Michael Thompson is the longest serving non-violent offender in Michigan history and this year he is finally up for clemency. In 1994, he was arrested for selling three pounds of cannabis to a close friend turned police informant. He was sentenced to 42 to 60 years in prison and remained there even after Michigan legalizes the recreational use and sale of cannabis. The film follows Michael’s daughter Rashawnda and his lawyer Kim during the fight for clemency and examines the harm the war on drugs has caused on communities and explores paths forward as national Cannabis legalization gets closer to becoming a reality.
Please look into the work over at LastPrisonerProject.org on how to get involved. All the love and gratitude to Michael, Rashawnda, and Kim and all the activists, researchers, and crew that helped in making this meaningful project.
Nick Kush: After recently watching Laura Poitras’ fantastic All the Beauty and the Bloodshed, I’ve reflected a bit on how vital works of activist art are to us. Unquestionably, all art has the power to change lives, but seeing brave artists tackle immense systems of influence and directly change lives in the process is something different entirely. Although it doesn’t reach the same heights as Poitras’ work (few films this year have), The Sentence of Michael Thompson is a great addition and a reminder that shorts not only serve as proving grounds for up-and-coming filmmakers, but also hold plenty of societal sway.
SXSW Film Festival – Audience Award Winner
Palm Springs International Film Festival – Jury and Audience Award Winner
Hamptons International Film Festival – Special Mention and Audience Award Winner
River Run International Film Festival – Jury Award Winner
Chicago Film Critics Film Festival – Audience Award Winner
Traverse City Film Festival
Santa Barbra Film Festival
Doc NYC Film Festival
Calgary International Film Festival
Rhode Island International Film Festival
Nashville Film Festival
Hollyshorts Film Festival
Boston Globe Film Festival
Indy Shorts International Film Festival
Atlanta Film Festival
Athen International Film Festival
Freep Film Festival
Director: Kyle Thrash and Haley Elizabeth Anderson
Producer: W. Ian Ross and Kyle Thrash
Executive Producer: Bryn Mooser, Just Lacob, Kathryn Everett, and Lydia Kives
Executive Producer: Rashida Jones, and Amanda Spain
Executive Producer: William Crouse
Production: Synonymous Pictures
With Support from: Last Prisoner Project
Cinematographer: Logan Triplett
Editor: Matt Schaff
Composer: Malcolm Parson
Musicians: Jon Key, Dwayne Dugger II, and Malcolm Parson
Post sound: Calvin Pia
Color: Joseph Bicknell
Color Producer: Kristopher Young
Titles: Eduardo Palma
Production Sound Mixer: Nik Dranksoaki, and Mark Haygen
Assistant Camera: Kameron Donald, and Hannah Noel
B Camera: Noah Elliot Morrison
G+E Specialty: Gavin Smith
Production Manager: Jake Sharpless and Kathryna Postema
Production Assistant: Andrew Diolio, Jose Marrero, Andre Rowlett, and Arielle Mock
Production Consultant: Robert Kandle
Music Supervisor: Joe O’Riordan
Archivist: Dorian Stern
Researchers: Mira Edmonds and Emma Siskin
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