Introducing One For Ten - ten stories of death row exonerees

For every 10 people executed in the US, one death row inmate is released after being found innocent. These exonerees have spent an average of 10 years on death row.

I've been making films about the death penalty for some time now, and this statistic really jumped out at me. With my colleague Mark, we got to thinking that a one in 10 failure rate for anything is unacceptable, let alone sentencing people to the ultimate punishment.

Around the same time, we'd been looking for ways to turn traditional documentary filmmaking on its head - we wanted to find a new way of producing social issue films that would allow people to engage with them, rather than just watching them. In the past, we'd both been frustrated that we'd make content for broadcast on TV, the Cinema and the radio and it was always a one-way transaction that completely disappeared as soon as the credits rolled. Even now with the internet, people can get in touch and let you know what they think of your projects, but we've never worked on one where you - the viewers - are able to help shape the project as it happens.

We decided to try something new. Through our work on the death penalty we knew that there were loads of amazing stories out there that had to be told. 

So we hatched a plan. We thought that if we made 10 films about 10 exonerees and made them as 'live' as possible, filming in one day, editing the next and uploading that night, we could inform them about the topic and engage with our audience as we went. The result is One For Ten, a project that gives us the level of interactivity we were looking for - allowing the audience to ask the questions, shape each film and turn the production process 'democratic'. 

That was 18 months ago. Now we're getting ready to head out filming in April and May of 2013. Along the way, our idea has matured and we've recorded a pilot to give you a taster of the project with exoneree Ray Krone, introduced by Danny Glover.

Help us shape One For Ten

As we get ready to start the project, we're looking to build the community around these incredible stories. To get involved in shaping our films, friend us on Facebook and Twitter and share this with anyone you think might be interested. And thanks to Amnesty we'll continue to blog here as One For Ten gets going, and we'll let you know more about what's happening.

You will be the driving force behind these films. You will be the ones to view them, the ones to react to them, share them and ask the questions of our interviewees. Without you, we're on our own!

One For Ten will be launched with a week long death row inspired art exhibit and series of events at Vibe Bar on Brick Lane from the 31st of January till the 6th of February. To celebrate, join us at our launch event on Thursday the 31st of January from 6.30pm. 

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Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.
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1 comment

Hi there. I am a youth group leader at a school in Devon. We are big activists and have enjoyed watching your videos. We are not able to come to any of your screenings, but our group wanted to be involved. Our group would like you to ask these questions in your interviews if possible.

Did you believe in the death penalty before you were convicted? Do you still believe in it? If your child got murdered, would you still want the murderer to be punished with the death penalty?
Did you ever give up hope?
Were you allowed letters from your family and friends? If so, how did you feel when you opened them?
What do you dream about at night? How did you stop yourself from going mad?
Could anything compensate for your time on death row? What was the worst thing about being sentenced?
How did you feel wehn you woke every morning?
How did it feel when you were realeased?
Who was the person in your life that brought you the most comfort?
We hope to hear back from you and we look forward to your next blog.
Sara

watts 4 years ago