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Poster for Beat the Heat: The Right to Read (2024)
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Beat the Heat: The Right to Read (2024)

Opens on June 19

Director: Jenny Mackenzie Run Time: 71 min. Rating: NR Release Year: 2023

Country: United States
Language: English

Thanks to a partnership with Columbus City Council, all screenings at Gateway Film Center on Tuesday, June 19th, and Wednesday, June 20th, noon until 6:00 p.m., are free to the public and include a complimentary popcorn and soda.

Take a break from the heat, watch a film, or a few, while supporting local, nonprofit cinema. Visit Ticket Center on the day of the screening to reserve your spot!

About the film:

World Premiere, 2023 Santa Barbara International Film Festival
Audience Award Winner, 2023 Harlem International Film Festival

From Executive Producer LeVar Burton and Director Jenny Mackenzie, The Right to Read shares the stories of an activist, a teacher, and two American families who fight to provide our youngest generation with the most foundational indicator of life-long success: the ability to read.

“[A] game-changing film… It’s a jaw-dropping indictment on the historical and present failings of the country’s educational and political leadership. But it’s also a passionate call to action”

—Abbey White, The Hollywood Reporter

When a child can’t read, their chances of incarceration, homelessness, and unemployment increase. That’s why Oakland-based NAACP activist Kareem Weaver believes literacy is one of the greatest civil rights issues of our time and is fighting for better reading instruction. “What good is winning the right to vote if we can’t even read the ballot?” Fed up with the bleak reading scores in his own community, Kareem files a petition with the Oakland Unified School District demanding change.

About the filmmaker:

Jenny Mackenzie is a documentary filmmaker who produces films that promote social change. Her films include Kick Like a Girl (2008), Sugar Babies (2012), Lead with Love (2010), Dying in Vein (2016), and the 2018 Sundance and Emmy-award winning film Quiet Heroes (2018). The director’s films have aired on top broadcast and VOD channels such as HBO, HULU, PBS, and Amazon, and have received praise in the New York Times, the Washington Post and Variety. She has a bachelor’s degree from Brown University and a Ph.D. from the University of Utah and is an assistant professor in documentary film production at Utah Valley University.

See our upcoming films
Donna and Larry James
Columbus Metropolitan Library
Ohio Arts Council
Greater Columbus Arts Council
The Columbus Foundation
Campus Partners
National Endowment for the Arts
WWCD Radio
G&J Pepsi
WOSU Public Media


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