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KPBS Film Looks at Post-incarceration Life for Women

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Two aspiring women and scholars navigate parole, raising children, and self-healing to find acceptance, sisterhood, and hope for a new life in “Rebound,” a moving film debuting on KPBS on September 30 at 9 pm.

The film follows two San Diego women - Laura and Isabella. Separated by decades and starkly different circumstances, Laura and Isabella are rebounding together from incarceration. They each overcame their years of addiction and abuse to pursue the promise of higher education.

“All of my films are about connecting people, and inviting folks to have a personal connection with those most impacted by systemic barriers to living healthy and prosperous lives,” says director Tamara Perkins. “In the US, the fastest growing rate of incarceration is among women. As Laura says in the film, ‘women have very different pathways to crime.’ They are more often associated with abuse, trauma, and survival. This is still not truly acknowledged or addressed.”

“At its core, this is a story about women healing from trauma and rebuilding their lives. We follow Laura and Isabella’s progress, learn their backgrounds, and really come to care for them. Incarceration is something too easy to put out of our minds unless it impacts us directly. ‘Rebound’ will hopefully make people think and talk about what we need to do as a society to help individuals be successful post-incarceration,” says John Decker, interim associate general manager of content for KPBS.

The documentary project formed when San Diego State University Project Rebound Assistant Director Dr. Daniel Stacy reached out to Perkins in early 2018, asking her to collaborate on a new film.

Project Rebound is a special admissions and support program for students impacted by the justice system, or transitioning out of prisons and jails. Operating within the California State University system since 1967, Project Rebound has helped hundreds of individuals earn bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

Perkins had a close relationship with Project Rebound founder, the late Dr. John Irwin - they met while volunteering with the same program at San Quentin State Prison in 2006. Perkins requested a student collaborator for the San Diego State University project, and Project Rebound student and filmmaker Jason Ritchie joined the team as co-director.

Perkins and Ritchie have a very personal connection to the film’s subject matter. As a survivor of gun violence, Perkins brings rare insight and a deep restorative justice lens to the project. Ritchie is a formerly incarcerated individual who served 17 years in prison. Shortly after paroling, Ritchie enrolled in Project Rebound. He is seeking to promote awareness and reform through his area of study: film, journalism and digital art at SDSU.

A watch party is planned for an encore broadcast of “Rebound” on October 10 at noon. Perkins, Laura, Isabella and Ritchie will be live chatting and available to talk with viewers. For more information about the live watch party event, go to www.reboundwomen.org.

“Rebound” is one of two projects selected from the 2019-2021 KPBS Explore local content project request for proposals. The KPBS Explore local content project launched in 2012 as a way to create more local programming and solicit content through a competitive proposal process. The project aims to collaborate with local producers on ideas for programs and series that reflect our diverse and dynamic community and allow audiences to connect over shared experiences.

KPBS Media Contact

Heather Milne Barger, hmilne@kpbs.org