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January 1, 2010

Louisiana Public Broadcasting to air ULM student-produced documentary

“Stay Brady Stay” – a documentary produced by Social Science Research Lab students at the University of Louisiana at Monroe – will air twice in January on Louisiana Public Broadcasting stations.

Stay Brady Stay will air on LPB1 at 9:30 p.m., Jan. 10, and again on LPB2 at 7 p.m., Jan. 16, according to Professor John Sutherlin, the film’s writer/director.

A service-learning grant from the University of Louisiana System financed the film, which tells of the potential consequences of Louisiana’s "brain drain” as seen through the eyes of a former ULM student, Brady Middleton, who struggles over whether to stay in Louisiana following graduation.

"The involvement of LPB was a major indicator that we had produced a quality film," said Sutherlin, adding, “The statewide airing on LPB will be another step in the process of discussing the issue of 'brain drain' more and responding to this challenge that we all face.”

LPB and the ULM's SSRL have agreed to a three-year airing. Distribution of the film now includes more than 27 states.

Sutherlin said when Louisiana loses its college-educated residents to states that address quality of life issues it loses residents equipped with the skills necessary for global competitiveness and a tax base that boosts further economic development.

“Louisiana cannot afford to lose another young person because of limited opportunities here,” said Sutherlin. “We have to build a community where anyone can succeed."

Sutherlin and his student crew obtained footage of many revitalized downtown areas outside Louisiana for their film, especially college towns that have made significant strides in attracting college-educated youth to their region.

Professor Joseph McGahan, co-director of the film, said revitalization starts with community partnerships, where teams identify and prioritize cultural issues that can influence quality of life and economic development.

The documentary has been entered into a number of film festivals around the country as well, according to Sutherlin.

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