Wheelchair Accessible Venue, Open Captions, Introduction and Q&A are ASL Interpreted and Live Captioned
Nance Ackerman, Teresa MacInnes, Ariella Pahlke / 2019 / Canada / 78 min
“It’s not that we wanna be here... where else do we have to go?"
– Bianca Mercer
Bianca Mercer is one of many women affected by Canada’s ineffective prison system. With more resources being invested into prisons than communities, women have become the highest growing prison population in the world.
In Conviction, a team of documentary filmmakers gain access to a female correctional facility in Nova Scotia to tackle the crisis from within. Instead of simply conducting interviews, the filmmakers collaborate with Bianca and other women in the facility to create a deeply personal and prisoner’s-eye documentary. Utilizing cameras, spoken word poetry and art supplies, the women share their experiences with institutionalization and unapologetically address the ineptitude of incarceration. What can we do to prevent women from being imprisoned in the first place and stop systemic re-institutionalization? Working alongside the Elizabeth Fry Society and the filmmakers, the women envision a better alternative to a failing criminal justice system to build communities; not cages.
Join us for our first panel discussion, which will include Conviction’s filmmaker Ariella Pahlke, subject Tanya Bignell, guests with lived experience of incarceration, Canadian Senator Kim Pate, and representatives from the Elizabeth Fry Society. Moderated by Orev Reena Katz, a Mental Health Correctional Chaplain, they will discuss the various realities and difficulties for women living with mental health issues within a correctional facility. Why are women the fastest growing segment of the prison system in Canada? How do we support, encourage and make space for the growth of women on the inside?