviews by both audiences and film critics. It was also an official selection at the Dallas International Film Festival, HotDocs, Seattle International Film Festival, and most recently, at the AFI - Silverdocs Documentary Festival - among many others.
Kino Lorber will open THE REVISIONARIES nationwide in early October, with Independent Lens (PBS) broadcasting the film in early 2013, when it will also be released on DVD and across all major digital platforms.
With unprecedented access to the 15 people elected as members of the Texas State Board of Education, THE REVISIONARIES offers a behind-the-scenes look at how a small group of local officials decide what should be taught to the next generation of high school students, with national repercussions.
Once every decade, the highly politicized Texas State Board rewrites the teaching and textbook standards for its nearly 5 million schoolchildren. Because of the huge scale of the Texas purchase and the economics of publishing, these rules are largely adopted by textbook publishers across the U.S., and in effect, dictate what students learn about science and social studies from Maine to Hawaii.
Don McLeroy, a dentist, young earth creationist and Sunday school teacher who believes dinosaurs and humans co-habited the earth, leads the religious right charge. During his time on the board, McLeroy has overseen the adoption of new science and history curriculum standards, placing Texas on the front line of the so-called "culture wars."
In his last term, McLeroy, aided by Cynthia Dunbar, a Law professor at Jerry Falwell's Liberty University, found himself not only fighting to change what Americans are taught, but also struggling to retain his seat on the board.
Challenged by Kathy Miller, president of the Texas Freedom Network, and Ron Wetherington, an anthropology professor, McLeroy engaged in a national battle about the meaning of religious freedom and this country's separation between church and state.
Kino Lorber's Vice President Elizabeth Sheldon, who negotiated the deal with producer Daniel Chalfen of Naked Edge Films, commented: "THE REVISIONARIES reports from the front lines of a raging battle to defend the constitutional guarantee of the separation of church and state. We're proud to bring this even handed but thoughtfully incendiary film to screens across the U.S. It's a wake up call about how seemingly local Texas politics is turning into a fundamental national threat to the American concept of liberty, with enduring impact on generations of students."