Whatever It Takes

Independent Feature Documentary - Producer/Editor

WHATEVER IT TAKES won a Sundance Documentary Fund and was on PBS' renowned Independent Lens series. The film chronicles the struggles and triumphs of the very first year of the Bronx Center for Science & Mathematics, an innovative public high school set in NYC’s South Bronx. This deeply emotional, character-driven documentary focuses on Edward Tom, the school’s dynamic rookie principal, and Sharifea Baskerville, a talented but troubled ninth-grade girl.

Sharifea's Story

The word “resilient” doesn’t begin to describe Sharifea. Her mother, a recovering drug addict suffering from hepatitis, places Sharifea as the primary caregiver of her two younger siblings-waking them every morning, preparing their meals, checking on their homework, etc. Nevertheless, Sharifea remains cheerful throughout, and impresses teachers with her dynamic presence and hard work. Midway through the year, however, Sharifea receives failing marks in every class. At a crossroads in her young life, Sharifea has two choices: risk repeating the same life of her mother, or grab hold of her dreams of attending college.