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The film follows a quest for redemption in Washington, D.C. Thanks to “second chance” legislation, three men who were sentenced in their youth to life in prison have the chance to plead for release. Through heartfelt, gritty stories, we follow their journeys: Anthony “Pete” Petty, who has just won his freedom and must rebuild his life after three decades in prison; Gene Downing, who awaits his second chance hearing after two decades behind bars and hopes to reunite with a daughter born after his incarceration; and Colie Levar Long, who is mentoring youth incarcerated with him at D.C. Jail. He longs to finish college as a free man after a 26-year interruption. But, as the film shows, a second chance is never guaranteed.
Wynette Yao is an award-winning filmmaker who has produced, directed and written films on subjects as wide-ranging as Egypt, tornadoes, bees and bog mummies. She relishes storytelling that brings alive the human experience in history, science, social justice and modern life. Yao has created videos, spots and long-form documentaries highlighting the need for a more fair and effective justice system, including the award-winning “Half of Us,” “The Vanishing Trial” (Bronx Social Justice Matters Festival and 1st Place, Documentary Shorts).
The cinematographer and editor for District of Second Chances is Travis Edwards.With work ranging from commercial to documentary to narrative, Travis’s focus has always been on the impact of storytelling through video. His award-winning work has taken him across the country and has involved everything from filming undercover in puppy mills to filming politicians in D.C.