Short Version Directed By: OVO
Edited By: Ari Vena and Hillevi Loven
Feature Version Directed & Produced By: Ari Vena, Chris Talbott & Ian Rosenberg
On Prom night in Racine rowdy parades from all 7 high schools converge towards an all-night city-wide mixer while battling for the most outrageous mode of transportation: trolleys, hydraulics, fire trucks, the back of an elephant. A decades long tradition, local TV broadcasts with commentary while students walk a red carpet entrance to approving screams from bleachers filled to capacity; a teen’s Academy Award dream come true.
Intimate portraits of two girls, one African-American and one white, preparing for this epic prom and (yes) for adulthood. Excited and anxious about their futures, eager to celebrate their high school success, these teens, their family and friends provide a vivid portrait of a proud beleaguered post-industrial city that must reinvent itself for the sake of its teens. The short documentary's fast-paced treatment of flashy entrances and prom-day Cinderella transformations earned it the Best Documentary award at the Wisconsin Film Festival, and a wide spectrum of national coverage ranging from ABC News Now to Entertainment Weekly. It also inspired Act 4 of the beloved “Prom” podcast by NPR’s This American Life.
“The World’s Best Prom captures adolescent insight with wit and compassion. In cheddar’s heartland, you might expect this full-on embrace of cheese, but you’ll be surprised to find yourself cheering along.”