Please Support Kickstarter Campaign for US release of A3 film ‘Cruel and Unusual’

To donate and help to spread the word, please visit the Kickstarter page directly. Featured below is the information from the campaign’s website.

‘Cruel and Unusual’ – The Angola 3 story, US Cinema Release

Help get the Angola 3’s story into cinemas to support their campaign against long-term solitary confinement & qualify for the Oscars

THE GOAL

Cinema release in NY and LA to bring ‘Cruel and Unusual’ – the story of the Angola 3 – to the big screen and qualify for Academy Award consideration.

THE FILM

‘Cruel and Unusual’ is the story of three men who have spent longer in solitary confinement than any other prisoners in the US because of the murder of a prison guard in 1972 at Angola, the Louisiana state penitentiary.

Robert King, Herman Wallace and Albert Woodfox were convicted by bribed and blind eye witnesses and with no physical evidence. Targeted as members of the Black Panther Party, the film follows their struggle against the miscarriage of justice and their cruel and unusual treatment.

Their story culminated in 2016 with the release of Albert Woodfox after 43 years in solitary confinement.

THE STORY

‘Cruel and Unusual’ has been eight years in the making. But that pales into insignificance compared to the 43 years that Albert Woodfox spent in a 6 foot by 9 foot cell for a crime he did not commit. After years left forgotten in the depths of America’s bloodiest prison, their struggle against this injustice had become an international scandal; when on the 19th February last year, on his 69th birthday, Albert was finally released, it was headline news around the world. Here is a small selection of that coverage:

Last of ‘Angola 3’ Prisoners Released After 40 Years in Solitary Confinement, ABC News

For 45 Years in Prison, Louisiana Man Kept Calm and Held Fast to Hope, New York Times

Albert Woodfox speaks after 43 years in solitary confinement: ‘I would not let them drive me insane,’ UK Guardian

WHY

‘Cruel and Unusual’ shines a light on the overuse of long-term solitary in US prisons. It is also the story of three remarkable men who as members of the Black Panther Party have been fighting for justice since the early 1970s. Even though the Angola 3 have been released, their struggle continues. On any given day it is estimated that ten to fifteen thousand prisoners are kept in solitary in the US. We want to make sure as many people as possible hear the Angola 3’s story and support the continuation of their campaign to end long-term solitary confinement in US prisons.

A US cinema release aims to give a platform for their story and campaign. By starting in New York and Los Angeles, the film also becomes eligible for the Academy Awards, which hopefully will give the campaign even more visibility.

WHO

Vadim Jean – Director

I first heard about the Angola 3 from Anita and Gordon Roddick, the founders of The Body Shop stores, who had been helping the Angola 3 fight their case since 2001. Anita told everyone she knew about them. But she didn’t just talk about issues, she did something about it. In fact her big thing was, “just do something”. Do it from kindness, do it because you have faith, do it because you’re guilty, do it because it’s right; for her it didn’t matter. Just do something.

So when in 2007 I sat at her Memorial to celebrate her life, and Robert King came onto the stage to speak, I should have guessed that as this was Anita, it might change the course of the next eight years of my life. Robert was full of dignity, grace, sanity, courage and it must be said charisma. He also played two crackly telephone messages from Herman and Albert in solitary. It was profoundly moving. I cried. In seemingly one of the worst of the worst places on earth, somehow they had managed to find the best of the best that the human spirit has to offer. And like all of us that knew her, Anita had changed their lives. So now, her big finger was pointing down at me. And it had a big sign on it saying, “just do something”. For me, that thing was to make this film.

 If I’m honest, during most of the making of this film I doubted that Herman and Albert would ever be free. That these incredible men have been released is the consequence of a remarkable coalition against the injustice. But most of all it is because they are two of the most extraordinary people I have ever met. They fought for decades for justice and ultimately won their struggle, though for Herman, his freedom was won at the ultimate cost…

I hope the film may do its small part in helping to bring attention to this injustice. If you would like to “just do something” please help us to support the Angola 3 and their ongoing campaign by backing the US cinema release of ‘Cruel and Unusual’.

