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“The Prison in Twelve Landscapes” with Filmmaker Brett Story

June 10, 2017 @ 7:00 pm 10:00 pm EDT

More people are imprisoned in the United States at this moment than in any other time or place in history. The Prison in Twelve Landscapes unfolds as a cinematic journey through a series of prison landscapes. The film screening will feature introductions from local prison justice advocates.

  • Capital Area Against Mass Incarceration–Taina Asili & Arts and Action Committee poem
  • Prison Action Network  Judith Brink
    NY State Prisoner Justice Network/
  • BLOCK program– Diamond Owens poem
  • Parole Justice NY — Naomi Jaffe
  • Parole Justice Committee of Capital Area Against Mass Incarceration and Campaign for Alternatives to Isolated Confinement (CAIC)– Alicia Barraza and Doug VanZandt
  • and others

Co-sponsored by iEAR Presents!

A multi-ethnic group of people pose around a large sign printed with "End Mass Incarceration!" in bold letters. They have their arms interlinked.


Brett Story is a writer and independent non-fiction filmmaker based out of Toronto and New York. Her films have screened at True/False, Oberhausen, Hot Docs, the Viennale, and Dok Leipzig, among other festivals. Her first feature-length film, the award-winning Land of Destiny (2010), screened internationally and was broadcast on both Canadian and American television. Her second feature documentary, The Prison in Twelve Landscapes (2016) was awarded the Special Jury Prize for Canadian Feature Documentary at Hot Docs, the Prize for Best Canadian Documentary at the DOXA Documentary Festival, and a Special Jury Mention at the Camden International Film Festival. The film will be broadcast on PBS’s Independent Lens in 2017. Her journalism and film criticism have appeared in such outlets as CBC Radio and The Nation magazine, and she is currently completing a book manuscript for the University of California Press titled The Prison out of Place. Brett holds a PhD in geography from the University of Toronto and is currently a postdoctoral research fellow at the Center for Place, Culture and Politics at the City University of New York Graduate Center. She was the recipient of the Documentary Organization of Canada Institute’s 2014 New Visions Award and the 2016 Governor General’s Gold Medal from the University of Toronto for academic excellence. Brett is a 2016-2017 Sundance Institute Art of Nonfiction Fellow.

“I have worked with prisoners and on criminal justice issues, in Canada and the USA, for over a decade as an activist, journalist, artist and academic. I have long thought about how such coercive structures have come to be so normalized within our social landscapes. No country in the world has a prison population as vast as the United States’, and yet for many people imagining a world with fewer prisons feels like an impossible task. As a filmmaker with a geographer’s eye, I spend a lot of time considering the relationship between where we are, what we see, and how we think. While films that bring us inside penitentiaries to convey the humanity of those incarcerated can have important stories to tell, I can’t help but feel the limitations of a cinema whose highest aspiration is simply that of evoking sympathy. I want the imagery to do more, and wonder if seeing prisons differently might be key to thinking about prisons differently.”

“Unexpectedly moving… an unsettling mural of systemic damage.” NY Times (CRITICS’ PICK)

“Story’s film illuminates a void” — The Village Voice

“The film we need in the present moment of the carceral state.” — Judah Schept, Antipode

Winner: Special Jury Prize – Canadian Feature Documentary, Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival

Winner: The Colin Low Award for Canadian Documentary, DOXA Documentary Film Festival

We are committed to lowering the barriers to access for events at The Sanctuary for Independent Media. For people who are hard of hearing or deaf, blind or low-vision, or whose physical limitations can interfere with a satisfying experience, let us know two weeks in advance so we can make appropriate arrangements.

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