AWARDS & PRESS
March 28, 2023
“Gilda is a true gem — an educator and filmmaker whose impact on students is nothing short of magnificent. Those who have taken her sociology, cultural, and media classes at The Evergreen State College praise her for her charisma and her downright unfiltered truth-telling.”
February 24, 2023
"The 19th staff recognize Gilda Sheppard. We selected three of the folks you told us were making an impact and showing Black excellence in their own way.”
August 26, 2022
"Stuck in institutions that have shown little to no interest in rehabilitating lifers, (they) have educated themselves and joined support organizations, effectively re-creating themselves as potentially productive members of society — but only if the society that threw them away 30 years ago ever decides to take them back."
June 2, 2022
"Since I Been Down aims to stimulate legislative change, scaling in-prison education programs and building a pathway to healing from the people furthest down."
May 31, 2022
“The excellent new documentary @SinceIBeenDown1 by @sheppardg tells the story of men locked up decades ago, now trying to change prison from within. It is also a clear-eyed indictment of the policies that put children on a path to incarceration.”
May 27, 2022
Stuck in institutions that have shown little to no interest in rehabilitating lifers, (they) have educated themselves and joined support organizations, effectively re-creating themselves as potentially productive members of society — but only if the society that threw them away 30 years ago ever decides to take them back.
May 27, 2022
“The inmates in this documentary offer reasons for rethinking the harsh sentencing of young people in Washington State.”
May 26, 2022
“Harsh sentencing in the US has led to many economically deprived young men receiving hard-to-contest life sentences but in new documentary, hope awaits”
May 24, 2022
“The layers and complexity of the issues that “Since I Been Down” addresses run deep and the answers run even deeper.”
May 24, 2022
“…very sobering and sometimes heartbreaking documentary…”
May 23, 2022
“How we treat our children, our culture of punishment, tells us who we are as a society and is embedded in our policies.”
March 23, 2022
“This is a great film and makes you want to actually go out and try to solve the problem beyond the twenty minutes after the film ends.”
“In this sweeping documentary…..Gilda Sheppard weaves together interviews with prisoners, cops, and community members to question what true justice looks like, and how Washington’s current answer is insufficient.”
October 26, 2021
“In our film, Since I Been Down, a chorus of voices [weaves] a grand tapestry, telling the story of exactly how and why the United States incarcerates more people than any other nation on earth. But perhaps more importantly, our film shows what can be done to change it."
October 20, 2021
“Since I Been Down” is a powerful film by Gilda Sheppard that calls out for emergent strategies to dismantle the system of mass incarceration and what this award-winning documentarian calls the “culture of punishment” and replace it with transformative justice.
October 11, 2021
"Filmmaker Gilda Sheppard [says that]...the event is part of an effort to “find the love and possibility that we can have for each other and be able to engage in difficult dialogue."
October 8, 2021
"The online speaker series has seen the likes of activist and author Angela Davis and Bryan Stevenson, director of the Equal Justice Initiative, and has reached at least 20,000 people across the U.S.....The next installment in the Visualizing Abolition speaker series will be a conversation with Sheppard and author Adrienne Maree Brown on Oct. 26."
September 17, 2021
"An entry this year that [I'm] really excited for people to see [is] Gilda Sheppard's documentary, Since I Been Down. It was a 10 year process of filming within prisons, and it follows a prisoner-led education program called TEACH that really offers people in the prison an opportunity to learn from one another and find out their ability to grow within prison walls. It's amazing!"
September 8, 2021
"In America’s backyard, a community held captive by policies targeting gangs and drugs sacrifices their youth for a false sense of justice and safety. Nearly forty years later, a true path to justice and healing is led from inside prison walls."
September 7, 2021
"Some of this year's must-see films [include] Since I Been Down."
September 7, 2021
"Watch for: Since I Been Down, a revealing doc about the criminal justice system centered on a Tacoma teenager who was given a prison sentence of 777 years."
"TEACH bridges the gap and helps all prisoners gain equal access to learning opportunities regardless of crime, sentence structure or their citizenship status.
August 5, 2021
"Of note is Gilda Sheppard's Since I Been Down, a documentary following Tacoma-born Kimonti Carter, who was sentenced to life without parole as a teenager under Washington's harsh three-strikes law passed back in 1993."
August 1, 2021
"Since I Been Down shines a brilliant, harsh light on the fundamental dysfunctionality and raw corruption of America's 'criminal justice system.'"
November 15, 2020
"We have learned how not to perceive incarcerated people or be bothered by the fact that more than 2 million people are warehoused away in these institutions of state violence."
Septmeber 30, 2020
“At the core of the documentary are questions: What does forgiveness look like? How about true justice?”
September 28, 2020
“What is justice? That is the question at the heart of filmmaker and educator Gilda Sheppard’s deeply moving documentary “Since I Been Down.”
There were 392 White prisoners incarcerated per 100k people in WA State prisons, as compared to 2,372 African Americans per 100k people. Yet, African Americans make up less than 4% of the state’s total population.
- U.S. Census Data (2010) quoted in Washington State Profile by Prison Policy Initiative
Podcasts & Radio
2023 New York City Independent Festival, Gilda Sheppard for Best Director
Rotterdam Film Festival, Best Documentary Feauture
2022 Rotterdam Film Festival, Best Documentary Feauture
2022 Meaningful Movies Project , Turner Legacy Award,
2021 ThinLine Film Festival,
Cahn Nguyen for Best Cinematographer
2021 Media for a Just Society Awards - Finalist in the film category
2021 Impact Doc Awards,
Award of Excellence
2021 Northwest Film Forum Local Sightings Film Festival, Best Feature Documentary
2020 DOCNYC, Audience Favorite and Top Vote Getter
2020 Social Justice Film Festival’s Feature Documentary Gold Prize