CHAINS


TYPE
: Documentary Feature
GENRE: Documentary
STATUS: Post-Production

LOGLINE

Framed for murder by mafia cops Barry Gibbs was freed from prison after two decades only to discover that his real nightmare had just begun.

SYNOPSIS

A brutally honest portrait of life after wrongful conviction, this film follows Barry Gibbs' larger than life character caught in the worst case of NYPD corruption. Beginning where all wrongful conviction stories end, Barry’s story is about trauma and healing as he embarks on a journey to become whole again, only to find the loss of freedom can never be undone.

ARTISTIC STATEMENT

Barry Gibbs will never get the images of prison out of his head. Even after winning the largest civil rights settlement in New York City’s history he is no lottery winner. After 19 unjust years behind bars, wrongful imprisonment took everything from him - his family, his health, his sanity. The only thing he has left is his story.  This is the story of Barry’s journey after prison, the struggle to piece a shattered life back together when NYPD detectives, hired by the mafia, framed him for murder, and changed his life forever.  Beginning several years after his exoneration, this film captures the nuanced difficulty of daily life as an eccentric and neurotic Jewish man from Brooklyn tries to return to the world. An intimate and visceral perspective of life after wrongful conviction, this film illustrates the truth that settles in when the initial excitement of freedom fades. Following Barry’s unfiltered, authentic character over a 10-year period, never before has a film ventured so deeply into the trauma and PTSD of wrongful incarceration, and been so simultaneously humorous and heartbreaking - so real.  

I want people to watch this film, and understand that when we wrongfully incarcerate a person it changes their life forever. I want this film to be an instrument for change - helping to support The Innocence Projects efforts to provide mandatory compensation for each year in prison, and to provide immediate services to exonorees for basic necessities upon release. 

KEY CREW

Zoe Potkin - Director / Producer

ZOE POTKIN is a New York based filmmaker, 2019 New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) Individual Artists grant recipient, and 2018 Fellow in Kickstarter’s Creators in Residence program. She’s worked for years as a Producer of documentary series and films, commercials and branded content for companies like Radical Media, Pulse Films, VICE, and Yahoo! and is making her first feature documentary produced by Park Pictures. The most recent short doc she produced “All Good Things” premiered at BAM CinemaFest. Previously, she produced the feature doc “Faultlines” for Redbull TV, and the doc series, “Twiz and Tuck” for Viceland. She graduated from New York University in 2010 with a BA in Documentary Film and Journalism.

Sam Bisbee - Producer

Sam Bisbee is an Independent Spirit Award nominated producer and founding partner of Park Pictures Features, the feature film division of acclaimed commercial production company Park Pictures. In 2009, Sam produced “The New Tenants” which won the Academy Award in 2010 for best Live Action Short. Over the last seven years, Bisbee and Park Pictures have brought nine films to premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, all of which have been picked up at Sundance for distribution: 2012’s Sloan Award winner “Robot and Frank,” 2013's Golden Globe nominated “Infinitely Polar Bear,” as well as “God's Pocket,” “Cop Car,” “Other People,” “The Hero,” “Hearts Beat Loud,” An Evening with Beverly Luff Linn,” and Rudy Valdez’s “The Sentence” (HBO, Sundance 2018 Audience Award US Documentary). 

Theodora Dunlap - Producer

Theadora Dunlap is a New York based Producer and Development Executive with Park Pictures Features & Television. Her film credits include documentary film, “The Sentence” (Sundance 2018), and narrative films; “Hearts Beat Loud” (Sundance 2018), “An Evening with Beverly Luff Linn” (Sundance 2018), “The Hero” (Sundance 2017), “Other People” (Sundance 2016), “Cop Car” (Sundance 2015), “Infinitely Polar Bear” (Sundance 2014), “God's Pocket” (Sundance 2014) and “Robot and Frank” (Sundance 2012). 

Kate Barry - Executive Producer

Kate Barry is a film and TV Producer. She is currently Producing the “I’ll be Gone in the Dark” series directed by Liz Garbus for HBO. Most recently she was the Supervising Producer on Michael Moore’s upcoming film “Fahrenheit 11/9.” She produced the Sundance, Ford and Impact Partners supported documentary “The Pearl” directed by Jessica Dimmock and Christopher LaMarca (2018). She is former VP of Production, TV and Branded Content for Pulse Films. She was a Line Producer for The National Geographic Channel, overseeing global productions including Emmy nominated series “Cosmos”, “Brain Games,” and “StarTalk.” Her work for HBO includes the Emmy nominated series “The Weight of the Nation,” Rebecca Cammisa’s “Atomic Homefront,” and “Words that Built America.” She consults for multiple production companies including Jigsaw Productions, and Moxie Firecracker. 

