ACLU’s Campaign for Smart Justice to Present Three Animated Short Films on Mass Incarceration at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival

January 17, 2018 2:30 pm

Media Contact
125 Broad Street
18th Floor
New York, NY 10004
United States

PARK CITY, Utah — On January 20 at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, the American Civil Liberties Union’s Campaign for Smart Justice will present the premiere of three animated short films telling first-hand stories of three people who have been incarcerated: Lavette Mayes, Jason Hernandez, and Johnny Perez.

This is the first time that the ACLU has screened original content at the Sundance Film Festival.

The films depict the costly impact of imprisonment and the way in which they traumatize incarcerated people, their families, and communities. Mayes, Hernandez, and Perez’s firsthand accounts reveal how cash bail and extreme sentencing trap many people in jails and prisons for too long, and expose the barriers to education, employment, basic rights, and reentry that formerly incarcerated people face.

“Lavette, Jason, and Johnny know all too well the disastrous and life-changing impact of incarceration. Their experiences mirror those of millions of people across the country who are targeted and victimized by our broken criminal justice system,” said Udi Ofer, director of the Campaign for Smart Justice at the ACLU. “We are marking the one year anniversary of the inauguration of Donald Trump, and the resistance that it has launched, by partnering with Sundance to lift up stories of Americans who face injustices due to government policies. Ending mass incarceration is about reckoning with the damage it has done to millions of people, particularly families living in underserved communities across the country.”

The premiere will be followed by a discussion with Mayes, Hernandez, and Perez about their journeys and the devastating effects of mass incarceration.

About The ACLU Campaign for Smart Justice:
The ACLU Campaign for Smart Justice is an unprecedented, multiyear effort to reduce the U.S. jail and prison population by 50 percent and to combat racial disparities in the criminal justice system. We are working in all 50 states for reforms to usher in a new era of justice in America. The ACLU Campaign for Smart Justice is fighting in the legislatures, the courts, and in the streets to end mass incarceration.

About Sundance Institute:
Founded in 1981 by Robert Redford, Sundance Institute is a nonprofit organization that provides and preserves the space for artists in film, theatre, and new media to create and thrive. The Institute's signature Labs, granting, and mentorship programs, dedicated to developing new work, take place throughout the year in the U.S. and internationally. The Sundance Film Festival and other public programs connect audiences to artists in igniting new ideas, discovering original voices, and building a community dedicated to independent storytelling. Sundance Institute has supported such projects as Boyhood, Swiss Army Man, Manchester By the Sea, Brooklyn, Little Miss Sunshine, Life, Animated, Sonita, 20 Feet From Stardom, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Fruitvale Station, Sin Nombre, The Invisible War, The Square, Dirty Wars, Spring Awakening, A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder and Fun Home. Join Sundance Institute on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

Sign up to be the first to hear about how to take action.