16 Bars

16 Bars Film




Grammy-winning hip hop artist Speech Thomas of the iconic group Arrested Development leads a unique collaborative music workshop in the Richmond City Jail in Virginia. Striving to overcome their demons, four past and present inmates work side-by-side with Speech to transform their experiences, hopes and fears into songs. Exploring cycles of addiction and incarceration through the power of music and storytelling, the film offers a window into rehab.

Laurel-Wreath-Winner-800x442
  • Audience AwardDoclands Documentary Film Festival
  • Best DocumentaryDowntown LA film Festival
  • Best MusicMacon Film Festival

Campaign Highlights

  • 20 community screenings October 2019 – March 2020, co-sponsored with Lightyear Entertainment; partnerships with over 20 nonprofit “recovery” and “prison reform” groups
  • Over 50 conversations ongoing including NACDL Annual Conference, Radcliffe Institute, Boston Fine Arts Museum, Annenberg Foundation, United Nations Association Film Festival, Morehouse College Institute for Leadership
  • First-ever National Virtual Screening, Q&A and Community Engagement Screening, Co-sponsor with California Film Institute, scheduled for late May 2020
  • 15 theatrical screenings in NYC, LA, Washington DC, San Francisco, Baltimore, Richmond, VA, Atlanta, Boston, San Diego, Houston, Co-sponsor with Lightyear Entertainment

What You Can Do