The 50

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The 50

Zoom Q&A with director Brenton Gieser and Sean Pica, Executive Director of Hudson Link for Higher Education in Prison

Against the backdrop of prison overcrowding and widespread drug use, The 50 documents the unprecedented journey of 50 men who challenged society’s expectations of them to become certified substance abuse counselors while incarcerated.

“We are experts in the field when it comes to loneliness, hurt, and pain. If we had the right support, if we had the right love and acknowledgment, if we had the right education and therapy, we could ultimately become the greatest healers of our society.” – Cameron Clark, Member of The 50

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Zoom Q&A with director Brenton Gieser and Sean Pica, Executive Director of Hudson Link for Higher Education in Prison
Tuesday, Feb. 20 2024, 7:00
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  • Brenton Gieser is a first-generation, biracial Korean-American film director straddling space between identities, cultures, and class. Brenton aims to craft stories that explore a nuanced yet grounded humanity through larger themes of inequity, healing, and the complexities of self. His first feature documentary, The 50, tells the story of 50 men who became the first substance abuse counselors to come out of the prison system. Brenton is a DOC NYC 40 Under 40 honoree, a distinction celebrating the top emerging talent in the documentary industry. His films have screened at DOC NYC, Mill Valley Film Festival, Santa Barbara International Film Festival, Big Sky Documentary Film Festival, CIFF, SF Indie Fest, amongst others. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife Cat and two young children, Amélie and Brixon.
  • Sean Pica is the Executive Director of Hudson Link for Higher Education in Prison, a not-for-profit organization that provides college education, life skills and re-entry support to incarcerated and formerly incarcerated men and women to help them make a positive impact on their own lives, their families and communities. Sean served as co-chair of the strategic planning process (2015-2016) that led to the formation of the Alliance. Sean serves on the New York State Council on Community Re-Entry and Reintegration, the Board of Trustees for the Sing Sing Prison Museum, was a founding member of the New York State Consortium for Higher Education in Prison, and a member of the Service Providers Advisory Committee, which collaborates on policy issues in the NYS Department of Corrections and Community Supervision. Recently Sean founded and launched New Beginnings, a reentry housing initiative for the Hudson Link students where formerly incarcerated students renovate abandoned properties and bring them back to life to create housing for other returning students.

This film is part of the Community Matters: Now More Than Ever series.



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