THE FARM: 10 DOWN TO PREMIERE AT ANGOLA PRISON ON JUNE 3, 2009
The sequel to “THE FARM: LIFE INSIDE ANGOLA PRISON”, Academy nominated and Emmy winning documentary, will also be broadcast on the National Geographic Channel, Tuesday, June 16th 8:00 p.m. EST under the title, “A DECADE BEHIND BARS: RETURN TO THE FARM”.
Two former inmates featured in THE FARM will return to Angola for this “red carpet premiere” and participate with inmates in a Q&A with two time Academy nominated filmmaker Jonathan Stack and Warden Burl Cain.
NEW YORK, NY (May, 27, 2009) – In 1997, the documentary THE FARM: LIFE INSIDE ANGOLA PRISON reached an enormous and receptive audience and garnered many of cinema’s top awards, including the Sundance Grand Jury Prize, the LA Film Critic’s Award, the New York Film Critic’s Award, an Academy Award nomination for Best Documentary, 2 Emmys and 4 Emmy nominations.
Now, Jonathan Stack and his company, Highest Common Denominator Media Group, bring us a powerful new documentary that reconnects with the surviving characters to witness first hand the impact of THE FARM and the intervening decade on their spirits and their sense of purpose. The film also chronicles profound changes at Angola Prison, once known as “the bloodiest prison in America”, where violence is down 74% and a philosophy of “Corrections” promotes education, rehabilitation and reconciliation to increase public safety.
In a groundbreaking departure from traditional film openings, THE FARM: TEN DOWN will premiere inside Angola Prison on June 3rd, 2009, before the inmates, wardens and correctional officers who have allowed their stories to be the source of documentary films for over a decade. The premier, like the film, exhibits the transformative power of hope, even behind bars. The film will be shown on the prison’s closed circuit television station, LSPTv, for the 5,100 inmates.
Two of the subjects of THE FARM – Ashanti Witherspoon and Bishop Tanniehill – will return to Angola Prison for the premier event. Ashanti was granted parole in 1999 after 27 years behind bars and Bishop was pardoned by Governor Kathleen Blanco in 2007 after nearly 50 years at Angola. Their stories help to inspire other inmates. Ashanti and Bishop will participate in a Q&A with inmates following the film’s premiere They will be joined by Q&A with inmates following the film’s premiere They will be joined by Warden Burl Cain, the warden of Angola Prison for the last decade, and by Jonathan Stack, director of the films.
The footage from the Q&A and the screening will be available online for the public and the film team will twitter live from the event updating the public regularly on the HCD Media Group-run website: www.GabrielCity.com, an online community for those affected by incarceration.
THE FARM: 10 DOWN will have its national broadcast premier on the National Geographic Channel on Tuesday, June 16th at 8pm EST, as A DECADE BEHIND BARS: RETURN TO THE FARM. National Geographic Channel is also hosting free streaming of THE FARM and WILDEST SHOW IN THE SOUTH, Jonathan Stack’s documentary about the Angola Prison Rodeo, online at Natgeotv.com/farm. They are also both available free on HULU.com
For the partners of Highest Common Denominator Media Group – Jonathan Stack, David Deniger, and Mara-Michelle Batlin, – the release of THE FARM: 10 DOWN marks a major milestone in achieving their mission to use the power of story-telling to illustrate the elements of our humanity that unite all of us, the shared values that are our highest common denominator,
HCD Media Group is also launching GabrielCity.com, an online community offering support to those affected by incarceration.
THE FARM: 10 DOWN is directed for Highest Common Denominator Media Group by Jonathan Stack and produced by James McKay. Executive Producers are David Deniger and Mara-Michelle Batlin. Nancy Novack is the editor and co-director.
For more information please visit: http://www.hcdmediagroup.com