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October 22, 2016

Documentary narrated by Matt Damon looking at Philly schools to debut at film festival

A bold new film that takes a look at Philadelphia's school system that's narrated by award-winning actor and screenwriter Matt Damon makes its debut Saturday at the Philadelphia Film Festival.

The documentary, "Backpack Full of Cash," is a 95-minute long film that delves into the "growth of market-based education reforms such as privately-run charter schools, student testing and vouchers – and their impact on America's most vulnerable children," according to its description.

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"Backpack Full of Cash" features schools in Tennesse and Lousiana but pays special attention to schools in Philadelphia. It took four years to put together.

Damon's mother, Nancy Carlsson-Paige works within public education. Sarah Mondale, the film's director, and Vera Aronow, its producer, said that the Academy-Award winning actor "generously [took] the time out of his busy schedule to narrate" the film.

“When we went out to L.A. to record the narration, he couldn’t have been nicer,” Mondale told Lower Hudson Valley's The Journal News in January. “He said he really believed in the topic and he knows a lot about it. It’s great to have him in our corner.”

The movie premieres Saturday at 5:10 p.m. at the Prince Theatre. It's scheduled to screen again on Oct. 29 at 4:10 p.m. Both Mondale and Aronow will be at the showings.

Mondale has set up a Kickstarter campaign to help raise money for the film. So far, it's reached more than $4,600 of its $31,600 goal. The fundraising effort ends Nov. 18.