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A Newark, N.J. public high school teacher races against the clock to find a place in the world for her students with autism before they graduate and "age out" of a unique and caring support system.

Additional Video

Hear what the inspiring teacher of Best Kept Secret has to say about autism and "aging out" of the education system.

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The graduating students at JFK in Newark, NJ celebrate their send off with prom.

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Janet visits with Linda to see how Robert is doing at home.

Filmmaker Interviews

The filmmakers of Best Kept Secret discuss autism and the issues facing families dealing with the "aging out" process.

Classroom Clips

Janet Mino's class graduates from JFK High School.

Classroom Clips

Erik begins working at Burger King.

Classroom Clips

Erik's birth mother comes to visit his class at JFK High School.

Classroom Clips

Janet Mino teaches her students using "The Talk Box."

Classroom Clips

Janet Mino and Erik's parents discuss his plan after graduation.

Classroom Clips

Meet Erik and his sponsor parents.

Classroom Clips

Quran learns to ask for his coat.

Classroom Clips

An introduction to John F. Kennedy High School, teacher Janet Mino and her students.

  • Updated on June 26, 2014

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Film Information

Best Kept Secret (90 min.)

Premiere Date: September 23, 2013

Streaming Dates: Expired

Photos: Download Here

Trailer: Link | Embed

Filmmaker: Samantha Buck Bio | Interview | Statement

Press: Press Release | Fact Sheet | Critical Acclaim

Filmmaker

Samantha Buck
Samantha Buck
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Film Update

Critical Acclaim

The film’s director, Samantha Buck, demonstrates a sensitivity comparable to that of Frederick Wiseman. . . . Best Kept Secret is an exemplary documentary: It spotlights an important issue yet never seeks to squeeze the truth into an easily digestible narrative frame. Instead it expands its storytelling to the boundaries of messy, joyful and painful reality. NYT Critics’ Pick. ”

— Miriam Bale New York Times

Some secrets aren’t meant to be kept. . . . Samantha Buck’s documentary smartly sits back and watches as Mino works away. Apart from a few, briskly factual titles, there are no editorial intrusions here—no yammering experts, no pontificating activists, no sappy sentimental music. Just these kids, and the people who love them. . . . A haunting film. .”

— Steve WhittyThe Star-Ledger

As Samantha Buck’s moving documentary makes clear, the secret weapon at the public school for special-needs students is Janet Mino, an inspirational teacher with limitless patience and indefatigable enthusiasm. . . . [The film] inserts the viewer into the overwhelming experience of teaching, parenting, even being an underprivileged young adult with autism. ”

.— Annlee EllingsonLos Angeles Times

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