Poor Kids

Kaylie, 10, outside her family’s motel room.

With True Vision Productions, based in London, Lauren served as producer on this hour-long documentary about growing up poor in America in the current economic downturn. Starting in November 2011, she and award-winning director Jezza Neumann traveled across America meeting children and their families living below the poverty line as a result of the Great Recession. The producers ended up spending eight months filming in the Quad Cities in the midwest, and in San Francisco’s Tenderloin community, selecting four kids to share their stories.

Johnny, 13, at the homeless shelter where his family lives.
Johnny, 13, at the homeless shelter where his family lives.

Commissioned by PBS Frontline and BBC Two This World, the film was broadcast in the US as “Poor Kids” in November 2012, and in the UK a slightly different edit called “America’s Poor Kids” aired in March 2013. A third iteration is a three-part radio series, “Child Poverty in the U.S.”, broadcasting worldwide for BBC World News’ Outlook in early February 2014.

“Poor Kids” was critically acclaimed in The Guardian, Time Out London, The Times and The Independent. Viewer response was very positive, with many people wanting to know how they could help the families. The film was nominated for a News & Documentary Emmy Award, it won the 2013 RFK Journalism Award and it broke records on Frontline’s Facebook page.

Producer Lauren Mucciolo and Director Jezza Neumann in production at a mobile food bank in Moline, IL.

“Engaging, thought-provoking television”
Emma Gosnell – The Telegraph

“Jezza Neumann painted a picture of America in its worst depression since the Thirties using the finest of brushes”
Andrew Billen – The Times

“The film was a tender curation and display of all the customarily unseen – or customarily ignored, at least by the people in whose power it lies to change things – ramifications of poverty. ”
Lucy Mangan – The Guardian

“With child poverty in the US hitting record levels this documentary provides a startling view of the crisis”
Daily Mail


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