This week on “Problematic Women,” we interview the woman that inspired the new feature film “Miss Virginia,” Virginia Walden Ford. We talk to her about everything from her childhood years integrating the Little Rock, Arkansas, school system to working with President George W. Bush creating the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program to the star-studded cast of her new movie. READ MORE
If we could only go back 20 years and tell the world what it would grow up to be! Phones that take pictures! Online ordering for food! And less important stuff, such as self-driving cars.
The other day, on the recommendation of a friend, we asked Mr. Big Shot Movie Man in the newsroom about a movie that was just released, and in a few minutes we were watching it. In the office. On the computer. Compliments of a friend in the movie business.
Why would anybody want to live in another year?
As for the film, we recommend. Can we give it five stars? If you want to know why education reformers pull (what’s left of) their hair when talking about education in America, you might want to watch this film, Miss Virginia, possibly coming to a theater near you and soon to be available on VOD. It’s not exactly a Marvel action movie, so no telling how close it will get to Arkansas or, when here, how many theaters will show it. But these days, with streaming, computers and self-driving cars, few movies are out of reach. READ MORE
The school choice advocate was surprised with the award in Washington D.C.
July 31, 2019
Little Rock, Ark. — Educational opportunity advocate Virginia Walden Ford was recently recognized with the first-ever Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Coalition for Public School Options (PSO). Ford was a keynote speaker at the organization’s annual Parent Conference held in Washington D.C., where she was surprised with the award. Ford was asked to attend the annual event as part of an Advocacy Bootcamp for parents.
“For decades Virginia Walden Ford has fought for those who have the most at stake in our education system: The children. From her advocacy for school choice in the D.C. school system, to her work at the national level to create the first ever Opportunity Scholarships for low-income children, Ms. Ford has never shied away from fighting for families,” said Colleen Cook, PSO Board President.
“Still today – decades after her own children have grown – Ms. Ford carries the torch. It’s for these reasons that Public School Options was proud to present her with our first ever Lifetime Achievement Award. Thank you, Ms. Ford, for all you have done and continue to do for the families of America.”
About Virginia Walden Ford
Virginia Walden Ford is a leading advocate for improved educational opportunities in America’s schools, especially for low-income children. As a single parent, Virginia organized a group of parent advocates who demanded more school options for their children. That initiative led to the 2003 passage of the nation’s first-ever Opportunity Scholarship Program that benefited children in Washington, D.C. This program provides scholarships for low-income children to attend private schools, while boosting federal funding for traditional public schools and public charter schools. Since the program’s inception, thousands of students have received Opportunity Scholarships, and the program boasts a 91 percent high school graduation rate. Virginia continues to speak up for families and school choice programs nationwide and she is the subject of the 2019 film “Miss Virginia” starring Uzo Aduba, Matthew Modine, Vanessa Williams, Amirah Vann and Niles Fitch.
About the National Coalition for Public School Options
The National Coalition for Public School Options (PSO) is a national alliance of parents that supports and defends parents’ rights to access the best public school options for their children. The coalition supports the creation of public school options, including charter schools, online schools, magnet schools, open enrollment policies, and other innovative education programs. Additionally, we advocate for free and equal access without restrictions to these public schools for all children.
Learn more at PublicSchoolOptions.org.
The film starring Uzo Aduba, Matthew Modine and other industry vets will roll out in select theaters and on VOD
VERTICAL ENTERTAINMENT acquires MISS VIRGINIA starring UZO ADUBA
Los Angeles – Vertical Entertainment has acquired the North America distribution rights to Miss Virginia, a drama inspired by a true story of a struggling inner-city mother who sacrifices everything to give her son a good education. Unwilling to allow her son to stay in a dangerous school, she launches a movement that could save his future — and that of thousands like him. Starring Uzo Aduba (“Orange Is the New Black”), Matthew Modine (“Stranger Things”), Aunjanue Ellis (“The Help”), and Vanessa Williams (“Ugly Betty”). Vertical Entertainment will be releasing the film in select theaters and on VOD October 18th.
“The Miss Virginia team is delighted to partner with Vertical in bringing the inspiring true story of Virginia Walden Ford to audiences across the US,” said writer-producer Erin O’Connor. “Her story is one of grit, determination, and the transformative power of a mother who refuses to give up on her son.”
The deal was negotiated by Josh Spector at Vertical and Stacey Parks and Rob Pfaltzgraff on behalf of the Moving Picture Institute (MPI).
The film was directed by R. J. Daniel Hanna; written by Erin O’Connor; produced by M. Elizabeth Hughes, Stacey Parks, Maurice Black, Erin O’Connor, and Rob Pfaltzgraff; executive produced by Virginia Walden Ford and Nick Reid; cinematography from Nancy Schreiber; edited by Brian Scofield; production design by Grace Alie; with music by Laura Karpman. The film was produced by MPI.
Aduba is represented by UTA, Management 360 and ID Public Relations. Modine is represented by Luber Roklin Entertainment. Ellis is represented by ICM Partners and TMT Entertainment Group. Williams is represented by UTA.
About Vertical Entertainment
Vertical Entertainment is a global independent distributor that offers a unique combination of full-service marketing and sales services. Dedicated to providing highly effective and collaborative solutions, Vertical leverages unparalleled relationships to maximize revenue across all streams. The marketing and sales expertise from Vertical’s seasoned team gives content partners a wealth of experience minus the studio costs.
Vertical won a Film Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Actress for Molly Shannon’s role in “Other People” and the film won a GLAAD Award for “Outstanding Film Limited Release” as well. Vertical also had four other Indie Spirit nominations — three more for “Other People” (Best Lead Actor for Jesse Plemons, and Best First Feature and Best First Screenplay for filmmaker Chris Kelly) and one for Best International Film for Babak Anvari’s “Under the Shadow,” which was also the official UK submission for the 2017 Oscars, in addition to winning one BAFTA Award and three British Independent Film Awards.
Upcoming Vertical releases are “Lying and Stealing” starring Theo James and Emily Ratajkowski and “The Operative” starring Diane Kruger, Martin Freeman, and Cas Anvar. Other notable recent releases include “American Woman” starring Sienna Miller, Aaron Paul, and Christina Hendricks; “The Professor and the Madman” starring Mel Gibson, Sean Penn, and Natalie Dormer; “Drunk Parents” starring Alec Baldwin, Salma Hayek, Jim Gaffigan, Ben Platt, and Joe Manganiello; Keith Behrman’s “Giant Little Ones” starring Josh Wiggins, Kyle Maclachlan, and Maria Bello; Amma Asante’s “Where Hands Touch” starring Amandla Stenberg, Abbie Cornish, and George MacKay; Sam Boyd’s “In A Relationship” starring Emma Roberts, Michael Angarano, Dree Hemingway, and Patrick Gibson; “Welcome Home” starring Aaron Paul, Emily Ratajkowski, and Riccardo Scamarcio; Rob Reiner’s “Shock and Awe” starring Woody Harrelson, James Marsden, Milla Jovovich, Jessica Biel, and Tommy Lee Jones; and Kevin Connolly’s “Gotti” starring John Travolta, Kelly Preston, and Chris Mulkey. For more information, please visit www.vert-ent.com and www.facebook.com/vertent.