The Mob Film Company

As well as documentaries, the Mob also produces feature films and television drama, including the multi-BAFTA winning Terry Pratchett Discworld adaptations, which remain the highest ever rating shows on Sky One. They are currently completing the movie ‘The Man Who Invented Christmas’, the story of Charles Dickens writing ‘A Christmas Carol’ starring Dan Stevens, Christopher Plummer and Jonathan Pryce.

www.mobfilm.com

For more information on the Angola 3 and the ongoing campaign to end the long-term use of solitary confinement please see their website.

WHERE WILL THE MONEY GO?

While there will be distribution for DVD, streaming and online, we are doing our own cinema release in support of the campaign. This means taking a financial risk on the booking of cinemas and other associated costs, including prints, publicity, and travel for Albert and Robert – and it’s expensive. Sadly we don’t have budget for this. So it’s these costs that your support will contribute towards.

A one week release in New York and Los Angeles will also qualify the film for Academy Award consideration. Traditionally for feature documentaries this is one of the best ways for a film to get maximum exposure.

If we should exceed our Kickstarter goal we will introduce stretch goals to expand our release to other US cities, such as New Orleans, Louisiana (for obvious reasons!), Washington, Austin and Miami.

REWARDS

As thanks for your support we are offering some great rewards: tickets to either the NY or LA premieres with Albert and Robert or to a private screening with the filmmakers in London, exclusive ‘Cruel & Unusual’ T-shirts; DVDs; posters, etc.

Just Stand: A Video Interview With Albert Woodfox of the Angola 3

(PHOTO: Albert enjoys a canoe ride in Austin, TX.)

Since Albert’s release on his birthday, February 19th, a few short months ago, he’s been really busy…  After nearly a month of visiting with family and friends in New Orleans sharing more birthday cake than he’s been able to consume in over forty years, Albert has been catching up with his dreams. This trio of video-interviews with Albert recorded recently, during a visit to Sacramento, will give you a glimpse of just how well Albert is doing.

This first release, entitled “Just Stand” is in three parts:  (1) A Message to Supporters, (2) Visiting Yosemite National Park and (3) Spending Quality Time With Family.

(PHOTO: Albert Woodfox stands strong during a recent visit to Sacramento, California)

A MESSAGE TO SUPPORTERS –  After thanking the many supporters around the world that never gave up in fighting for his release, Albert sent them this message: “What they should take from my freedom is that you stand. You don’t back away. You don’t make unnecessary compromises. You stand, and no matter how painful, you stand.” Watch the full interview here.

VISITING YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK –  Just a few days before this interview was conducted, Albert visited Yosemite National Park, where he endured a challenging uphill climb. Albert reflects: “As you get older, you always wonder what you lose, and I think it felt very, very great to know that my will and determination have not changed, even though I’ve grown older. I know I have changed somewhat physically, [but] mentally, emotionally, and spiritually I’m as strong as I ever was.” Watch the full interview here.

SPENDING QUALITY TIME WITH FAMILY –  In this segment, Albert discusses his relationship with his family, with whom he tries to spend as much time as he can: “I’m a Dad, a Grandpa, and a Great Grandpa. I’m so grateful that my family accepted me back.” Watch the full interview here.

Albert has been spending time in Houston with his brother Michael and his family as well as time in New Orleans with his daughter, grandson and grandchildren. His first speaking engagement was a trip to Pittsburgh for the International Conference on Solitary Confinement at University of Pittsburgh with King. When that was over, he spent a week in Austin with King and Austin supporters before heading off to California to fulfill one of his long held dreams, a trip to Yosemite. On the way he stopped in Los Angeles to attend the Death Penalty Focus Gala, where he was joined by an old friend from Angola, recently released Gary Tyler and about twenty exonerees attending on behalf of the Innocence Project. He also had a chance to drop in on long-time supporter and artist, Rigo 23 and family before heading north. After Yosemite, Albert attended the Malcolm X Festival in Oakland. On his return to New Orleans, Albert and King’s cousin, Noonie, cooked up a “surprise” birthday party for King and celebrated with many local supporters.

