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‘Let the Little Light Shine’ screening features filmmaker

A group of teachers and parents holding a National Teachers Academy banner and protest signs.

National Teachers Academy parents stand in solidarity against a proposal to transform their high-performing elementary school into a high school that would benefit the neighborhood’s wealthier residents in ‘Let the Little Light Shine.’ Photo courtesy of School Film LLC

Award-winning Chicago filmmaker Kevin Shaw will attend the local screening and panel discussion of his recent film “Let the Little Light Shine,” which had its national television debut on POV in December.

Hosted at 2 pm Saturday, Feb. 18, at the Virginia Theatre, the Reel Midwest Film Festival screening also is part of the theater’s Arthouse Experience Film Series sponsored by Illinois Public Media.

Kevin Shaw

Filmmaker Kevin Shaw

In “Let the Little Light Shine” (2022) parents, students, and educators fight for the survival of a thriving, top-ranked African American elementary school on the South Side of Chicago that is threatened to be replaced with a new high school favoring the community’s wealthier residents. A co-production of POV and ITVS in association with Black Public Media, the local screening will feature a live question-and-answer session with Shaw, a parent from the film, and other guests.

In addition, “My Octopus Teacher” (2020) will be shown at 7 pm Wednesday, Feb. 8, as part of the Arthouse Experience Film Series. In this G-rated film, a filmmaker forges an unusual friendship with an octopus living in a South African kelp forest. The film won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.

General admission tickets are $7 per film and are available at the Virginia Theatre box office, online at,
or charge by phone at 217-356-9063. The full series schedule is available at

As part of Illinois Public Media’s exclusive sponsorship of the monthly Arthouse Experience Film Series, each quarter an additional film will be screened at the Virginia Theatre as part of IPM’s Reel Midwest Film Festival series.