ACLU campaign to present 3 animated short films on mass incarceration at Sundance Film Festival

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.


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