Private Project

A School Grows in Brooklyn

A School Grows In Brooklyn is a 60-minute documentary film about the history of what was considered the most progressive elementary school in New York City during the 1960s.

  • Rich Gold
    In the Footsteps of Willie Sutton; In the Footsteps of Mad Dog Coll.
  • Rich Gold
    In the Footsteps of Willie Sutton; In the Footsteps of Mad Dog Coll;
  • Rich Gold
    In the Footsteps of Willie Sutton; In the Footsteps of Mad Dog Coll;
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    59 minutes 16 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    December 20, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    30,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Rich Gold

Rich Gold – Writer, Co-Producer, & Director

2011 brought Rich Gold’s first documentary film, In the Footsteps of Willie Sutton to the film festival circuit. Winning several awards including Best Documentary in the Golden Door Film Festival is an attribution to Rich’s ability to present biographical and historical matter with pure accuracy while successfully entertaining audiences.

After taking early retirement from the corporate world in 2008, Rich’s ambition led him back to an area he studied some years earlier, screenplay writing. This led Rich to trying his hand at filmmaking.

In addition to true crime, Rich has a passion for the rich history of his childhood years. It has been a dream to make a movie about the old neighborhood. With P.S. 208 situated just across the street from Rich’s childhood home, the concept was developed to focus on the importance of this great school during the 1960s and how it has been a consistent mainstay in the education over the following decades.

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Director Statement

As a former student of Public School 208 in Brooklyn, I’ve been able to reflect on those formative years spent in elementary school. While students in the 1960s, most of us didn’t realize how privileged we were back then. P.S. 208 was the most progressive elementary school in New York City, where we were taught a foreign language in first grade; typing in second grade; and were introduced to musical instruments in third grade. Such programs were not offered at other schools in the city. During this time, we learned about diversity and brotherhood by sharing learning experiences with students from various cultures. The teachers, administrators, and parents encouraged and motivated us to be good citizens.

My appreciation for the education received made me realize how fortunate we were. This motivated me to seek out other P.S. 208 alumni and hear their views of the education we received. Along the way, the idea popped into my head to attempt the creation of a documentary film titled A School Grows in Brooklyn.

Completing the documentary film has taken much longer than projected due to personal priorities but now I’m proud of the final work. I’m confident that audiences will find the story of this interesting and entertaining.

What I personally have concluded after delving into elementary school education is that as a society, too much emphasis is placed on higher education (college). It is my belief that if we devoted more resources to pre-school and elementary school educations, youngsters can build a stronger foundation, explore their passions, and grow to be solid citizens.