My So-Called High School Rank
Dartmouth Alumnae Film Series

My So-Called High School Rank

with filmmakers Ricki Stern '87 & Annie Sundberg '90 in person
April 21, 2023

This event occurred as part of the 22/23 Hop Film Event season. This is an archived view.

The pressures of the college-admissions process are channeled into song, dance and catharsis in this timely documentary.

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My So-Called High School Rank | Official Trailer | HBO


Sensing that the already competitive college admissions process was only getting worse, students in Sacramento, California, decided to channel their anxiety and rage into creating a new musical called Ranked. In an uncanny case of art anticipating life, the musical was in the works weeks before Rick Singer and the "Varsity Blues" scandal made headlines in 2019, and the play's apt timing and subject matter speak to a culture where many students feel driven to succeed at any cost.

My So-Called High School Rank goes deep into the lives of high school students in three radically disparate communities as they navigate the pressures around college while staging a musical, until seismic events upend their dreams and expectations. Every student and parent who has been through this trial by fire—or is nervously anticipating it—will relate to the self-doubt and pride, cynicism and hope expressed by the young people in this film. 

A discussion with the directors follows the screening

D: Ricki Stern '87 & Annie Sundberg '90, US, 2022, 1h41m

Part of the Dartmouth Alumnae Film Series

Directors and writers Ricki Stern '87 and Annie Sundberg '90 are the leading creative forces behind Break Thru Films and are known for crafting deft and cinematic journeys through unexpected territory. Each project tracks new landscape—from criminal injustice, to Darfur, to stand up comedy and celebrity culture—but all are centered on unforgettable people and remarkable experiences. My So-Called High School Rank is their latest work, coming on the heels of their 2018 Netflix documentary Reversing Roe.

“Hits unexpected high notes in tracking a musical about the stresses facing high school seniors as they look to life after.”

Stephen Saito, Moveable Feast
Dartmouth Alumnae Film Series
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Kicking off the three-part series, prolific, Norwich-based filmmaker Nora Jacobson '74 will be in attendance with collaborator and poet Bianca Stone for a post-screening discussion of the lyrical...

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