A coming of age story set in the aftermath of childhood trauma, violence, and incarceration.
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“…Fresh, contemporary, and engaging… (Life After Life) presents extraordinary stories of men finding hope and success under impossible circumstances.”
– Ken Burns
Watch Director, Tamara Perkins’ TEDx talk, ‘Life After: Embracing our Common Humanity’.
Producer and Director Tamara Perkins has been a leader in the social justice and juvenile justice reform movement within the Bay Area for over a decade. Her vision of creating Life After Life was inspired while working inside San Quentin State Prison as a Yoga and meditation instructor in 2006. Compelled to expose the devastating impact of incarceration on urban communities and the opportunity for transformation, Tamara teamed up with Co-Producers Jesse Dana and Diana J Brodie to build support, access and collaborations to create Life After Life .
Setting Life After Life apart from other prison films is the extraordinary access to the incarcerated men, facilities, experts, and leaders in the system of corrections. Through her background in grief support, Tamara creates a safe environment for each subject, bringing authenticity to interviews that cover sensitive, personal stories. From her relationships and connections within the Bay Area social justice community, Tamara and the Life After Life team have developed significant relationships with policy and public agencies including the ACLU of Northern California, Alameda County Public Health, Equal Justice Society, The San Francisco Foundation and PolicyLink as well as universities such as Saint Mary’s University and San Francisco State University.
Life After Life has an opportunity to bring a voice to an issue deemed the “silent crisis”. With 1 in 31 American’s under the umbrella of corrections, there has never been a more pressing time to mobilize the public toward significant prison reform. Life After Life fulfills this opportunity by creating a contemporary documentary that creates intimacy for the viewer with an innovative photographic vision with the highest level of production. The film presents fact-based pragmatic arguments for change with an emotionally affecting visual representation to reach the broadest possible audience.
The Prison System
- The U.S. has the highest incarceration rate in the world, with 7.3 million (1-in-100) adults under Correctional Control.
- California boasts the highest recidivism rate in the country, with more than 70 percent of released inmates returning to prison within 3 years.
- As of 2007, California spends more incarcerating 167,000 adults than it does to educate 226,000 students in its 10-campus University of California system.
- States spend on average nearly three times as much per prisoner as per public school pupil.
- Approximately 93,000 American youth are held in Juvenile Justice facilities; 4,302 children arrested each day.
- As of 2008, 46 percent of the Corrections population had a family member who had been incarcerated.
- The highest rates of incarceration occur in poor urban areas and among Latino and African Americans males.
- One in 3 African American men, 20–29 years old, is under correctional supervision or control.
- 83 percent of individuals incarcerated in state prison have an identified substance abuse.
- In the Bay Area neighborhoods in Oakland, San Francisco, and Richmond are experiencing multiple generations of families behind bars.
Director & Producer
Tamara Perkins is a filmmaker and change maker focused on documentaries that inspire dialogue, empower and provide voice for vulnerable communities. She founded Apple of Discord Productions in 2006, producing such films as Niroga, profiling a program she founded which reaches incarcerated youth through Yoga and mindfulness. A grief support facilitator, Tamara developed programs such as the Wisdom Project and San Quentin Media Project that train at-risk youth and incarcerated men in filmmaking as a tool for transformation.
Life After Life began when incarcerated men leading a self-help program in San Quentin asked Tamara to tell their story. She has spoken on prison issues and human rights at agencies and universities such as Equal Justice Society, Houston Institute, and Stanford Law. In 2009 the National Council on Crime and Delinquency presented Tamara with their Media for a Just Society Award. Tamara presented a talk titled ‘Life After: Embracing our Common Humanity’ at a TEDx conference in October 2013. Read Director’s Statement
Cinematographer & Co-Producer
Jesse Dana is a four time Emmy winning cinematographer with over a decade of experience shooting in environments ranging from large sound stages to San Quentin Prison. He has lensed narrative and documentary features as well as 100s of commercials and music videos. Two of his features have received national releases and many of his projects have appeared in festivals all over the world including Sundance, Tribeca and Cannes. To see more of Jesse’s work visit his website at www.jessedana.com.
Development Director & Associate Producer
Simron’s interest in film was developed through both her love of photography and a deep-seeded interest in the power of media to highlight and inform social justice issues. She has been a driving force behind Life After Life’s diverse and innovative development and outreach strategy.
Kevin Jones has been editing documentary feature films for over 10 years. Films such as the Emmy award winning “A Lion in the House” (2006) and the Tribeca Film Festival audience favorite “Burn” (2012). He studied film at Wright State University in Dayton Ohio. More of his work can be seen at www.kingjones9000.com.
