(Full Frame International Film Festival, San Francisco International Film Festival, Sundance Lab, GoodPitch)
"I was in prison before I was even born.” So begins the story of Victor Rios - a high school dropout, gang member, and three time felon by 15. But when a teacher’s quiet persistence, a mentor’s moral conviction, and his best friend’s murder converge, Rios’ path takes an unlikely turn. Two decades later Rios - by then a 36 year-old tenured UC professor, author and national thought leader on the school-to-prison pipeline - gets a call. “Hey Hotshot.” It’s Martín Flores, Rios’ high school mentor, who he hasn’t heard from in 15 years. “I know you’re busy, but I need you to come down to Watts this summer and work with my kids.” It's a make it or break it moment for these youth, Flores - who directs a program serving 16 to 24 olds who haven’t finished high school - warns. “We get them on the right path now, or we lose them to the system.”
FRONTLINE and the Investigative Reporting Program at U.C. Berkeley tell the inside story of Guatemalan teens forced to work against their will on an egg farm in Ohio. This investigation about labor trafficking exposes a criminal network that exploited undocumented minors, companies profiting from forced labor and the U.S. government’s role. The documentary is from the producers of “Rape in the Fields“and “Rape on the Night Shift“– award-winning investigations about sexual abuse in the agricultural and janitorial industries.
Impact Campaign Coordinator
(TriBeca Audience Award, San Francisco International Film Festival, POV)
In 2012, California amended its “Three Strikes” law—one of the harshest criminal sentencing policies in the country. The passage of Prop. 36 marked the first time in U.S. history that citizens voted to shorten sentences of those currently incarcerated. Within days, the reintegration of thousands of “lifers” was underway. THE RETURN examines this unprecedented reform through the eyes of those on the front lines—prisoners suddenly freed, families turned upside down, reentry providers helping navigate complex transitions, and attorneys and judges wrestling with an untested law. At a moment of reckoning on mass incarceration, what can California’s experiment teach the nation?