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FREE! Our Families and Communities from the culture and industry of prison

FREE! Families Film Forum Launch featuring Lockdown USA

FREE! Families Film Forum Social Justice Screening Series Launches in Harlem, March 9, 2009, the eve of historic Rockefeller Advocacy Day.

FREE! Families Rally for Emancipation and Empowerment, a grassroots community organizing collective of people with incarcerated loved ones, is launching a new monthly event at the Maysles Cinema in Harlem. Each month, FREE! Families Film Forum will present a different social justice film followed by interactive audience discussion to prompt dialogue, strategy and action by community stakeholders.

The first film to be shown on Monday, March 9th, from 6:30-8:30, is Lockdown USA, a feature-length documentary that chronicles some of the 35 year struggle to repeal New York State’s “Rockefeller” Drug Laws , with Russell Simmons and long time activists. The Film Forum’s Premiere comes on the eve of Drop the Rock Coalition’s Advocacy Day, when hundreds from New York City, including members of FREE! meet directly with Legislators in Albany to advocate for their repeal, after 35 destructive years.

Subsequent screenings will be held each second Monday of the month, from 6:30-8:30pm, throughout 2009. The Film Forum is a partnership with Maysles Cinema, a small Harlem theater that seats 60, created to cultivate a non-traditional audience for documentary and “art” films.

Although there is no cost to attend the FREE! Families Film Forum, FREE! does suggest making a donation to support the work of their small, non-profit. They also request an RSVP to if you are planning to attend, as space is limited.

FREE! is a women-led, grassroots collective of people with incarcerated loved ones working to mobilize communities most impacted by mass incarceration to change destructive, profit-driven prison and criminal justice policies. FREE! received a 2006 Union Square Award, and receive support from the New York Foundation, Fortune Society, Manhattan Neighborhood Network, and the North Star Fund.

Directions and contact information for Maysles Cinema are: 343 Malcolm X Boulevard, NYC (between 127th and 128th Streets). Trains: 2/3/4/5/6/A/B/C/D to 125th street);, 212-582-6050 ext. 218. Drop the Rock Coordinator: (Caitlin Dunklee, 212-254-5700 x339).