Director Peter Nicks’s HOMEROOM, which was executive produced by Ryan Coogler, landed in select theaters and on Hulu today, Aug. 12th.
HOMEROOM chronicles the unprecedented senior year of Oakland High School’s Class of 2020. The stirring documentary is the final chapter of Nicks’s THE OAKLAND TRILOGY, with 2012’s THE WAITING ROOM focusing on health care and 2017’s THE FORCE chronicling criminal justice in the Bay Area city. In addition to confronting anxiety over test scores and college applications, the seniors of HOMEROOM are also dealing with the uncertainty of their futures brought on by the then-developing pandemic, against the backdrop of nationwide protests against systemic racism and anti-immigration policies. To further complicate a school year that is usually considered exciting and hopeful, Denilson Garibo and other members of the student council are trying to eliminate the Oakland School Police Department, so the millions of dollars in funding can be allocated to programs they need and want.
Nicks employs the cinéma vérité style to capture the story of HOMEROOM, which was a Sundance Official Selection. There are no interviews with the students. Instead, Nicks uses candid footage of the students in their element, in their world. The viewer definitely feels like a fly on the wall with the privilege to observe. HOMEROOM almost feels like an hour and a half-long Instagram Story with a central theme, but instead of being a day-in-the-life, it’s a year-in-the-lives of several young people primed to step into adulthood.
Nicks also produced HOMEROOM, along with Sean Havey. It is a Concordia Studio, Open’hood production, in association with XTR and Proximity Media. Additional executive producers include Laurene Powell Jobs, Davis Guggenheim, Nicole Stott, Jonathan Silberberg, Jen Rainin, Tony Hsieh, Bryn Mooser, and Kathryn Everett.
Watch Nicks and Coogler go behind-the-scenes in the video below.