Seats at the Table

: Documentary Feature
GENRE: Documentary
STATUS: Completed



In a maximum security prison, college students and juvenile offenders meet weekly to discuss Russian Literature and discover the transformative power of their shared humanity.





Seats at the Table depicts the life-changing experience undergone by university students and maximum security juvenile prisoners as they meet together to discuss classic works of Russian Literature. This unique class reveals the common humanity shared by these disparate groups when the opportunity to form relationships to bridge differences is created by an innovative educator.


Having spent years with another wonderful teacher, John Hunter, working to replicate his World Peace Game,(the subject of my documentary World Peace and other 4th-Grade Achievements), I met and observed for the past two years UVA Professor Andrew Kaufman and his Books Behind Bars program. This is another example of the potential created by a stellar educational experience. My hope is that this film will truly inspire others to create this type of program in their own communities.


Bill Reifenberger - Editor

Gene Rhodes - Director of Photography

Gabriel DeLoach - Sound Recorder


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UPDATE - December 03, 2019

Seats at the Table had its broadcast premiere on Virginia's public tv station VPM this past November.  American Public Television selected the film for its Exchange Program, and APT is now presenting the film for delivery to public tv stations across the country for broadcast beginning in May, 2020. 

UPDATE - December 03, 2019

Seats at the Table has appeared at several festivals/conferences since its premiere in September, 2018 at the Global Peace FF. This includes screenings at the United Nations Association FF in Palo Alto, the Virginia FF, the Richmond International FF, the Hebden Bridge FF in the UK, the SXSW-EDU Conference, in Paris, France with the UNAFF travelling film fest,as well as screenings at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA and Florida International University in Miami. Just recently Seats at the Table was selected as a Finalist for the Japan Prize for educational media projects by NHK and was presented in Tokyo in November, 2019. 

UPDATE - September 05, 2018

Seats at the Table will have its world premiere at the Global Peace Film Festival in Olando, Florida in September, 2018. That will be followed by a screening at the United Nations Association Film Festival in Palo Alto, California in October. 

UPDATE - October 10, 2017

While still raising completion funding, we are submitting "Seats" to film fests for a 2018 release. 

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