FAMM Announces Advance Screenings Of The Award-Winning HBO Documentary Film ‘The Sentence’ - FAMM


FAMM Announces Advance Screenings Of The Award-Winning HBO Documentary Film ‘The Sentence’

Categories: Blog, Featured, Newsroom, Press Release, Uncategorized

Rabiah Burks, 202-822-6700


FAMM President Kevin Ring to moderate panel discussion with film director Rudy Valdez at NYC screening Thursday

WASHINGTON – Criminal justice reform advocate FAMM today announced it is hosting and participating in advance screenings of “The Sentence,” an award-winning new documentary about the impact of mandatory minimum sentencing on a Lansing, Michigan family that will air on HBO on October 15. The screenings kicked off in Washington, DC and will be shown to affected families, former prisoners, advocates, law students, law professors and legislators in five cities — including at the Urbanworld Film Festival in New York City this Thursday.

“’The Sentence’ is hands down the most powerful depiction I’ve ever seen of the unjust and unintended consequences of mandatory minimum sentencing on American families,” said FAMM President Kevin Ring. “By lifting the veil on how mandatory minimums harm real people, the film makes clear why we have to change these draconian laws.”

“The Sentence” won the 2018 Sundance Film Festival Audience Award. The documentary draws from hundreds of hours of footage to tell the story of Cindy Shank, a woman who received a 15-year mandatory sentence for conspiracy charges related to crimes committed by her deceased ex-boyfriend — a dynamic known in legal terms as “the girlfriend problem.” Filmmaker and Cindy’s brother Rudy Valdez copes with this tragedy by filming his sister’s family — both the everyday details and the milestones — to capture the many moments Cindy can no longer share. The family’s fight for Cindy’s release is the core of this deeply personal portrait of a family in crisis.

The advance screenings are slated for Gulfport, FL (9/24), Memphis (9/29), Phoenix (9/19), Pittsburg (TBA), and Philadelphia (9/25). In New York City, the film festival screening will also include a panel discussion featuring filmmaker Valdez and moderated by Ring.

WHAT: Advance Screening of HBO’s “The Sentence” at Urbanworld Film Festival

WHO: FAMM President Kevin Ring, Filmmaker Rudy Valdez

WHEN: 7:15PM – 9:30PM Thursday, September 20

WHERE: AMC EMPIRE 25, Theater 10, 234 W. 42nd Street, New York, NY

TICKETS: Go to www.urbanworld.org/2018/the-sentence

***** For additional information or to arrange an interview with Kevin Ring, contact Rabiah Burks at rburks@famm.org *****

For nearly three decades, FAMM has united the voices of affected families, the formerly incarcerated, and a range of stakeholders and advocates to fight for a more fair and effective justice system. FAMM’s focus on ending a one-size-fits-all punishment structure has led to reforms to sentencing and prison policies in 6 states and is paving the way to programs that support rehabilitation for the 94% of all prisoners who will return to our neighborhoods one day.


FAMM is a national nonpartisan advocacy organization that promotes fair and effective criminal justice policies that safeguard taxpayer dollars and keep our communities safe. Founded in 1991, FAMM is helping transform America’s criminal justice system by uniting the voices of impacted families and individuals and elevating the issues all across the country.

FAMM.org | www.facebook.com/FAMMFoundation | @FAMMFoundation

1100 H Street NW, Suite 1000, Washington, D.C. 20005 | 202-822-6700