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A Sentence Apart

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The U.S.A. imprisons more people, per capita, than any country in the world. Behind 2.4 million prisoners lies an infinite ripple effect of incarceration on the family and community.

A Sentence Apart follows three stories of people coping with a family member in prison, attempting to bridge broken relationships, and diligently working to reverse the generational cycle of incarceration.  Tenea is a high school senior whose father has been in and out of jail for her entire life, while Linda Williams makes a 20-hour bus trip to visit her youngest daughter, who is serving a 68 year sentence.  Cheyanne is 16 years old and can remember only one birthday that her dad attended.Soon after her father gets out of jail, Cheyanne confronts him about the emotional toll incarceration has taken on her.

These intimate and moving stories start to scratch the surface of the complex toll incarceration takes on the world outside of the prison walls.


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A Sentence Apart speaks volumes about the complexity of issues facing the families and children of the incarcerated.  This small gem of a film is a must for criminal justice practitioners and students, teachers, social workers, incarcerated or formally incarcerated parents, or anyone interested in the impact of the criminal justice system on the families left behind. It is an invaluable tool.

--Ruth Morgan, Executive Director, Community Works West
  • Official selection--2010 Big Sky Documentary Film Festival
  • Official selection--2010 NextReel Film Festival, Singapore
  • Official selection--2009 Bend Film Festival
  • Official selection--2009 Sacramento Film and Music Festival
  • Official selection--2009 NextFrame Film Festival
  • Official selection--2009 Urbanworld Film Festival
Theo Rigby Theo Rigby is a freelance Documentary filmmaker and photographer based out of San Francisco.  He creates social and political documentary projects with still and moving images.  Theo has focused on topics ranging from the War in Iraq, to incarceration, and most recently, immigration in the U.S. His first film, My First War, about the first 44 days of the war in Iraq, won awards and was accepted in 12 film festivals.  His short film Close to Home was a National Finalist in the 2009 Student Academy Awards, won a Golden Eagle Award, special Jury mention at the 2010 Ashland Independent film festival and has been accepted into more than ten film festivals. Theo has shot still photographs for Newsweek, The New York Times, National Geographic France, People magazine, and many other National and International publications.  His still photographic work has been exhibited at San Francisco City Hall, and at the 2005 Visa Pour L’Image festival in Perpignan, France. Theo also has a passion for education and has taught undergraduate documentary photography, as well as starting and directing an after-school digital storytelling program for immigrant youth in San Francisco.  He recently graduated with a M.F.A. in Documentary Film from Stanford University.

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