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Educational / Non-Theatrical Sales
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Know How

Director - Juan Carlos Pineiro Escoriaza
Run Time - 106 minutes
Languages - English
Format - DVD / Digital Streaming
Year - 2014
Genre - Drama/Non-Fiction/Musical Hybrid

Educational Interests- Adolescence, African-American Studies, American Studies, Civil Rights, Criminal Justice, Family Relations, Justice, Law & Legal Studies, Performance, Urban Studies

Institutional DVD Price: $395 / Special low price for Non-Profits and High Schools: Please inquire.

Written and acted by young people in New York City’s foster care system, Know How presents dramatic stories ripped from their own life experiences. Five characters’ worlds intersect as they confront loss, heartbreak, adulthood, and bureaucracy in this tale about transience and perseverance.

Addie lives with her Aunt Janet in what's known as "kinship" care; her biological parent is unfit to care for her. Addie's closest friends are from her block: Juice, a drug dealer, and Marie, a girl on the verge of spiraling out of control.

Marie's grandmother has been in the hospital for months now and the prognosis is bleak. Her boyfriend Trey takes care of her as best he can, but both of them are struggling in the foster system.

When the Administration for Children’s services (ACS) finds out that Megan’s been physically and sexually abused they remove her from her family. Separated from her sister Kayla, she’s placed in a treatment facility that is anything but safe.

Eva only has one more year of school, and yet her sister Desi cannot seem to find the time to attend classes. When ACS discovers their father’s crack addiction, the family is torn apart. 

Austin and his brother James have been living on the street- hungry for a good meal. Desperate, they resort to petty crimes to survive, but soon find themselves embroiled in a turf war that’s bigger than they are.

Know How captures the reality of life in foster care from the point of view of those living in it. It's not a documentary nor is it fiction. It’s a hybrid approach for using film to create social change. Instead of professional screenwriters and actors, these true stories are written and performed by a cast of ordinary foster care youth, and their performances are powerful, moving, and eye-opening. KNOW HOW is also a musical that brings authentic voices and unseen stories to the screen, and emerged from the efforts of The Possibility Project, a non-profit organization in NYC that brings teenagers together to transform the negative forces in their lives into positive action through projects like this one.

Why make a film by young people in foster care? Because the system doesn’t work and the human cost of its dysfunction is too great to ignore. Consider this: a few years after aging out of foster care, only 50% of young people will complete high school or a GED, 60% will be convicted of a crime, 75% will receive public assistance, and only 6% will complete a college degree. The system needs to change.

Download the Know How Discusssion Guide


"A great film has the power to open one's eyes to the intricacies of society and the physical world in which we all collectively dwell. It can inspire reflection, contemplation and at times, even personal action. Know How does all that, with a twist." - Megan Friend, RYOT News and Action

"A groundbreaking achievement." - Georgette Todd, The Chronicle of Social Change