AWARDS & PRESS
“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.”
“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."
“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.
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.
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.
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!
"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. Filmmaker and educator Dr. Gilda Sheppard has produced an award-winning documentary, "Since I Been Down," about Kimonti Carter and the TEACH program."
"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."
"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."
“At the core of the documentary are questions: What does forgiveness look like? How about true justice?”
"Since I Been Down shines a brilliant, harsh light on the fundamental dysfunctionality and raw corruption of America's 'criminal justice system.'"
“What is justice? That is the question at the heart of filmmaker and educator Gilda Sheppard’s deeply moving documentary “Since I Been Down.”
"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."
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
2020 DOCNYC Audience Favorite and Top Vote Getter
2020 Social Justice Film Festival’s Feature Documentary Gold Prize
2019 Artist Trust Recipient, Gilda Sheppard
2019 MovieMaker Production Services
2021 Best Cinematographer ThinLine Film Festival,
2021 Media for a Just Society Awards - Finalist in the film category
2021 Impact Doc Awards,
Award of Excellence
2021 Best Feature Documentary Northwest Film Forum Local Sightings Film Festival