A film by Peggy Stern

1986 | 58 minutes | Color/BW | 16mm/DVD | Order No. 99308


Following the filmmaker's teenage neighbor through six pivotal years of her life, Stephanie documents her dreams and disappointments through adolescence. Bright and inquisitive, Stephanie becomes disaffected with high school and the narrow options available to her and ultimately fails to graduate. This award-winning film profiles a typical teenager while pointing to broader issues of socialization, sex-role stereotyping and self esteem for young women.


"Excellent for education, guidance counseling, sociology and psychology courses."


"Funny, fascinating and never just sentimental-28 Up with a Boston honk."

Village Voice


  • American Film Festival, Finalist
  • London Film Festival
  • Margaret Mead Film Festival


Peggy Stern

A Harvard graduate, Peggy has a particular interest in education and childhood development, informed by her own lifelong experience as a dyslexic. This has led her to create Dyslexiaville, an innovative Web-based forum, now in development, for young and adult dyslexics, parents, teachers and advocates. This interactive community will offer the latest resources for learning about and treating dyslexia.

Even in her early works, Peggy recognized the potential of animation to express deeper meanings within the framework of the documentary film. For two decades she has had a successful collaboration with animator John Canemaker, beginning with Galaxy Classroom, a documentary about one of the first interactive learning programs for schools.

In 2005, Stern and Canemaker won Academy Awards for The Moon and the Son: An Imagined Conversation, a 28-minute animated short based on Canemaker’s own life and that of his Italian immigrant father. Canemaker later designed and directed animation sequences for Stern’s Turner Classic Movies documentary, Chuck Jones: Memories of Childhood, and has designed animation for Dyslexiaville.

Her other work includes Jim Dine: Childhood Memories; Stubborn Hope, a portrait of a South African poet in exile; Silver Valley, a feature film on the closing of a silver mine and its effects on one family in Idaho, and Debut, a one-hour documentary exploring life of a young classical musician. Peggy’s films have been shown on U.S. and international television and have won honors at festivals around the world, including the Cine Golden Eagle, a Golden Hugo and the National Geographic Earthwatch Film Award.

Peggy is currently filming a feature-length documentary about an innovative palliative care unit at New York City's Mount Sinai Hospital. She is also developing a sequel to Stephanie and working to bring Dyslexiaville to reality on the Web. (8/14)

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