Director Sam Bathrick, Producer Adam Barton; Associate Producer Chloe Sabin, Film Subjects Todd ‘Speech’ Thomas, Teddy Kane & Loretta Simmons-Jackson; Al Shurman, Editor; Alex Cullen, DP; Sammy Dane, Assistant Editor

DocLands Closing Night was a truly inspirational occasion, with the sold-out screening of Sam Bathrick’s World Premiere 16 Bars bringing audiences to tears, sighs, and, eventually, their feet, for an extended standing ovation that left filmmakers and subjects speechless. A heartfelt and sincere conversation ensued about the issues raised in the film regarding prison reform, cycles of incarceration and addition, America’s broken criminal justice system, and the deeply personal story of Teddy Kane, in attendance with his mother Loretta Simmons-Jackson for the premiere. Kane performed a moving original poem and Speech Thomas led the crowd in song, bringing the audience to their feet again to dance and sing along to a rousing rendition of People Everyday.

The Closing Night Party at Art Works Downtown saw guests, CFI members and Festival supporters mingling with filmmakers and subjects, enjoying delicious food and drink from Sol Food, Fiorello’s Artisan Gelato, and Lagunitas Brewing Company, and coming together with ideas and resources to enact real change in the lives of the people and issues being discovered in many DocLands films – exactly what DocLands is all about.

For more information on Speech’s foundation that supports the men in the film and others like them:

Photos © Tommy Lau Photography

Visit the REAL LIFE program website to learn about and support the 16 Bars mission.