The next few months are equally as busy. In August King and Albert will be in New York at the National Lawyers Guild Convention where Albert will accept the Arthur Kinoy award. After the NLG conference, Albert and King will spend time with BPP comrades in New York. In September they will be in Oakland for the Political Prisoner’s Conference and later in the month they will be speaking at a number of venues in Chicago. They’ll return to Oakland in October for the 50th Anniversary gathering of the Black Panther Party. Then in late October, they visit the UK and France to meet with Amnesty supporters, along with special events in the UK including London, Liverpool and Cambridge  As you’ll be able to see from the short interviews and attached photos, Albert deals with all the activity like a champ – it’s hard to believe that he’s spent four decades in a box, as he handles himself with grace and humor regardless of the situation presented.

Freedom for our comrade, elder, and political prisoner Leonard Peltier is long overdue. Please sign Amnesty International USA’s new online petition calling on President Obama to release him. Please also consider supporting the Leonard Peltier Statue Project. Free all political prisoners!

(Albert and Rigo 23, with the latest artwork from Rigo 23 illustrating that all of the Angola 3 are Free.)

(King and Albert in Austin- reunited in freedom!)

(Comrades from Houston and Austin join King and Albert for a welcome home party for Albert.)

(Albert with Louisiana exonerees John Thompson and Gary Tyler at Death Penalty Focus event.)

(Albert and King’s cousin, Elnora put together a sizzling surprise birthday party for King at the Craig Center in Algiers on June 11th.  The theme was “white linen.” This photo of Albert dancing with longtime supporter Shana Griffin, was taken by the esteemed Ted Quant to memorialize the evening. View more photos from the party here.)

Just Stand: A Video Interview With Albert Woodfox of the Angola 3

(PHOTO: Albert enjoys a canoe ride in Austin, TX.)

Since Albert’s release on his birthday, February 19th, a few short months ago, he’s been really busy…  After nearly a month of visiting with family and friends in New Orleans sharing more birthday cake than he’s been able to consume in over forty years, Albert has been catching up with his dreams. This trio of video-interviews with Albert recorded recently, during a visit to Sacramento, will give you a glimpse of just how well Albert is doing.

This first release, entitled “Just Stand” is in three parts:  (1) A Message to Supporters, (2) Visiting Yosemite National Park and (3) Spending Quality Time With Family.

(PHOTO: Albert Woodfox stands strong during a recent visit to Sacramento, California)

A MESSAGE TO SUPPORTERS –  After thanking the many supporters around the world that never gave up in fighting for his release, Albert sent them this message: “What they should take from my freedom is that you stand. You don’t back away. You don’t make unnecessary compromises. You stand, and no matter how painful, you stand.” Watch the full interview here.

VISITING YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK –  Just a few days before this interview was conducted, Albert visited Yosemite National Park, where he endured a challenging uphill climb. Albert reflects: “As you get older, you always wonder what you lose, and I think it felt very, very great to know that my will and determination have not changed, even though I’ve grown older. I know I have changed somewhat physically, [but] mentally, emotionally, and spiritually I’m as strong as I ever was.” Watch the full interview here.

SPENDING QUALITY TIME WITH FAMILY –  In this segment, Albert discusses his relationship with his family, with whom he tries to spend as much time as he can: “I’m a Dad, a Grandpa, and a Great Grandpa. I’m so grateful that my family accepted me back.” Watch the full interview here.

