The film – a copro between Loteria Films, American Documentary | POV and the Independent Television Service – examines the effects of California’s 2012 amendment to its “Three Strikes” law, which saw shortened sentences handed out to nonviolent offenders initially sentenced to life behind bars.
The 81-minute documentary chronicles the reintegration of two previously incarcerated men as they attempt to restore torn relationships and find employment while managing the problems that contributed to their imprisonment.
The doc marks the filmmakers’ third documentary between them to broadcast on ‘POV,’ which has previously aired the team’s Emmy-nominated Better This World in 2011 and Prison Town, USA (by Galloway and Po Kutchins) in 2007.
The Return, which received funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting in association with Chicken and Egg Pictures, is slated to receive its world premiere at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival on April 17.
‘POV’ airs Mondays at 10 p.m. EST/PST on PBS from May to November with primetime specials during the year. The strand will announce its full lineup in the coming weeks.
“While U.S. issues of criminal justice and incarceration are top of mind, especially during an election season, this is a rare story about nonviolent offenders who have unexpectedly been let out of prison,” said Justine Nagan, executive producer of PBS doc strand ‘POV’ and the executive director of American Documentary, Inc., in a statement.
“By focusing on two former lifers in The Return, Kelly Duane de la Vega and Katie Galloway have created a compassionate, honest portrait of Americans on the margins fighting to get back into the mainstream,” she continued.