World Peace Film Festival SelectionRichmond International Film FestivalSXSW EDUHebden Bridge Film Festival


SEATS AT THE TABLE – long trailer

Seats at the Table is a feature documentary film that depicts a unique college class which brings together university students with residents of a maximum-security juvenile correctional center through the study of Russian literature. These student-to-student interactions become the catalyst for creating powerful relationships that break down the initial stereotypes they have as they begin this class. Both groups of students come away transformed by this singular educational experience, empowered to pursue lives of greater purpose and inspired by the discovery of their shared humanity.

University of Virginia Lecturer Andrew D. Kaufman founded the course Books Behind Bars: Life, Literature and Leadership in 2009. Having spent years with John Hunter, the subject of my documentary World Peace and other 4th-Grade Achievements, I was once again truly moved by another example of the unlimited potential that arises from the relationship between a masterful and compassionate teacher and his engaged students when I first observed Kaufman’s class. Seats at the Table presents another remarkable example of the importance of experiential learning. My hope is that this film will truly inspire and teach others to consider replicating this example as a model for their own communities.

For more information about Books Behind Bars please visit:

Financial donations for this project are tax-deductible.

Fundraising is being conducted to cover the costs of creating this film and sharing it with the wider world. All contributions would be most appreciated.

Photo by Will May
Photo by Will May
Photo by Will May


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