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QLP BLOG

Keep in the know with documentary filmmaking

Legislative Action

Social justice filmmakers always dream of having legislative impact. A chance to strategically create change that truly makes a concrete difference. A movement that leads to tangible change in by framing an important but largely invisible issue in meaningful human terms. Meaningful terms that affect communities. Reunite families. Give women who have been incarcerated for decades a glimmer of hope and a future in the free world.

With Sin by Silence, we knew from the very beginning that we wanted to create enough of an impact to free the women of Convicted Women Against Abuse. To create more than just a film. To create an impact that went straight to the California Capitol to directly help release the women who are featured in the film. In 2012, our dream finally is coming true with The Sin by Silence Bills (AB 593 & AB1593).

The Timeline:

In 2009, California faced an unanticipated challenge when the Governor eliminated all funding for domestic violence agencies. But, the tide turned as Californian's cried out for justice and safety for families. Four months later, the State government temporarily reinstated shelter funding for the fiscal year. But, the damage was already done. Across the state, five shelters already had to permanently close their doors to victims needing help in their area. The Quiet Little Place team was invited to join the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence in Sacramento for Legislative Action Days taking place on the 1 year anniversary of our debut. As a pivotal moment in our campaign, Sin by Silence screened for the Select Committee on Domestic Violence, as well as the Legislative Women's Caucus in order to help bring urgency to the ever growing issues of domestic violence throughout the state. Our team, as well as Brenda Clubine who is featured in the film, were part of the taking part of various meetings with legislators to help educate about the resources needed to support domestic violence programs and services throughout California.

In 2010, the Quiet Little Place team was invited to join the Women In Government conferences to present our film and research directly to female legislators from across the country. As a result, we were able to personally inspire California Assemblywoman Fiona Ma to take on our cause to help the remaining survivors trapped behind bars. The result? A journey to bring to life new legislation that would make history in California.

In 2011, we gathered key individuals from the California Habeas Project, UC Berkeley Law, the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence, along with key survivors and lawyers who helped their cases find freedom to head to Sacramento for an information hearing hosted by Assemblywoman Fiona Ma. All of our hard work, and years of outreach, came down to this moment when we were able to present the cause to the Capitol. This pivotal hearing lit an emotional flame that has fueled a movement and the Sin by Silence Bill (AB 593) is awaiting a final vote from the State Senate to change the laws that continue to keep many of the women in the film still behind bars. Sin by Silence is more than just a film - it represents what great television can do when we act - lives will change, women’s roles will transform, and the next generation will be empowered to act with courage.

The Outcome:

After countless conference calls, meetings, trips to Sacramento, and speaking at legislative hearings, Governor Brown signed the Sin by Silence Bills into law and went into effect on January 1, 2013.

“I am so proud that Governor Brown has signed both of my bills,” stated Assemblywoman Ma. “Today, we give hope to approximately 7,000 victims across the state who have survived domestic violence, who believed the system had failed them, and will now have an opportunity to speak out against injustice.”

This effort would not have happened without the Sin by Silence network who joined with us, signed petitions, made calls to legislators and Governor Brown to ensure these bills became law!

To find out more about the Sin by Silence Bill visit http://www.SinBySilenceBill.com

People Magazine highlights the work of QLP

A behind the scenes look at Sin by Silence was in People Magazine's January 2010 issue. As part of the "Amazing Reunions" article, the story of how Brenda Clubine lost her son upon incarceration was highlighted. As shown in a scene of Sin by Silence, a phone call connected them after nearly 26 years of being a part. The glue that brought their reunion together was actually the production of Sin by Silence when Olivia Klaus, the director of the film, got a phone call from Brenda's son while on his quest to find his mother. The QLP team was then able to play a key role in reuniting a mother and son together, while also capturing this amazing journey for what becomes a beautiful ending to such a tragic story.



Click here to take a look at all of the stories featured in the Amazing Reunions article.

Sin By Silence

Inside the California Institution for Women, the first inmate initiated and led group in U.S. prison history, shatters the misconceptions of domestic violence. Instead of fighting a system that does not fully comprehend the complexities of abuse, the women of Convicted Women Against Abuse led an initiative to help educate the system. Through careful orchestration of letter writing campaigns, media coverage, and senate hearings a movement was born and laws for battered women were changed. And for the founder of CWAA, the flicker of hope begins to grow as her possible freedom, after 26 years in prison, lies moments away.

Where We Come From

In October, 1962, a man named James Meredith integrated the all-white University of Mississippi amidst tear gas and riots. The filmmaker's father, a member of the school’s student council, silently stood his ground to keep Meredith out. President John F. Kennedy sent government troops down to the University campus and forced James Meredith’s integration. He graduated from the University in 1964 as the school’s first black student. Where We Come From is a film and interactive campaign that examines belief in equality and the links to family.

Krenny

Patricia Krenwinkel was convicted in 1971, and sentenced to death for her part in the Charles Manson murders. She has never before told the story that could change every young woman's life.

QLP Team Chosen for Film Residency

"You can’t just want your film to be a powerful tool for creating social change. YOU HAVE TO ENSURE IT!" - Working Films

The Quiet Little Place team will be heading to NY in August for our first film residence with Working Films. As a recent grantee of the Fledgling Fund, were were chose to be part of the week long activities that will help us refine audience engagement plans for Sin by Silence.

"This interactive workshop focuses on the nuts & bolts of audience and community engagement campaigning for non-fiction films. Working Films will guide a select group of grantees from the Fledgling Fund and Chicken & Egg Pictures as they create and/or refine audience engagement plans for their non-fiction media and film projects. Linking the documentaries to organizations committed to progressive social change will be a key component of the residency."

Click here to read more.


NPR story with Sin by Silence – Round Two

Another great piece about domestic violence aired on NPR today. It featured a segment from Sin by Silence, and has sparked great discussions on the topic of shelter budget cuts in the midst of skyrocketing demand for help.

“When the economy goes down, the number of domestic abuse cases usually goes up. KPCC’s Susan Valot says that seems to be the case in Orange County, where it’s taking more work to place battered women and their children in safe havens.”

Click here to have a listen.


Sin by Silence Featured on NPR

We recently did an interview with Patt Morrison on KPCC and had amazing response. What an amazing opportunity to talk about the film and help shed some light on the issues of domestic violence.

Patt Morrison's show is known for its innovative discussions of local politics and culture, and for its presentation of national and world news as it affects Southern California.

Take a listen to the rest of the interview by clicking here.