37th Annual VIRGINIA FILM FESTIVAL Oct 30-Nov 3, 2024

37th Annual VIRGINIA FILM FESTIVAL October 30-November 3, 2024


Eric Butler stands with his son, Tre Thomas Play Button

After being displaced by Hurricane Katrina, Eric Butler moves to Oakland, California, in an impassioned effort to mentor troubled minority youth. The documentary reveals Eric’s no-nonsense approach to counseling for vulnerable Black and Latinx teenagers and reimagines standard approaches to school discipline. Butler’s restorative justice movement replaces sudden suspensions and expulsions with intimate and honest mentorship. By creating an open space for conversation, at-risk students are able to build trust and realize their potential. After his own son is arrested, Butler reevaluates his responsibilities as both father and teacher to be the leader that he never had growing up. Discussion with director Cassidy Friedman, subject Eric Butler, and restorative justice coordinator Steven Thomas, moderated by Catherine Bradshaw (UVA)

Supported by IX Art Park and Office for Equal Opportunity and Civil Rights

This film is part of the Race in America series presented by James Madison’s Montpelier and supported by Virginia Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts


Sunday, November 4


2:00 PM


Violet Crown 5

Film Info

Director: Cassidy Friedman.

Runtime: 82 min.

Genre: Documentaries

Year: 2018

Country: USA

Language: English

Featuring: Eric Butler, Tre Thomas, Mercedes Morgan, Ted Quant, Betsye Steele.