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Project of the Day: ‘Dying For Sunlight’

Project of the Day: 'Dying For Sunlight'

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.

Dying for Sunlight

Tweetable Logline: The U.N. Special Rapporteur defines solitary confinement for more than 15 days as torture. California isolates people for decades.

Elevator Pitch: Sitawa Nantambu Jamaa has been confined inside a windowless, concrete cell for the last 30 years in California’s Pelican Bay State Prison. He was put there not for the crime that landed him in prison, but for political reading materials found in his cell. He is one of thousands who the California Department of Corrections houses in indefinite isolation. Last summer, 30,000 incarcerated Californians participated in the largest prisoner hunger strike in U.S. history against these conditions of confinement. This film asks: What led them do this? What are the effects of solitary on individuals, their family, and society?

Production Team: 

Lucas Guilkey – Director / Producer / DP / Editor
Salima Hamirani – Producer / Sound
Nazly Siadate – Associate Producer / 2nd Camera 

About the film: As Americans, we are often concerned about human rights abuses occurring overseas, but unaware of torture happening in our own backyard. Being from the supposedly liberal state of California, I am continually shocked by the fact that thousands of people are isolated in indefinite solitary confinement–or “buried alive”–a policy that makes California an outlier internationally. I’ve become moved by the stories of the family members of the hunger strikers: from confusion and shame about having a loved one locked up to empowerment and having an active voice in our political system. As they reiterate, “Anyone could be in our shoes.” 

Current status: Production and Fundraising

For more information and to support this project: Indiegogo Page

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