Film Discussion/Preview: The Return

February 24, 2014

The Return

Will the unprecedented release of thousands of lifers lead a nation to rethink mass incarceration?

Come join the conversation with filmmakers Katie Galloway and Kelly Duane de la Vega

The New Parkway Theater Theater #2 474 24th St. Oakland Monday February 24th, 6:00-7:00pm Drinks and light dinner will be served

FILM SYNOPSIS: In 2012 California voters amended the state’s Three Strikes Law, one of the harshest criminal sentencing laws in the nation. The landmark passage of Proposition 36 constituted the first time in history that U.S. citizens voted to shorten sentences of the currently incarcerated. Within days, the reintegration of thousands of “lifers”­ men and women once destined to perish in prison ­ was underway. THE RETURN weaves together a handful of close to the bone narratives of characters on the front lines of this unprecedented shift: prisoners suddenly freed, families turned upside down, attorneys and judges wrestling with an untested law and reentry providers negotiating unfathomable transitions. Taken together, this constellation of stories yields an illuminating meta­narrative of an unfolding and historic reform, embarking on what many hope is a harbinger of a national turn away from mass incarceration.

FILMMAKER BIOS: Kelly Duane de la Vega and Katie Galloway are recent Sundance Fellows, Film Independent/HBO Fellows and recipients of the 2012 Writer’s Guild of America’s Best Documentary Screenplay Award for their last film BETTER THIS WORLD, which looked at the post 911 domestic terrorism apparatus through the case of two young men accused of terrorism and their mentor: a charismatic activist and FBI informant. BETTER THIS WORLD also won Gotham Independent Film's Best Documentary Award, three National Emmy nominations and Best Documentary at San Francisco International Film Festival. Together they head Loteria Films, a company known for producing intimate, emotionally powerful work that brings attention to pressing political and social issues and motivates deep audience engagement. Galloway and Duane de la Vega have directed, produced and written multiple theatrically released and nationally broadcast documentaries and series for POV, Frontline, IFC and the Discovery Channel and others. They teach the course Documentary Forms at UC Berkeley.