Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020            7:00P.M.          WKAR Studios

For directions, please click HERE.

Genre: Documentary


Katie Galloway and Dawn Valadez /USA/2018/56 min


 I was in prison before I was even born. So begins the story of Victor Rios, a high school dropout, Oakland gang member, and three-time felon by age 15. But when a teacher’s quiet persistence, a mentor’s moral conviction, and his best friend’s murder converge, Rios’s path takes an unlikely turn. 20 years later Rios, by then an award winning professor, author and expert on the school to prison pipeline, rejoins his old mentor to work with young people who have been pushed out of school for reasons beyond their control.


KATIE GALLOWAY- Director, Producer, Writer, Founder and Principal of BIG PICTURES, is a documentary filmmaker, investigative reporter & impact producer whose work explores the intersections of institutional power, civil & human rights and political activism. Her feature documentary The Return (POV, 2016), is the third in her trilogy on the 21st century American justice system, which also includes Better This World (POV, 2011), and Prison Town, USA (POV, 2007). Galloway also produced and reported an award- winning trilogy of feature docs on the US justice system for PBS Frontline in the late ‘90s: Snitch, The Case For Innocence, And Requiem For Frank Lee Smith.

Galloway’s feature documentaries have been shown at New York’s MoMA and Lincoln Center and at top festivals internationally and have been awarded many top prizes including the Writer’s Guild of America’s Best Documentary Screenplay Award, Gotham Independent Film’s Best Documentary Award, an IDA Creative Achievement Award, Imagen’s Best Documentary prize and top doc prizes from Tribeca and SF International, and has been nominated for 5 national Emmys, IDA’s Best Doc prize, and a Peabody.

Her short films have run in New York Times Op-Docs, Field of Vision, The Marshall Project’s View Finder Series, Mother Jones, and USA Today. A three time Sundance fellow, Galloway has also held fellowships at Fledgling Fund, Film Independent, and HBO, and she was named Filmmaker in Residence at UC Berkeley’s Investigative Reporting Program. She holds a Master’s from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, where she later taught Documentary Production, and a Ph.D. in Politics from UC Berkeley, where she also taught Documentary History and Theory in the Department of Media Studies.

DAWN VALADEZ- Producer, Co-Director, is a filmmaker, social worker, artist, youth development specialist, resource wrangler and impact strategist. Her award-winning feature documentary GOING ON 13 premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and has screened worldwide. In addition to co-helming The Pushouts impact campaign with Galloway, Valadez is directing and producing Teacher Like Me, a multi-media project in production. Teacher Like Me, coming in 2020, will complete Valadez’s trilogy on race, class, education and coming of age in the 21st Century United States.

Valadez’s work has been awarded numerous awards and honors, including most recently the Saul Zaentz Artist Award (2017), a Chicago Media Project Impact Prize (2018) and the Imagen Awards’ Best Documentary Award (2018). Vice President of the board of the Bay Area Video Coalition (BAVC), Valadez advises on documentary films and public engagement campaigns and acts as a review panelist for a range of public documentary and other media funders. She lives and works in Oakland, California.

A discussion with Alfonso Salais Jr. (Profesor de Español, Lansing School District), Elias Lopez (Senior Associate Director, MSU’s College Assistance Migrant Program), Amanda Flores (Ph.D. Student in Education) and Nyeli (Student, The Ingham Academy) moderated by Maria Serrato (Capital Area Latina Youth) will follow this screening.