Bulletproof takes a provocative look at fear, violence, and what it means to be safe in the classroom in the age of mass shootings.

figurine children doing a lockdown drill in a classroom
Independent Lens
Premiere Date
February 14, 2022
90 minutes
Funding Initiative
Open Call
filmmaker Todd Chandler

Todd Chandler

Todd Chandler is an educator and filmmaker. He has taught in high schools and universities for over fifteen years and currently teaches in the Film Department at Brooklyn College. His filmmaking practice includes issue-based documentary and non-fiction. He has worked in schools, and with community based organizations to create videos about pressing Show more contemporary issues. He was the lead editor and a human rights video advocacy trainer at WITNESS. His work has been featured at the Hammer Museum, Brooklyn Museum, Mass MoCA, Torino Film Festial, New Orleans Film Festival, True/False, and the Camden International Film Festival. His films have been supported by the Sundance Institute, Jerome Foundation, New York Foundation for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, the Wexner Center for the Arts, and the Corporation of Yaddo. He is a 2017-2018 Points North Fellow. Show less

Headshot of Danielle Varga

Danielle Varga

Danielle Varga is a nonfiction producer. She most recently produced Bulletproof directed by Todd Chandler, who won the Hot Docs Award for Best Emerging International Filmmaker. She produced Brett Story’s critically acclaimed documentary The Hottest August and co-produced Kirsten Johnson's award-winning and Oscar-shortlisted film Cameraperson.

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The Film

Bulletproof explores the complexities of violence in schools by looking at the ways in which we try to prevent it. The film travels across the United States, observing the age-old traditions that take place daily in and around American schools: homecoming parades, basketball practice, morning announcements, and math class. Unfolding alongside these scenes are an array of newer rituals: lockdown drills, teacher firearms training, metal detector inspections, and school safety trade shows selling state-of-the-art products. Bulletproof weaves together these moments in a cinematic meditation on fear, violence, and the meaning of safety, introducing viewers to the industry self-tasked with protecting the nation's children while generating revenue along the way, as well as with those most deeply impacted by these heightened security measures: students and teachers.