Editor (Funding Trailers)
Diana J Brodie
Assistant Editor (Funding Trailers)
Location Sound Mixers
Lead, John Ely, PhD
Assistant, Jill Rea-Dilling
Barbara Oldershaw, Community Engagement Consultant
Dom Brassey, Social Media/Marketing Consultant
Camisha Fatimah Gentry
Music (Funding Trailers)
DOC Film Institute
John Ely, PhD
Karie Gaska, MSW
Dr. Garry Mendez, Jr.
Dr. Juanita Mendez
Amy Smith, JD, PhD
June 25 — Life After Life director and co-producer interviewed by KPFA’s Vylma V.
June 3 — Life After Life director, Tamara Perkins, interviewed by KALW’s Jen Chien. Listen HERE!
July 21 — Life After Life director, Tamara Perkins, and cinematographer, Jesse Dana, speaking at San Francisco Documentary Summit.
July 16 — Life After Life director Tamara Perkins speaking at Ex’pressions College TEDx Conference on October 19.
June 5 — Life After Life featured in East Bay Express article, Inside the life of Lifers.
June 1 — Life After Life successfully raises just over $30,000 on Kickstarter to support post-production.
May 28 — MAX it Magazine publishes and tweets article through outlets in Europe, Africa, Asia, on how Life After Life filmmakers stir prison dialogue. Read full article Life After Life Filmmaker Stirs Prison Dialogue.
May 15 — Life After Life director Tamara Perkins speaks about Prisoners’ Rights and Issues at University of California, Santa Cruz Know Your Rights Conference.
April 17 — Life After Life team launches Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to finish the film.
March 31 — Life After Life director Tamara Perkins interviewed by Dr. Crystallee Crain for Truth Telling Series.
March 28 — Life After Life USF Screening Event on March 28th from 5:00pm to 6:20pm at the University of San Francisco, School of Law, in Kendrick Hall 2199 Fulton Street, San Francisco.
March 15 — Life After Life is awarded the California Council for the Humanities California Documentary Project Production Grant.
February 24 — Life After Life director, Tamara Perkins, participates in a panel at Bay Area Community Cinema‘s free screening of Me Facing Life: Cyntoia’s Story on Thursday, February 24 at Oakland Asian Cultural Center at 6pm.
October 31 — Life After Life leadership team received a grant from the Annenberg Foundation to support their San Quentin Media Project, a film school and mentorship program in San Quentin State Prison.
August 15 — Life After Life is chosen to receive the Pacific Pioneer Fund grant!
July 12 — Oakland Film Office is partnering with the Oakland Asian Cultural Center and Life After Life team to offer the first public work-in-progress screening of the film in Oakland. The screening will be held on Thursday, October 14 and will include a panel with local experts such as Joe Brooks from Policy Link. More details here
March 15 — The National Council on Crime and Delinquency awarded Tamara Perkins and Life After Life production team with their PASS (Prevention for a Safer Society) Award, a national media awards program that awards the media for responsible coverage of the criminal and juvenile justice systems and child welfare.
March 1 — Life After Life and director, Tamara Perkins, featured in Soumyaa Kapil Behrens’ article ‘Work-in-Progress for Docs’ in CineSource Magazine.
February 4 — Life After Life Director, Tamara Perkins, featured as a panelist on The Research Institute of Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity (RICSRE) conference, ‘Three Perspectives on Race and Incarceration‘ at Stanford Law School.
January 12 — Pirate Cat Radio features Life After Life Director of Photography & Co-Producer, Jesse Dana, discussing the making of the film including the outreach and community engagement that began in 2007.
November 10 — Life After Life receives an anonymous donation of $5000 for the film.
November 2 — City Visions Radio features Life After Life Director, Tamara Perkins, on radio panel discussing the increasing popularity of Documentary film and the effect on availability of funding. Listen
October 20 — The Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice at Harvard Law School invited Ms. Perkins to screen Life After Life at a national conference on Race and Inclusion.
October 14 — The National Trust’s, Rhody McCoy, spoke on panel along with community leader and film advisor Arnold Perkins at Equal Justice Society’s screening of Life After Life at the Sundance Kabuki theater on October 14, 2009.
October 7 — A special screening of clips from Life After Life , in conjunction with a conversation on Roots & Redemption: Social Justice & the Prison System was sponsored by St. Mary’s College of California on Wednesday, October 7, 2009.
September 27 — Life After Life director, Tamara Perkins, attended IFP’s Independent Film Week in NYC, Sept 19-24, 2009.
