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Know How
A film by Juan Carlos Pineiro Escoriaza

106 minutes, fiction, color, 2014

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A film written and acted by foster care youth, ripped from the stories of their lives. Five youths' worlds interweave as they deal with loss, heartbreak, and coming of age in this tale about transience and perseverance.

Addie struggles to graduate from high school, while her best friend Marie loses her grandmother. Megan copes with being taken from her abusive family and faces the harsh reality of living in a residential treatment center. Eva works to be mother to her sister while their father falls deeper into a crack addiction. Finally, there's Austin, who's living on the street with his brother, barely able to feed himself. All of them must struggle to survive or else fall victim to a broken system.

Watch the Trailer


"'Know How' tours the mean streets of a rough urban adolescence rarely acknowledged... a robust, youthful call to be seen, heard and appreciated- to be a little less invisible." - The New York Times

"This could be 'Rent' for a new generation. The myriad social issues have been properly contextualized into a powerful big picture. The novice actors, who co-wrote the story and all grew up in foster care, are impressively natural and convincing, while Juan Carlos Pineiro Escoriaza's direction and editing are effectively gritty. An immense achievement." - LA Times

"A groundbreaking achievement: a heart-breaking musical, written and performed by a cast of current and former foster youth who give an electrifying performance under the guidance of a supremely talented director." - The Chronicle of Social Change

"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." - RYOT

"It really blew me away. If I didn't tell you that this movie was written by foster youth, you'd have no idea. If I didn't tell you that the principle players in this movie were actors pulled right from the foster care system, you'd have no clue. That's the beauty of Know How. It manages to be gritty and raw while being aesthetically gorgeous." - Foster Focus Magazine

"Using a hybrid narrative and documentary approach to filmmaking, the stories the film tells are based on real life events, and are written and performed by real foster care youth, giving the film a necessary realism." - Indiewire

"Ambitious, involving, and heartbreaking. The stuff of poetry." - WAMC Radio



Behind the scenes of 'Know How,' the film that gives a new face to foster youth- TODAY, 5/14/15

Disc Features

●  Bonus Musical Scenes
●  Deleted & Extended Scenes
●  Short: "Gilbert's Possibility Project"
●  Resources

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