We Are the Dream: The Kids of the Oakland MLK Oratorical Fest
Directed by Amy Schatz, Executive Produced by Mahershala Ali
Every year, hundreds of children in pre-K through 12th grade participate in the Oakland MLK Oratorical Festival, a stirring public speaking competition where they perform poetry and speeches, both published and original, inspired by the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Directed and produced by Emmy-winner Amy Schatz (In the Shadow of the Towers, Song of Parkland) and executive produced by Oscar-winner Mahershala Ali (Moonlight), We Are the Dream: The Kids of the Oakland MLK Oratorical Fest is an uplifting documentary about young people finding their voices and a community that celebrates and supports their passion for public speaking.
Focusing on the Oakland Unified School District’s MLK Oratorical Festival—one of many competitions that take place across the country—the documentary follows students from schools throughout the city in the months leading up to the 40th annual festival as they hone their speeches, hoping for a coveted spot in the finals. Through interviews with the contestants and scenes of rehearsals and performances, the film reveals the deep connection the students make between Dr. King’s words and the world they live in.
This screening is prior to the HBO broadcast on Tuesday, February 18. This screening is courtesy of HBO. 2020, U.S., digital video, 67 minutes. Recommended for all ages.