September 18 — Life After Life selected to screen as part of the FilmHouse Presents program, part of the Cinema by the Bay film festival, on Sunday, October 25th at 11:30.
September 18 — Life After Life featured in reentry reception sponsored by the San Francisco Reentry Council with Public Defender, Jeff Adachi’s office at the Main Branch of the SF Public Library on September 22, 2009 from 5:30pm to 7pm.
September 17 — Equal Justice Society presents Surviving Criminalization: Films on Incarceration & Family Detention featuring Life After Life at the Sundance Kabuki theater on October 14, 2009.
August 20 — Prolific documentary filmmaker, Ken Burns, reviews Life After Life footage and writes letter of support for the film.
April 28 — St. Mary’s College receives National Science Foundation grant to support research for Life After Life .
March 31 — Life After Life team shares exclusive footage at SFFS Film Forum at Mezzanine on Monday, April 6, 2009.
March 24 — Life After Life filmmakers take a break to support youth and the arts at Music in Schools Today Fund Raiser Golf Tournament on April 20, 2009.
March 11 — San Francisco Film Society chooses Life After Life to serve as a case study representing Cause-Related Films for their new Causes & Impacts division.
March 9 — Life After Life’s Director, Tamara Perkins, presenting on Documentary and Activism Panel at upcoming San Francisco Women’s Film Festival.
March 1 — Life After Life is presented at COJ Spiritual Community in Palo Alto.
February 24 — Google Tech Talk ‘Trust and Transformation: From Prison to Acceptance‘ posted on Google Tech Talk YouTube Channel.
February 19 — Chevy’s Embarcadero Center donates 25% of customer proceeds with special coupon for Life After Life .
February 19 — Google presents Life After Life in Tech Talk at Mountain View campus.
February 13 — Van Loben Sels/Rembe Rock Foundation awards Life After Life $10,000.
February 9 — Initial block of filming inside San Quentin State Prison is completed.
February 2 — Life After Life is presented at St. Vincent De Paul‘s Just Faith Training.
January 30 — East Bay Community Foundation awards Life After Life a $10,000 Matching Grant.
January 23 — Principal photography begins on Life After Life .
January 20 — Life After Life trailer is highlighted at Rhythmix Cultural Center Inauguration Celebration.
January 13 — PolicyLink becomes an official partner of Life After Life film.
January 5 — Life After Life’s Director, Tamara Perkins, joins Advisory Board of Oakland Film Society.
December 15 — Simron Gill joins Life After Life team as Development Director.
October 29 — East Bay Community Foundation sponsors a Faith Community event presenting Life After Life and exploring the removal of barriers to full community.
October 11 — Life After Life film’s trailer presented at Grand Lake Theatre as part of the Oakland International Film Festival.
September 12 — Laurel Ladevich joins Life After Life team as an advisor.
August 12 — San Francisco Foundation awards Life After Life film $30,000.
May 8 — Google hosts a film screening and panel discussion at their Mountain View campus.
Life After Life is fiscally sponsored by San Francisco Film Society, a non-profit leader in the media arts field serving independent filmmakers for over 30 years. The celebration of the transformative power of the moving image is at the very heart of everything the Film Society does.
The California Council for the Humanities has been bringing people together around their history and culture for more than 25 years.
The California Council for the Humanities connects Californians to ideas and one another in order to understand our shared heritage and diverse cultures, inspire civic participation, and shape our future.
The Berkeley FILM Foundation’s mission is to nurture, sustain, and preserve the thriving Berkeley film community and to attract the next generation of filmmakers.
The film has received enthusiastic in-kind support from the DOC Film Institute of San Francisco State whose board is comprised of such notable documentarians as Les Blank, Ken Burns, Ricky Leacock, Errol Morris, D.A. Pennebaker, and Martin Scorsese. The Doc Film Institute’s Director, Stephen Ujlaki, will be directly involved in fund development for Life After Life.
Many award-winning documentaries have emerged from the San Francisco Bay Area. In recognition of this fine tradition, The San Francisco Foundation (TSFF) created the Bay Area Documentary Fund (BADF), a project of the Fund For Artists collaborative. BADF supports documentary projects by experienced filmmakers with an esteemed body of previously created work and falls in line with TSFF’s goal to explore issues that have been historically underexposed, misinterpreted, or ignored and that are pertinent to the five Bay Area counties.
PolicyLink is a national research and action institute advancing economic and social equity by Lifting Up What Works®.
PolicyLink work is guided by the belief that those closest to the nation’s challenges are central to the search for solutions. With local and national partners, PolicyLink is spotlighting promising practices, supporting advocacy campaigns, and helping to bridge the traditional divide between local communities and policymaking at the local, regional, state, and national levels.