Albert has been spending time in Houston with his brother Michael and his family as well as time in New Orleans with his daughter, grandson and grandchildren. His first speaking engagement was a trip to Pittsburgh for the International Conference on Solitary Confinement at University of Pittsburgh with King. When that was over, he spent a week in Austin with King and Austin supporters before heading off to California to fulfill one of his long held dreams, a trip to Yosemite. On the way he stopped in Los Angeles to attend the Death Penalty Focus Gala, where he was joined by an old friend from Angola, recently released Gary Tyler and about twenty exonerees attending on behalf of the Innocence Project. He also had a chance to drop in on long-time supporter and artist, Rigo 23 and family before heading north. After Yosemite, Albert attended the Malcolm X Festival in Oakland. On his return to New Orleans, Albert and King’s cousin, Noonie, cooked up a “surprise” birthday party for King and celebrated with many local supporters.

The next few months are equally as busy. In August King and Albert will be in New York at the National Lawyers Guild Convention where Albert will accept the Arthur Kinoy award. After the NLG conference, Albert and King will spend time with BPP comrades in New York. In September they will be in Oakland for the Political Prisoner’s Conference and later in the month they will be speaking at a number of venues in Chicago. They’ll return to Oakland in October for the 50th Anniversary gathering of the Black Panther Party. Then in late October, they visit the UK and France to meet with Amnesty supporters, along with special events in the UK including London, Liverpool and Cambridge  As you’ll be able to see from the short interviews and attached photos, Albert deals with all the activity like a champ – it’s hard to believe that he’s spent four decades in a box, as he handles himself with grace and humor regardless of the situation presented.

Freedom for our comrade, elder, and political prisoner Leonard Peltier is long overdue. Please sign Amnesty International USA’s new online petition calling on President Obama to release him. Please also consider supporting the Leonard Peltier Statue Project. Free all political prisoners!

(Albert and Rigo 23, with the latest artwork from Rigo 23 illustrating that all of the Angola 3 are Free.)

(King and Albert in Austin- reunited in freedom!)

(Comrades from Houston and Austin join King and Albert for a welcome home party for Albert.)

(Albert with Louisiana exonerees John Thompson and Gary Tyler at Death Penalty Focus event.)

(Albert and King’s cousin, Elnora put together a sizzling surprise birthday party for King at the Craig Center in Algiers on June 11th.  The theme was “white linen.” This photo of Albert dancing with longtime supporter Shana Griffin, was taken by the esteemed Ted Quant to memorialize the evening. View more photos from the party here.)

A3 Newsletter: Solitary Under Attack as 2016 Begins

(PHOTO: Tabling at the Amnesty Art for Rights event in New Orleans, December 2015)We want to send thanks from Albert and Robert to Amnesty activists for December’s Write for Rights campaign. Albert enjoyed receiving the thousands of letters and postcar…

A3 Newsletter: Solitary Under Attack as 2016 Begins

(PHOTO: Tabling at the Amnesty Art for Rights event in New Orleans, December 2015)We want to send thanks from Albert and Robert to Amnesty activists for December’s Write for Rights campaign. Albert enjoyed receiving the thousands of letters and postcar…

A3 Newsletter: Solitary Under Attack as 2016 Begins

(PHOTO: Tabling at the Amnesty Art for Rights event in New Orleans, December 2015)We want to send thanks from Albert and Robert to Amnesty activists for December’s Write for Rights campaign. Albert enjoyed receiving the thousands of letters and postcar…

A3 Newsletter: Solitary Under Attack as 2016 Begins

(PHOTO: Tabling at the Amnesty Art for Rights event in New Orleans, December 2015)We want to send thanks from Albert and Robert to Amnesty activists for December’s Write for Rights campaign. Albert enjoyed receiving the thousands of letters and postcar…

A3 Newsletter: Solitary Under Attack as 2016 Begins

(PHOTO: Tabling at the Amnesty Art for Rights event in New Orleans, December 2015)We want to send thanks from Albert and Robert to Amnesty activists for December’s Write for Rights campaign. Albert enjoyed receiving the thousands of letters and postcar…