Thu, 09/27/2012 - 7:00pm

Pictured: Sharifea strikes a defiant pose standing outside of school.

Credit: Jillian Elizabeth

An inside look at the first year of a South Bronx Public High School.

INDEPENDENT LENS Whatever It Takes airs Thursday, September 27 at 7 p.m. on WXXI World (DT21.2/cable 524).

This film chronicles the struggles and triumphs of the first year of the Bronx Center for Science & Mathematics, an innovative public high school in New York City’s South Bronx. This deeply emotional, character-driven documentary focuses on the school’s dynamic rookie principal and a spunky ninth-grade girl with big dreams but even bigger obstacles.

The personal stories of the school’s students and staff call to mind larger themes of school reform and the need for educators, parents and policy makers to prioritize the transformation of the public school system so that all children can receive a quality education. Grittily realistic, yet ultimately triumphant, “Whatever It Takes” paints a compelling picture of cutting-edge ideas and dedicated individuals, united in their vision to restore hope to a broken community. By Christopher Wong.

Encompassing the full spectrum of film — from history to drama to animation to shorts to social-issue films — this anthology series allows audiences greater access to powerful and innovative programs united by the creative freedom, artistic achievement and unflinching visions of their independent producers. Maggie Gyllenhaal hosts.