Alameda County Public Health is supporting the project with in-kind donations and has included Apple of Discord Productions and The Trust as a partner on their site with links to the company and project site. They have provided the project with relevant research and historical trends on incarceration to help create a framework for the story.
The National Trust Program (also known as The Trust) is a re-socialization program in which life-term inmates mentor, train and prepare short-term inmates to become positive citizens. Founded by Dr. Garry Mendez, Jr. more than 20 years ago in New York, the goal of The Trust is to transform the incarcerated from social liabilities into assets for themselves, their families and their communities. This is achieved through a curriculum aimed at purging destructive value systems and instilling new pro-social values while cultivating self-awareness and personal responsibility.
The Catholic Institute for Lasallian Social Action (CILSA) is both an organization and a catalyst to integrate social justice into the curricular and co-curricular experience of Saint Mary’s College. Founded in 1999, CILSA is the academic center at Saint Mary’s College for promoting a culture of service and social justice education consonant with Catholic social teaching and integrating the three traditions of the college: Catholic, Lasallian, and Liberal Arts. The goal of CILSA is to support students, faculty, staff, campus units, and community partners to work together to promote intellectual inquiry and student leadership and development through action in academic, co-curricular, and community settings to foster personal and social responsibility for the common good.
A unique aspect of Life After Life is the use of an inmate-led internal film crew, which includes Troy Williams, Marvin Andrews, Buckshot Maples and Kenny Stallings, all trained in filmmaking. The San Quentin Media Project team will capture footage of life behind bars and conduct interviews with fellow prisoners. The footage they capture will be used to supplement internal filming. This will provide authenticity to the film by allowing the subjects to feel more at ease in front of peers who they normally associate with.
The Urban Strategies Council (the Council) is a community building support and advocacy organization located in Oakland, California. Founded as a non-profit organization in 1987, the Council’s mission is to eliminate persistent poverty by working with partners to transform low-income neighborhoods into vibrant, healthy communities. The Council currently operates five programs to achieve its mission, including: 1) economic opportunity; 2) community safety and justice; 3) education excellence; 4) information and technology; and 5) community capacity building. The Council applies its core skills — research and data analysis; convening, facilitation and strategic planning; mobilizing resources; capacity building; and advocacy — to achieve its mission.
In The Legislature
Visit: http://www.aclu.org/action-center to review your elected officials’ voting record. Write your officials and vote for change.
Contribute to the Conversation
Support the film with resources, skills or time. Contact the organizations listed below, or volunteer with one of your local prison justice organizations.
Set up a Screening
Start the conversation in your community by screening the trailer and using our discussion guide to help educate and engage your community, school or non-profit organization. For access to the 25 minute work-in-progress piece contact Tamara Perkins at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You may use these resources, or the resources below to help facilitate engaged debate, or take action toward legislative change.
Contact Tamara Perkins at email@example.com to set up large screenings.
ACLU National Prison Project
The project fights for legal, constitutional and human rights in prison
All of Us or None
All of Us of None is a national organizing initiative of prisoners, former prisoners and felons, to combat the discrimination as the result of felony convictions.
Ban the Box Campaign
“Ban the Box” campaign calls for the elimination of the questions about past convictions on initial public employment applications.
California Habeas Project
CHP seeks to free domestic violence survivors in prison who qualify for post-conviction habeas corpus relief under state law.
Cradle To Prison Pipeline Campaign
CPPC advocates for preventive supports and services children need
Equal Justice Society
EJS is a national legal organization focused on restoring Constitutional safeguards against discrimination.
Legal Services for Prisoners With Children
LSPC works to restore rights of incarcerated and formerly-incarcerated people, release people from prison & reunify people, families and communities during and after incarceration.
The Sentencing Project
A research and advocacy group fighting for prison reform
USC Post-Conviction Justice Project
USC PCJP represents parole-eligible inmates serving indeterminate life sentences for murder in California state prisons.
Donations will support post-production and completion of the film. LIFE AFTER LIFE began in April 2007 — that’s over 8 years! Now we need your help to finish the film! Please give what you can and share the project with your friends and networks! Thank you!
LIFE AFTER LIFE completion and release expected in 2015!
You can make your tax-deductible contribution through San Francisco Film Society’s secure website by clicking the button below.
Please include the project number (SPJ1044) on the memo line of your check or money order.
San Francisco Film Society
Project # – SPJ1044
39 Mesa Street, Suite 110
San Francisco CA 94129-1025
Life After Life
Apple of Discord Productions, LLC
(510) 545-AOD5 (2635)