Films

[Still of woman silhouetted standing in front of windows with barbed wire in the background. Name withheld by the Department of Corrections]

This August, the new series of shorts will premier in three virtual film screenings:

August 2020 Life Cycles Toward Freedom Calendar of Events

There will be live closed captioning at all the events.

  • August 11: Tuesday – 7 – 8:30 pm Virtual Film Screening Premier
    • This evening’s special guest is musician BL Shirelle. BL Shirelle knows many of the women featured in the films and is the Deputy Director of Die Jim Crow Records a non profit record label for currently and formerly incarcerated people. BL will be performing a couple songs from the recently released album – Assata Twoi.
    • Register Here for August 11th
  • August 18: Tuesday 7 – 8:30pm Virtual Film Screening
    • Special Guests: Naomi Blount is the 2nd woman to receive commutation in the state of PA in 30 years. (Invited Lt. Gov. John Fetterman and Brandon Flood)
    • Register Here for August 18th
  • August 25: Tuesday – 7 – 8:30pm Virtual Film Screening
    • Special Guests: Stanley Mitchell who was released 7 years ago under the 2012 “Unger” Ruling. We will hear how the state of Maryland managed a mass release of aging prisoners.
    • Additional Screening: The Ungers: A Matter of Time 10 minutes
    • Register Here for August 25th

Each film screening will showcase the latest series of short films produced by Tusko Films, which features currently incarcerated and formerly incarcerated women and includes footage from inside the two women’s prisons in PA, SCI Muncy and SCI Cambridge Springs.

The film entitled Pennsylvania’s Commutation Process:  Naomi Blount’s Experience takes you through one woman’s journey of the lengthy and laborious steps of achieving freedom from a life sentence. Naomi Blount was the second woman to receive commutation in the last 30 years and has been home for one year. Lt. Governor John Fetterman, a leader in PA’s commutation reform, is also featured in this film. 

We Are More Than Our Worst Day, a 12 minute short, radiates resilience and the power to change that is widespread amongst people with death by incarceration sentences. This poignant vignette features the transformative journeys of Tequilla Fields and Tameka Flowers who are both seeking commutation.

You Deserve Better Than Prison: Messages to Youth from Women Serving Life (4 minutes) was the idea of Avis Lee who is currently awaiting a public hearing that will decide her freedom. The desire to protect young people from similar paths is echoed throughout PA prisons and this piece showcases many voices, including family members and formerly incarcerated women who were sentenced to die as young people. 

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