Press Release



Scheduled for September 17th and 18th, A New Way of Life’s Justice on Trial (JOT) Film Festival will expose injustices, but explore solutions.



The festival’s keynote speaker, Gary Tyler, was sentenced to death in 1975 by an all-white jury.  At the time, Tyler was only 17 and the youngest person in America on death row.  His sentence was later commuted to life, yet he served over 40 years in Angola after his wrongful, racially-charged conviction.  In Cast the First Stone, his powerful work as a director provides a compelling narrative to the notions of forgiveness and redemption; not only for the innocent, but also the guilty.



Hosted by Loyola Marymount University, the 2016 JOT Film Festival will screen seven socially conscious documentaries:  Oscar-Nominated Last Day of Freedom [2016 Documentary (Short Subject) nominee], South Bureau Homicide, Cast the First Stone, The Return, They Call Us Monsters,  Out in the Night and The “IF” Project. Screenings will be followed by panel discussions featuring film-makers and subject matter experts.



A New Way of Life’s founder, Susan Burton says, “In our fourth year, we continue to bring the work of inspiring social justice advocates and documentarians to the forefront; to inform and educate our communities.  As demonstrated in the Starbuck’s series #Upstanders, we are committed to Breaking the Prison Pipeline.



About the Festival:
The concept of a Justice On Trial (JOT) Film Festival was birthed in conversations between NY Times Best-Selling Author, Michelle Alexander and Susan Burton, founder of A New Way of Life Re-Entry Project.   Both recognized that the entertainment industry is powerful in its ability to shape public perception through film.  By embracing this medium, they saw an opportunity to provide a platform to illuminate systemic injustices and stimulate solution-based conversations.



About the Power Panel:
Author Monique Morris (Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools) and New York Attorney and Lecturer, Rick Jones(Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem) will participate in a Power Panel discussion about racial, gender & social justice inequities.  They will invite questions and comments from the audience. (Sunday, September 18, 2016 at 3pm)



Media Interview Opportunities:
Susan Burton, Monique Morris, Rick Jones and justice-involved individuals.



Media Sponsor:
KPFK 90.7 FM



Event sponsors include:
Loyola Marymount University, Drug Policy Action’s Californians for Responsible Marijuana Reform, Californians for Safety & Justice, The California Endowment,  Race, Gender and Human Rights Fund and Donor Circle of the Women’s Foundation of California, Children’s Defense Fund-California, Los Angeles Regional Reentry Partnership (LARRP), and All of Us or None-Southern California.



Founded in 1998 by CNN Top Ten Hero Susan Burton, A New Way of Life addresses the challenges of community re-entry by providing critical resources, support for the formerly incarcerated, especially women and their families. Its alliance with All of Us or None recognizes fundamental changes to policy and law are necessary instruments for social change.

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