An uplifting documentary about an Irish teacher who uses Plato’s teachings to defuse violence among his young pupils is set to be adapted into a feature film by The Bureau, the producers of “Supernova.”
Directed by Neasa Ní Chianáin (“School Life”) and Declan McGrath and produced by David Rane for Soilsiú Films, “Young Plato” was recently released in U.S. cinemas following a major 40-festival run.
The film has won nine Irish and international awards, including the George Morrison Feature Documentary Award at the Irish Film and Television Academy (IFTA) Awards, the ICCL Human Rights on Film Award, the Special Jury Award at the Thessaloniki Film Festival, and an Honorable Mention at Greenwich IFF.
Set in the post-conflict Belfast community of Ardoyne, “Young Plato” charts the dream of Elvis-loving principal Kevin McArevey — a maverick who is determined to change the fortunes of an inner-city community plagued by urban decay and the scars of sectarian violence.
McArevey and his team send their young wards home each day armed with the wisdom of the ancient Greek philosophers, illustrating how critical thinking and pastoral care can empower children to question the mythologies of war and of violence and challenge the narratives of their community.
The feature adaptation of the doc will be produced by The Bureau’s Tristan Goligher.
“‘Young Plato’ tells the story of a remarkable individual not afraid to go against the grain in order to help those in his community. It’s an all too rare, and inspiring, story about courage and selflessness,” said Goligher.
Soilsiú Film’s David Rane added: “There has never been a more important time for a film like ‘Young Plato,’ as it challenges all of us, through these young boys, to find alternatives to violence. It’s an optimistic, hopeful film in these difficult times, so we are delighted that The Bureau have taken on this project to bring Kevin McArevey’s story to a wider cinema audience.”
“Young Plato” is distributed internationally by Autlook Filmsales.
Founded in 2000, The Bureau’s recent credits include Harry Wootliff ’s “True Things,” starring Ruth Wilson and Tom Burke; Harry Macqueen’s “Supernova,” starring Colin Firth and Stanley Tucci; and Aleem Khan’s “After Love” which was selected for Cannes, Toronto and Telluride in 2021 and won the BAFTA for best actress earlier this year.
Check out a trailer for “Young Plato” below: