In-depth reporting on poverty in the United States feels more urgent than ever, and so CALA adjunct instructor Gladys Bensimon’s new documentary, A Way Out, feels incredibly timely. The film follows three young men from New Jersey who have managed to avoid the school-to-prison pipeline. The movie is set to premiere on June 10 at the 2017 New Jersey International Film Festival.
Before the premiere, Bensimon was interviewed by New Jersey Stage. She talks about her inspiration for the documentary and her goals in making it. On talking about the most memorable stories from her filming process, she mentions the children she met:
The stories that had the most impact on me were actually during my inspiration and discovery period – stories of the middle school students whom I was teaching as a volunteer in Newark. Their dramatic exposure to violence, and death were the last push for me to pursue the production of this documentary. They weren’t thinking about their homework; they were thinking about if their parents would be shot when they go home. Opportunity is hard to come by in urban America.
If you’re in the Newark area, you can get tickets on a first-come, first-serve basis on the day of at Voorhees Hall. More information about that can be found here.
If you need further convincing, New Jersey Senator Cory Booker endorsed the film, calling it an “urgently important document showing that success an opportunity go hand in hand.”
This summer, you also have the opportunity to learn about documentaries from Gladys Bensimon herself, who is teaching Independent Digital Documentary Filmmaking: From Researching and Writing to Producing and Directing.