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by Indiewire
December 18, 2012 11:05 AM
1 Comment
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Project of the Day: The Houdini of Florida Who Suffers in Solitary Confinement

Here's your daily dose of an indie film in progress; at the end of the week, you'll have the chance to vote for your favorite.

In the meantime: Is this a movie you’d want to see? Tell us in the comments.
 
"The Life and Mind of Mark DeFriest"
 
Tweetable Logline:
 
After 27 years enduring the brutality of solitary confinement, a renowned prison escape artist faces his last chance for legitimate freedom.
 
Elevator Pitch:
 

The Life and Mind of Mark DeFriest exposes the story of a non-violent offender who has spent 27 years in solitary confinement and is known as the “Houdini of Florida” for his multiple prison escapes. Forced to adapt to life in a 6x9 cell directly above the electric chair, where he could smell the burning flesh of executions, Mark DeFriest’s story shows the brutality of the prison-industrial complex and the resilience of a brilliant mind. Without hope for decades, DeFriest gets a new chance for freedom when the doctor whose diagnosis originally condemned him to prison admits he was wrong.

Production Team:
 

Director/Producer:  Gabriel London
Producer: Daniel J. Chalfen
Executive Producers:  Jim Butterworth & David Menschel

About the Production:
 

"I believe the power of Mark DeFriest’s unique story will be its ability to both entertain audiences and reveal the cruelty of our prison system. In 2001, I made a film about Rodney Hulin, whose tragic story of prison rape spoke for thousands of inmates impacted by the issue and was instrumental in Congress passing the Prison Rape Elimination Act. Similarly, Mark DeFriest’s story speaks to numerous issues surrounding our dysfunctional prison system - from long-term solitary to criminalization of the mentally ill - while compelling a diverse audience with his outsized personality, brutal experiences, and incredible escape artist feats." -- Gabriel London

Current Status:

Post-production
 
For more information and to support this project:
 
Kickstarter Page
Filmmaker Website
 
 

 
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1 Comment

  • Bonnie DeFriest | December 23, 2012 10:33 PMReply

    This is my husband's tragic story - told with Truth and compassion by Gabriel London. A little humor here and there makes it go down a little easier, but 19 years of sharing Mark's heart-wrenching, going on 33-year prison ordeal has only made my marriage to him stronger, and the need for his relief more imperative! Bravo! Gabe - Carry on --