Logline: THEY CALL US MONSTERS takes viewers behind the walls of the Compound, the facility where Los Angeles houses its most violent juvenile criminals. To their advocates, they’re kids. To the system, they’re adults. To their victims, they’re monsters.
Gabriel Cowan, Sasha Alpert, Ben Lear
Looking for (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists): Buyers
Made in association with:
BMP Films Presents, In Association with New Artists Alliance
Where can I watch it at the film festival or in the next month?
The film is having its world premiere at the Los Angeles Film Festival 2016.
Congratulations! Why did you make your film?
To introduce the world to a segment of our population (juveniles being tried as adults), who would otherwise remain unseen and unheard.
Imagine I’m a member of the audience. Why should I watch this film?
We have a major mass incarceration problem here in the US and re-examining how we punish serious juvenile offenders is a key part of the solution. The Supreme Court has recently mandated that states no longer sentence juveniles to life without parole. This has led to debates in legislative halls across the country about the nature of our most violent juvenile offenders. Watching this film, getting to know more about the boys and their crimes, mirrors that debate.
How have the script and film evolved over the course of their development and production?
It’s a documentary so the story continued to evolve from as the lives of its subjects unfolded and I got better at my job!
What type of feedback have you received so far?
The feedback has been very positive. The film is leading to the same discussions I had early on. The same discussions (who are these kids, are they capable of change, what is our responsibility to them AND their victims) that led me to make the film in the first place.
Has the feedback surprised or challenged your point of view?
Very few people have seen the film at this point so it’s hard to say. So far, people have empathized deeply with the subjects. I am looking forward to showing the film to larger audiences, some of whom may feel differently, and engaging in that discussion.
What are you looking to achieve by having your film more visible on www.wearemovingstories.com?
Mastery of the universe. And also exposure for an extremely relevant and important issue that I care about deeply.
Who do you need to come on board (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists) to amplify this film’s message?
Buyers. Buyers. And also buyers.
What type of impact and/or reception would you like this film to have?
I would like it to become synonymous with and contribute to the growing movement around juvenile sentencing reform.
What’s a key question that will help spark a debate or begin a conversation about this film?
What is our responsibility towards violent juvenile offenders?
If you found this profile interesting we recommend the short film Solitary: Locked away in an American prison’s solitary confinement unit, an inmate fights to stay human while forced to endure the compounding psychological effects of long-term isolation.
We Are Moving Stories embraces new voices in drama, documentary, animation, TV, web series and music video. If you have just made a film - we'd love to hear from you. Or if you know a filmmaker - can you recommend us? More info: Carmela