Katie Couric - Executive Producer

Katie Couric is an American journalist, filmmaker, and NYT best selling author. Couric recently served as Yahoo! Global News Anchor, and has been a television host on ABC, CBS, and NBC. She hosted “Katie” her own syndicated daytime talk show produced by ABC Disney. She was co-host of “The Today Show,” anchor of CBS Evening News, and correspondent for “60 Minutes.” Couric produced the groundbreaking documentaries, “Fed-Up” (2014), “Under The Gun” (2016), “Gender Revolution” (2017), and most recently, the documentary series “America Inside Out” (2018) for National Geographic. In 2004, Couric was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame. 

Tony Goldwyn - Executive Producer

Tony Goldwyn is an Actor, director, producer and star of the award winning drama series “Scandal.”  Other film credits include “Divergent,” “Ghost,” “The Pelican Brief,” “Kiss the Girls,” “Nixon” and “The Last Samurai” to name a few. As a director, credits include “A Walk on the Moon” in addition to “The Last Kiss,” “Someone Like You” and “Conviction,” about a woman’s quest to exonerate her brother, starring Hilary Swank.  He also directed the pilot for “The Divide,” a series he co-created about the vagaries of our criminal justice system. Goldwyn spends his personal time on philanthropic efforts supporting groups including The Innocence Project. 

Sanaa Hamri - Executive Producer

Sanaa Hamri is a renowned film, television, music video and commercial director from Tangier, Morocco.  She is currently Executive Producer/Director of the hit series "Empire" on Fox Broadcasting. Hamri started her career as an editor, then began directing music videos, and has collaborated with high profile artists including Prince, Common, Lenny Kravitz, Rihanna, Justin Bieber, Snoop Dogg, Jay Z, and Mary J. Blige. Hamri directed Mariah Carey’s live concert documentary, “The Adventures of Mimi,” and her episodic work includes: directorial credits on: “Shameless,” “Rectify,” “Nashville,” “Elementary,” “Glee,” “Desperate Housewives,” and VH1’’s “Hit the Floor.” Hamri has directed three feature films: Focus Features’ romantic comedy “Something New,” the sequel to Warner Bros’ “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants,” and the Fox Searchlight romantic comedy “Just Wright,” starring Queen Latifa, Common and Paula Patton.

Vanessa Potkin - Executive Producer

Vanessa Potkin is Director of Post-Conviction Litigation at The Innocence Project. She joined in 2000 as its first staff attorney, and has represented and exonerated over 30 innocent individuals. Vanessa is a nationally recognized expert on wrongful convictions, and the use of DNA to establish innocence; she is regularly consulted by attorneys, judicial and legislative committees, and media outlets. Together with actress/ activist Viola Davis, Potkin created, developed, and Executive Produced “The Last Defense,” which premiered at Tribeca, and aired on ABC (2018). The series led to a new trial for Julius Jones, showing the power of storytelling to make change. 

Josh Melrod - Editor

Josh Melrod is a filmmaker, writer, and graphic artist. Credits include the documentary "The Cult of JT LeRoy," (2016) which he edited and co-produced, the narrative short “SKUNK,” First Prize Cinefondation (winner 2014 Cannes Film Festival), narrative features "Northern Borders," starring Bruce Dern, and "Peter & John," starring Jacqueline Bisset, as well as forthcoming films "The Entitlement," "Same Boat," (2018) and "Albanian Gangster." Josh was co-director and editor of the documentary "Cartoon College" which premiered screened at dozens of festivals worldwide.  He was named among “10 Filmmakers To Watch in 2010” by The Independent.

Ines Vogelfang - Editor

Ines Vogelfang is a film and TV editor from Buenos Aires, Argentina currently living and working in NYC. She received her Masters in Media Studies and Documentary Film at The New School. She is an alumna of the Imagine Science Film Festival's Symbiosis Competition, and an alumna of the Documentary WIP Lab at DCTV with moderator Yance Ford, and is a 2019 recipient of the prestigious Karen Schmear Film Editing Fellowship. 

 

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ACCOLADES

-
IFP Fiscal Sponsorship Program 2019
-
IFP Documentary Lab 2019
-
NYSCA Individual Artist Grant 2019
-
Kickstarter Creators in Residence Fellowship 2018

 

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