ITHACA, NY — Ithaca College students Leah Galant, Caroline Podraza and Rachel Woolf highlight a former inmate’s successful re-entry to society in “Beyond the Wall,” a social justice documentary recently screened at two national film festivals focused on promoting the work of youth and undergraduate filmmakers.
Through the personal story of Raymond Roe, former inmate at Auburn Correctional Facility, “Beyond the Wall” explores obstacles former prisoners face as they reinvent themselves and reintegrate into society and challenges the negative public perceptions of formerly incarcerated people.
“Beyond the Wall” was one of 28 projects and presentations selected from a pool of international submissions to screen at the Visions Film Festival and Conference, a peer-reviewed film festival and conference hosted by undergraduate film students at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington.
The documentary also screened at the 2014 National Film Festival for Talented Youth — the world’s largest youth film festival — held in Seattle, Washington.
Podraza just graduated with a degree in documentary studies and production, while Galant and Woolf are juniors majoring in the same program.
Roe participated in the Cornell Prison Education Program (CPEP), a regional collaboration between Cornell graduate students and faculty members and a select group of inmates at Auburn Correctional Facility and Cayuga Correctional Facility. CPEP teaches a college-level curriculum to selected students to support the preparations necessary for successful re-entry to society. “Beyond the Wall” will be used in CPEP promotional and educational materials.