Nine tells the story of the enduring bonds of friendship that drive Gerald Hankerson and Henry Grisby to fight back against the criminal justice system.

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Funding Initiative
Series and Special Projects
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Rachael DeCruz

Rachael DeCruz directed The Panola Project, chronicling how an overlooked rural Black community came together in creative ways to survive the pandemic. The short film—an official selection of Sundance, Hot Docs, DOC NYC Shortlist, and BlackStar—was released with The New Yorker and featured on MSNBC. Nine is her directorial feature debut.

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Jeremy Levine

Jeremy Levine is an Emmy Award-winning filmmaker, co-founder of the Brooklyn Filmmakers Collective, and an assistant professor at Suffolk University. His films explore race in a society steeped in active denial of its own past. For Ahkeem, his last feature, is a love story set against the backdrop of the Ferguson uprising.

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For Ahkeem

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The Film

Nine follows Gerald Hankerson, a Black 52-year old community leader, as he fights to get his former cellmate out of prison and pass legislation to reinstate parole in Washington State. Gerald met Henry Grisby—a man he came to lovingly call “Pops”—in Washington State’s maximum-security prison. Nine is about enduring bonds of friendship forged across generations and decades, and the power it gives both men to push back against an oppressive criminal justice system.