I WAS IN PRISON BEFORE I WAS EVEN BORN. SO BEGINS THE STORY OF DR. VICTOR RIOS WHO, BY 15, WAS A HIGH SCHOOL DROPOUT AND GANG MEMBER WITH MULTIPLE FELONY CONVICTIONS AND A DEATH WISH. BUT WHEN A TEACHER'S QUIET PERSISTENCE, A MENTOR'S MORAL CONVICTION AND HIS BEST FRIEND'S MURDER CONVERGE, RIOS'S PATH TAKS AN UNEXPECTED TURN. THROUGH RIOS'S PERSONAL LENS AND ITS INTERPLAY WITH THE STORIES OF THE YOUNG PEOPLE OF YO!WATTS, THE PUSHOUTS INTERROGATES CRUCIAL QUESTIONS OF RACE, CLASS & POWER - AND THE PROMISE AND PERILS OF EDUCATION - AT A PARTICULARLY URGENT TIME.
GALLOWAY's films explore the intersections of institutional power, civil & human rights and political activism. Her intimate, character-driven feature documentaries THE RETURN (2016), EL POETA (2015), BETTER THIS WORLD (2011) and PRISON TOWN, USA (2007) examine America's criminal justice and mass incarceration systems with a particular focus on the legacies of the drug war and 9/11. A two time Sundance fellow, recent Fledgling Fund Fellow and Filmmaker in Residence at UC Berkeley's Investigative Reporting Program, Galloway has received the Writer's Guild of America's Best Documentary Screenplay Award, Tribeca's Audience Award for Best Documentary, the International Documentary Association's Creative Recognition Award, a Sergio de Mello Humanitarian Award, Best Documentary prizes from San Francisco International and Sarasota Film Festivals and five national Emmy nominations. Her short films have been commissioned by the NYT's Op-Docs series (A RIDE HOME FROM PRISON and THREE STRIKES OF INJUSTICE), Field of Vision (ERIC & ANNA); Mother Jones (THE LIFERS SERIES) and The Marshall Project (HOT CHICKEN, FAIR CHANCE). Galloway has taught documentary production, history and theory at Columbia University (where she also received her Master's in Journalism) and in Media Studies at UC Berkeley, from where she holds a Ph.D. in Political Science with focus on Political Behavior and Public Law.
DAWN VALADEZ is a social worker, filmmaker, fundraiser and impact strategist. Her first film, GOING ON 13, premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival. In addition to THE PUSHOUTS, Valadez is also in production on TEACHER LIKE ME. This film tells the stories of five leaders of color becoming teachers in a system that failed them. All three films explore race, class, education, and coming of age in 21st century America.
She was chosen to attend the CPB Producer’s Academy, BAVC National MediaMaker Fellowship, NALIP’s Latino Producers Academy and Media Market and the Women of Color Filmmakers’ Residency.
DANIELLA BROWER SUEUGA is a documentary producer, researcher and writer who has worked in film, legal and investigative fields for nearly 20 years. Her long- and short-form work has covered a range of issues including the American criminal justice system, the rise of mass incarceration, international arms trafficking and post-Hurricane Katrina social and economic policy. In addition to producing and co-writing THE PUSHOUTS, Sueuga’s prior work includes ERIC & ANNA, a short film for The Intercept’s visual journalism arm, Field of Vision, PRISON TOWN, USA (POV) and MINE (Independent Lens) as well as number of other PBS FRONTLINE, POV, Court TV and National Geographic films.