Grantee Cohort Spring 2020
Location Philadelphia, PA
El Sawyer is a filmmaker and social justice advocate whose personal experience with poverty and incarceration informs his international consulting and public speaking practice on the challenges of reentry, recidivism, and neglected communities. In 2014, along with Jon Kaufman, he co-founded Media in Neighborhoods Group (MING), a film company that specializes in the multi-media documentation of criminal justice issues and marginalized communities. The pair also co-directed the feature documentary “Pull of Gravity,” produced in collaboration with the Department of Justice, and established the SHOOTERS program as a vehicle to engage returning citizens in the production of short films that reflect their personal journeys through the justice system and the communities to which they are returning.
Through its Art for Justice grant, as part of its SHOOTERS program, MING will engage a cohort of eight returning citizens in the production of short social media friendly films that reflect their personal journeys through the justice system. This 12-month paid digital media training program will culminate with screenings, immersive exhibitions and public events. Given the COVID-19 global pandemic, MING is considering focusing the cohort’s films on how the virus is affecting them and their communities.