August 16, 2017, 7:00 P.M.

The Ray Stark Family Theatre, SCA 108, George Lucas Building, USC School of Cinematic Arts Complex, 900 W. 34th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90007

Outside the Box [Office], Scoot Education, and Magnolia Pictures, invite you and a guest to a special preview screening of

School Life

Directed by Neasa Ní Chianáin and David Rane
Produced by David Rane

Followed by a Q&A with Neasa Ní Chianáin and David Rane

7:00 P.M. on Wednesday, August 16th, 2017
The Ray Stark Family Theatre, SCA 108
900 W. 34th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90007



Winner: Special Jury Recognition - 2017 San Francisco International Film Festival.

Official Selection: 2017 Sundance Film Festival; 2017 DocAviv Film Festival; 2017 San Francisco International Film Festival; 2017 Full Frame.

In Theaters on Friday, September 15th, 2017.

About School Life

This observational documentary follows a year in the lives of two inspirational teachers at Headfort, the only primary-age boarding school in Ireland. Housed in an 18th century estate, school life embraces tradition and modernity. For John, rock music is just another subject alongside Maths, Scripture and Latin, taught in a collaborative and often hilarious fashion. For his wife Amanda, the key to connecting with children is the book, and she uses all means to snare the young minds. For nearly half a century these two have shaped thousands of minds, but now the unthinkable looms: what would retirement mean? What will keep them young if they leave?

Provided courtesy of Magnolia Pictures. Rated PG-13. Running time: 100 minutes.

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Directors' Statement

In our initial research, we watched many films about schools. What is unique about the experience in our film is the level of access we were given, behind the scenes, entering into a world where every parent would like to be a fly-on-the-wall.

Part of reflecting the world of Headfort School is about capturing its aesthetics, the backdrop to this unusual institution. We didn’t want the to be positioned as a voyeur, it was very much about being part of the circle, part of the community.

Our film is the result of the relationship we have built while researching during our first year of the project at Headfort. Stemming from this relationship between teacher, student and film crew produced intimate footage with raw emotion that we feel is rarely found on film or television today.

Our work is not staged, it’s observational in style. The rapport with our characters meant they accepted our presence in their lives, especially the children who just went on with their everyday life at Headfort, and allowed us to capture those special moments, where the kids are just kids, playing in the forts and interacting in the dorms.

Getting to that level of intimacy is a skill and it required a lot of time and trust. We could not possibly make a film about a boarding school that unpeels the many layers of this world without having invested so much time researching, understanding and planning how to film this very nuanced institution.

Our documentary is an examination of a particular type of childhood and education, a childhood very different from what most parents in the 21st century deem as conventional, or even acceptable, and an education that sets Headfort apart from the norm.

The school building and its grounds, to us acted as a character in the film. The environment in which the characters are living, shapes the overall experience of the world the film inhabits. When filming, we treated Headfort as a world within itself. Once the audience enters the world of Headfort, they never leave the school grounds. This was an aesthetic decision taken to try to reflect the dilemma and reluctance of most of the characters in the film, (teachers and students alike) to ever leave the school.

-- Neasa Ní Chianáin and David Rane

About the Guests

NEASA NÍ CHIANÁIN (Director, Cinematographer)

Neasa started directing in 2001 with television documentaries. She has directed three feature documentaries, including the award-winning Frank Ned & Busy Lizzie, which won Best Feature award at The Celtic Film Festival 2004 and sold to broadcasters around the world; Fairytale of Kathmandu, which world premiered at IDFA 2007 in the Silver Wolf Competition and was subsequently invited to 25 international festivals and won 3 international awards; The Stranger, which premiered in Locarno FF 2014; and her most recent film, School Life, which had its world premiere in the Feature Documentary Competition at IDFA in November 2016.

DAVID RANE (Director, Producer)

David has produced award-winning documentary feature films, including Fairytale of Kathmandu (2007), The Stranger (2014), School Life (2016), animated films, including the BAFTA-winning Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (2002), and short fiction films. His company, Soilsiú Films, is a regular recipient of Creative Europe funding, and has had work screened in France, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Finland, and the U.S. David is the founder and festival director of Guth Gafa International Documentary Festival.

About Outside the Box [Office]

Outside the Box [Office] is a weekly showcase for upcoming releases highlighting world cinema, documentary and independent film titles. Recognizing a need for greater diversity on campus, the series will draw from around the globe to present movies that may challenge, inspire or simply entertain.

To view the calendar of screenings, click here

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About Scoot Education

Providing quality educators since 2005; every way, every day, always.

At Scoot Education, we place exceptional people in educational settings. We invest in teachers looking for temporary or permanent work, recruit support staff and supply permanent and casual educators to schools.

Our parent company, anzuk Education, got its start in Australia and the United Kingdom before expanding to Canada. Now we're launching in the United States as Scoot Education!

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Check-In & Reservations

This screening is free of charge and open to the public. Please bring a valid USC ID or print out of your reservation confirmation, which will automatically be sent to your e-mail account upon successfully making an RSVP through this website. Doors will open at 6:30 P.M.

All SCA screenings are OVERBOOKED to ensure seating capacity in the theater, therefore seating is not guaranteed based on RSVPs. The RSVP list will be checked in on a first-come, first-served basis until the theater is full. Once the theater has reached capacity, we will no longer be able to admit guests, regardless of RSVP status.


The USC School of Cinematic Arts is located at 900 W. 34th St., Los Angeles, CA 90007. Parking passes may be purchased for $12.00 at USC Entrance Gate #5, located at the intersection of W. Jefferson Blvd. & McClintock Ave. We recommend Parking Structure D, at the far end of 34th Street. Metered street parking is also available along Jefferson Blvd.

Contact Information

Name: Alessandro Ago