Chicago, Philly and Beyond

 
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A flurry of screenings have just been scheduled.  Here in Boston, CIRCLE UP will screen at the Statehouse for legislators and their staff as they debate criminal justice reform; at the Social Law Library for judges, prosecutors, and other legal folks; at Suffolk University for students and the general public; and at the Museum of Fine Arts for art-lovers and more.

In March we're traveling with the film to Chicago for the Peace on Earth Film Festival, to Madison for a screening hosted by Dane County Time Bank, and to Pennsylvania for the Philadelphia Restorative Justice Conference and the Advoz Mediation and Restorative Practices at Penn Cinema in Lititz.

Just as it warms up in April, we'll be heading to Cape Code for a morning with the Sisterhood at Cape Cod Synagogue's Annual Interfaith Event co-sponsored by Church Women United and Grandmothers Against Gun Violence.

You can see the latest postings here or request a screening at your organization here!

Inspired by Survivors

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What a moving evening last night!  The Louis D. Brown Peace Institute and the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center's Center for Violence Prevention and Recovery co-hosted a free screening of CIRCLE UP in honor of Survivors of Homicide Victims Awareness Month (SHVAM) Nov. 20-Dec. 20.  The event at Lilla G. Frederick Pilot Middle School in Dorchester included a community discussion with filmmaker Julie Mallozzi and subjects Janet Connors and Charmise Galloway.

The conversation ranged from the uplifting – including a teenage trauma survivor who voiced her commitment to helping others avoid the pain she went through – to the tragic as Carla Sheffield cried out at her inability to heal after her son Burrell was shot and killed by a Boston Police officer during a routine traffic stop.

At one point an audience member asked others to raise their hand if they had lost someone to violence.  About half of the room raised their hand.  It was chilling to me to see that with roughly 90% correlation, the  people of color were the ones raising hands and the white folks weren't.  We have a lot of work to do.

After the screening some audience members contributed to our ongoing social media talk-back at #CIRCLEUPdoc with one-minute testimonials about the film and #forgiveness, #accountability, and #justice:

Thank you to the Peace Institute and the Center for Violence Recovery and Prevention for sponsoring this meaningful event!

 

 

 

Best Feature Documentary Grand Prize!

It was great bringing CIRCLE UP to the screen for the first time at the Rhode Island International Film Festival on Friday. It felt pretty intense and meaningful having film subjects Janet, AJ, and Charmise there on stage for the Q&A. Several audience members were crying and hugging them after the show.

We just got news, too, that out of 295 films screened at RIFF, the film won Best Feature Documentary Grand Prize!

I thought the film fit very well with the two shorts that preceded it: The Geneva Connection, a French fiction piece by Benôit Martin about a group of young people heading towards conflict over 40 euros owed to one of them, and Revolving Doors, a documentary by James Burns about the struggles of father who is recently released from prison to stay clean and support his family. Both films take a restorative approach to societal harm, as does CIRCLE UP.

Kudos to RIFF Program Director Shawn Quirk for the thoughtful programming!

P.S. While we were there, my daughter Maya set up an Instagram account for CIRCLE UP - follow us @circleupdoc.

World Premiere August 11

We are excited to be heading to the premiere of CIRCLE UP at the Rhode Island International Film Festival this Friday, August 11. It's been a long road and we are happy to finally share Janet and Clarissa's journey towards healing after the murders of their sons. We've followed them as they faced their son's murderers and offered forgiveness in exchange for accountability. We show their heartbreak and their hope. They humble us as they share their experiences with young people who are devastated by the violence around them. These courageous mothers revisit the unthinkable again and again, hoping to break the chain of violence and revenge so another family does not suffer as they have. 

Later this fall, we will be launching a national campaign to promote restorative justice practices as an alternative to the traumatic re-victimization and revenge killings that many survivors of homicide victims experience within the legal system and their communities. By pairing screenings of our film with survivor-led circles, we hope to bring restorative justice to schools, prisons, and community groups across America. In Boston we are partnering with city government, universities, and community groups to bring this important work forward. 

We're grateful for the many grants and contributions that made CIRCLE UP possible. Please consider donating to our tax-deductible impact campaign today!

We are aiming for a Boston premiere in January 2018, paired with a Q&A and community discussion facilitated by survivors of violence..