Babbling Bear’s Blog - 9th Annual deadCENTER Film Festival is here
“Sweethearts of the Prison Rodeo” another masterpiece by Bradley Beesley.
The Filmcake - Well Played deadCENTER. Well Played. posted by Dwight
Like in his previous films, Beesley wasn’t interested in lifting these people (in this case, female inmates of the OK Penitentiary) up as heroes or degrading them as villains. Instead, he presents them as unique, often complicated, individuals that just about everybody should be able to relate to. At the same time, he subtly asks us to reexamine our justice system and the war on drugs. Nice work, Beesley.
Two-Headed Blog - Sweethearts of the Prison Rodeo posted by Sarah
Beesley has an amazing ability to take what could be easily mockable material (oh, look at the Okie backwoods hicks with their crazy noodling and their prison rodeos) and tell a great story while preserving the human dignity of his subjects. He’s always respectful, never smug or condescending. And in the process of entertaining us with a good tale, he gets us to really care about people we probably wouldn’t be inclined to empathize with ordinarily.
Last night we fought the thunder and lightening and went into the Eddie Warrior lady prison ‘Johnny Cash style’ and showed the film to 700 screaming ladies. The women absolutely loved the event! It was like a festival environment with crazy cheering throughout the screening.
After the screening we had a Q&A with Jamie, Rhonda and Foxie -who remains in prison but is due out any day. We also announced our ‘Sweetheart’ inmate scholarship fund which was most appreciated.
Thank you to all the ladies at the Eddie Warrior Prison and all the staff for helping us make history!
NEW YORK, May 28,2009 — HBO Documentary Films has acquired the documentary “Sweethearts of the Prison Rodeo.” Directed by Bradley Beesley (“Okie Noodling”, “The Fearless Freaks”, “SummerCamp!”), the film goes behind prison walls to follow convict cowgirls on their journey to the 2007 Oklahoma State Penitentiary Rodeo, a purely American event that’s part Wild West show and part Coliseum-esque spectacle where convicts compete against one another for a small amount of cash and a little bit of pride. The feature-length documentary was acquired following its celebrated SXSW World Premiere in March 2009 and will have its broadcast premiere on HBO’s CINEMAX in September. Julie Goldman of Cactus Three negotiated the acquisition.
Director Bradley Beesley said, “I’m truly thrilled for the women featured in the film—their remarkable stories made this possible. There’s no better place than HBO to share our documentary –it’s a perfect home.”
The film will also be screened inside the prison system as part of a large-scale outreach campaign and forum exploring rehabilitative and educational programs, starting with the Eddie Warrior Correctional Center in Taft, Oklahoma on June 9th before all 700 inmates. ”Sweethearts of the Prison Rodeo” is produced by James Payne and Amy Dotson and is executive produced by Julie Goldman, Krysanne Katsoolis and Caroline Stevens.