Monday, June 4th, 2018

Admission To All Screenings Is Free

(But if you want guaranteed seating and a chance to party with the filmmakers, pick up a Fast Pass or Fast Pass Deluxe HERE.)

The NHdocs Videotheque

Philip Marrett room, New Haven Free Public Library, 133 Elm Street

Screenings at 12:00 and 2:30 PM

Full schedule HERE.


7:00 PM – Auditorium, Whitney Humanities Center, 53 Wall Street, New Haven

Cooler Bandits (John Lucas, 2014) – 100min 


Recently arrived New Haven resident John Lucas spent seven years filming Cooler Bandits, which follows the lives of Frankie, Donovan, Charlie and Poochie––four friends in Akron, Ohio, who committed a series of restaurant robberies as teens in 1991 and received stiff sentences of up to 500 years in prison.

Caught up in the wave of over sentencing, mass incarceration and a system designed to brand criminals felons for life this film documents their personal journeys of survival, redemption and reintegration into society.

Q&A with director Matthew O’Neill, Jessica Proctor, and producer Cynthia Ferrar follows the screening of Life on Parol

9:00 PM – Auditorium, Whitney Humanities Center, 53 Wall Street, New Haven

Life on Parole (Matthew O’Neill, 2017) – 55min

Working closely with New Haven resident Cynthia Farrar–– CEO and executive producer at Purple States TV, Matthew O’Neill (Yale ’00) investigates an important dimension of the American penal system for Frontline. 

Around half of all the inmates put on parole in the U.S. end up violating the terms of their release and are sent back to prison. But across the country, states are trying to change the way their parole systems work in an effort to lower recidivism rates and reduce prison populations.

LIFE ON PAROLE goes inside one state, Connecticut, to examine its ongoing effort to rethink parole: a condition that offers a taste of freedom but comes with strict prohibitions on whom you can live with, where you can go, what time you have to be home and more.

“Most people who are in prison in America will one day be released on parole,” says Matthew O’Neill, the Oscar®-nominated and Emmy®-winning director of LIFE ON PAROLE. “And as Connecticut brings its prison population down and attempts to give parolees more chances to succeed, we wanted to see if the experience of the parolees reflected these changes.”

With unique access inside Connecticut’s corrections system, as well as camera-phone footage filmed by the parolees themselves, the film follows four former prisoners as they navigate the challenges of more than a year on parole — from finding work, to staying sober, to parenting — and doing it all while under intense supervision from the state.

Mike Lawlor, one of the architects of the changes in Connecticut, tells FRONTLINE, “It’s not unusual for parolees to come back once or twice once they’re out. They didn’t commit a new crime, but they’re violating the rules of their supervision. We’re trying to figure out ways to help these offenders succeed.”

The film also follows the parole officers. “I make a living on second chances — that’s what parole is,” says Officer Katherine Montoya. “The whole point of this exercise is for the offender to learn to do the right thing on their own.”

More than two years in the making, LIFE ON PAROLE is a remarkable, firsthand look at why some people stay out of jail, why some go back, and how one state is trying to break the cycle of recidivism. The collaborative reporting effort will also include text stories, video pieces and interactives in The New York Times.

Q&A with director Matthew O’Neill, Jessica Proctor, and producer Cynthia Ferrar follows the screening of Life on Parol