BAFTA-nominated film-maker Tina Gharavi gives us an insight into her film ‘People Like Us’

Posted on: 27 February 2017 by Tina Gharavi in 2017 posts

Screenshot from 'People Like Us'

How do you cope with being convicted of a crime you know you did not commit?

What happens when you are condemned to death row and spend over 18 or 30 (sometimes many more) years of your life locked away; often not knowing how long you will be alive?

How do people survive when placed in such extraordinary situations?

Sundance nominated film-maker Tina Gharavi looks at the human struggle of those who are fighting to get capital cases and evidence re-examined, through her lyrical and intensely emotional film; ‘People Like Us’. ‌People Like Us - Behind the Scenes 2

Tina gives us an insight into what we can expect from the film:

"How many innocent people are there in prison? We will never know for sure, but the few studies that have been done estimate that between 2.3% and 5% of all prisoners in the U.S. are innocent (for context, if just 1% of all prisoners are innocent, that would mean that more than 20,000 innocent people are in prison).

Since DNA has come into play, approximately 300 people have been released from death row after tests showed they had been wrongfully convicted. The Innocence Project (a charity based in the US) is continuing the battle to release those condemned to death in the US where scientific evidence can contradict the verdict. ‘People Like Us’ follows investigators at the Innocence Project, and the trials and tribulations of doing this type of work.

Many exonerees are released from their cells without fanfare, apologies or anywhere to go. What happens then when you are found innocent and released from death row? How do you deal with the suspicions and hatred you experience when you are released?"

Using documentary voices of the exonerees, interviews, archival footage and experimental drama, 'People Like Us' explores the psychological and emotional experience of an exoneree. My film weaves the emotional experience of those who have been released as they come to terms with what has happened in their lives.

People Like Us Behind the Scenes

‘People Like Us’ will be screened on Thursday 02 March during our New Digital Practices, Projects, and Audiences workshop followed by a Q&A with Tina Gharavi.

The workshop will also showcases a range of new and developing digital projects in order to examine some of the opportunities, challenges and fresh insights offered by digital scholarship. You can read more about the different projects here.