Public Schooled is the 20th film in 20 years developed through NSI Features First

Public Schooled / Link to TIFF

Public Schooled, the latest feature film from Kyle Rideout and Josh Epstein, celebrates its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) this week and becomes the 20th film in 20 years developed through the NSI Features First training course run by the National Screen Institute – Canada (NSI).

“Josh and Kyle have the talent, perseverance and skills for long careers in our industry,” said John Gill, NSI CEO. “It doesn’t seem that long ago that NSI director of programming Brendon Sawatzky and I visited the set of Public Schooled, and now all TIFF screenings are sold out.”

Public Schooled, developed through NSI Features First in 2014, tells the story of socially awkward Liam who has been homeschooled his entire life. When he falls in love with a popular one-legged girl he abandons his mother’s suffocating love and enrolls in public school, getting a crash course in sex, drugs and social mayhem. Judy Greer (Arrested Development, The Descendants), comedian Russell Peters and Grace Park (Hawaii 5-0) lead the talented cast.

“Kyle and I strive to make films that surprise people, that push ambition, and that execute at a higher level than the budget expects us to,” said producer and co-writer Josh Epstein. “NSI Features First training supported our creative style.”

About NSI Features First

Since NSI Features began in 1997, one out of four films developed through the course have been produced. NSI Features First is a development training launch pad for producer/writer teams looking to produce their first or second feature film with strong commercial appeal. Teams meet with top-level experts throughout the program and receive $7,500 towards the final development and packaging of their feature film project. Deadline for the latest application round is September 11, 2017.

Films developed through NSI Features First

  • Public Schooled, producer Josh Epstein, writer/director Kyle Rideout
  • The Sun at Midnight, writer/director Kirsten Carthew
  • Two 4 One, writer/director Maureen Bradley
  • The Dark Stranger, producer Glen Wood, writer/director Chris Trebilcock
  • Bang Bang Baby, writer/director Jeffrey St. Jules
  • I Declare War, writer/director Jason Lapeyre
  • Every Emotion Costs, producer Joseph Mansourian, writer/director Darlene Naponse
  • Foodland, writer/director Adam Smoluk
  • Love and Other Dilemmas, producer Clare Hodge, director Larry Di Stefano, writer Deborah Peraya
  • Fetching Cody, producer Carolyn Allain, writer/director David Ray
  • 7 Times Lucky, producer Liz Jarvis, writer/director Gary Yates
  • On the Corner, producer Wendy Hyman, writer/director Nathaniel Geary
  • Goldirocks, producer Lisa Hayes, writer/director Paula Tiberius
  • Flower and Garnet, producer Trish Dolman, writer/director Keith Behrman
  • Leaving Metropolis, producers Ken Mead, Paul Stiles, writer/director Brad Fraser
  • Inertia, producer Brendon Sawatzky, writer/director Sean Garrity
  • Turning Paige, producer Carolyn McMaster, director/co-writer Robert Cuffley, writer Jason Long
  • My Father’s Angel, producer David Bouck, co-executive producer Trevor Hodgson, director Davor Marjonovic, writer Frank Borg
  • Violet, producer Mary Sexton, writer/director Rosemary House
  • The Bend, writer/director Jennifer Kierans (developed in part through NSI Features First)

NSI Features First is funded by Presenting Sponsor Telefilm Canada; Supporting Sponsors Entertainment OneSuper Channel, Corus Entertainment and Breakthrough Entertainment; and Service Sponsor William F. White. NSI Core Funders are Manitoba Sport, Culture & Heritage and the City of Winnipeg through the Winnipeg Arts Council.

NSI Features First 2014 was funded by Presenting Sponsor Telefilm Canada; Program Partners The Brian Linehan Charitable Foundation and Shaw Media; Supporting Sponsor Entertainment One; Actors Support Sponsor The Brian Linehan Charitable Foundation; Bursary Sponsor ZoomerMedia; Industry Partner The Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television (ACCT) and Provincial Sponsor Alberta Film.

About the National Screen Institute – Canada (NSI)

Renowned for having given many emerging filmmakers, television writers and producers their first breaks, the National Screen Institute provides training and production support through courses like NSI Totally TelevisionCBC New Indigenous Voices presented by NSINSI Features FirstNSI IndigiDocsNSI Business for Producers, TELUS STORYHIVE Web Series and Digital Shorts, and TELUS Optik™ Local.

NSI also offers exposure through the NSI Online Short Film Festival and provides vast resources and support to those in the film, television and digital media industries at

All media enquiries

Chris Vajcner, Director, Communications & Revenue Development
Tel: 204.957.2998 or email:

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