(Chicago, Illinois)—Female juvenile offenders have the fastest growing rates of incarceration; yet, media access to their stories and lives is extremely limited because they are minors. However, Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich granted veteran documentary filmmaker Tod Lending unprecedented access to female juvenile correctional facilities in Illinois in order to tell the story of one such young woman.
The result is the astounding film, AIMEE’S CROSSING, which will air on public television nationwide throughout the month of October (check local listings or visit itvs.org). In this very, intimate, honest, and provocative character study, the story of juvenile offender Aimee Meyers unfolds over four years as she struggles to overcome her addictions and destructive behavior. Lending films Aimee through her incarcerations and releases. He captures her therapy sessions, parole board reviews, staff case meetings, life at home and the important relationships she has with her teacher, Jeannie Lewis, and Parole Agent, Mitch Blackart.
In AIMEE’S CROSSING, Lending films how the juvenile justice system contends with her history of domestic and sexual abuse, substance abuse, and mental health issues (she is diagnosed as bipolar). The film is unique in its comprehensive presentation of strategies employed by the justice system to enforce punishment, yet assist youthful wrongdoers in finding a productive path. The successes and failures of the system are exposed throughout the story. By focusing on one individual, Lending achieves a level of depth and intimacy that could not be achieved by focusing on multiple characters. Aimee’s distinctive voice, and the many issues that her story embodies (mental health, abuse, addiction, family dysfunction, education, juvenile criminal justice) will inspire the public to wrestle with these painful realities that are confronting an ever-growing number of young women.
AIMEE’S CROSSING, a film by Tod Lending is a co-production of Ethno Pictures and the Independent Television Service (ITVS), with funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB).
About the filmmaker
PRODUCER/DIRECTOR/WRITER/CINEMATOGRAPHER Tod Lending is an Academy Award™ nominated and national Emmy winning producer/director/writer and cinematographer whose work has aired nationally on ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS and HBO; has been screened and awarded at national and international festivals; and has been televised internationally in Europe and Asia. He is the president and founder of Nomadic Pictures, a film and television production company that is based in Chicago.
Independent Television Service funds and presents award-winning documentaries and dramas on public television, innovative new media projects on the Web and the Emmy Award-winning weekly series Independent Lens on Tuesday nights at 10pm on PBS. ITVS is a miracle of public policy created by media activists, citizens and politicians seeking to foster plurality and diversity in public television. ITVS was established by a historic mandate of Congress to champion independently produced programs that take creative risks, spark public dialogue and serve underserved audiences. Since its inception in 1991, ITVS programs have revitalized the relationship between the public and public television, bringing television audiences face-to-face with the lives and concerns of their fellow Americans. For more information about ITVS, visit itvs.org. ITVS is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people.
CONTACT: Randall Cole firstname.lastname@example.org 415-356-8383, ext. 254