Greg Whiteley of 'Last Chance U' on 'Cheer' and his empathetic approach to documentary filmmaking

Greg Whiteley’s forthcoming Netflix docuseries, Cheer, follows Texas’s Navarro Community College cheerleading team on its journey to the National Cheerleading Association’s Championship in Daytona Beach, Florida — and it’s a worthy follow-up to his Netflix hit Last Chance U.

Before his Netflix boom, Whiteley created the eye-opening documentaries Resolved (2007) and Most Likely to Succeed (2015), which both examine facets of the United States education systemLast Chance U (2016-present) and Cheer (2020) pivot outside the classroom, showcasing extreme sports and the empowering aspects of community college athletic programs. However, as he and I discussed in a phone call last week, Whiteley doesn’t necessarily see his repertoire as an exploration of connected themes. Read more…

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