Athena film festival alums win Peabody awards

Three of the twelve documentaries honored in April with the prestigious Peabody Award are Athena Film Festival Alums. Congratulations to: 

Mavis! by Jessica Edwards

Excerpt from FF2 Media review: Jubilant new BioDoc about Chicago singer Mavis Staples. Her phenomenal career began in Gospel but her unique voice finds a home in multiple settings and her upbeat personality is embraced by every generation. Kudos to filmmaker Jessica Edwards and HBO for bring Mavis and the Staple Singers to the screen. (JLH: 4/5) Read full review.

Southwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonio Four by Deborah S. Esquenazi

In her newest work, Deborah S. Esquenazi documents the story of the ‘San Antonio Four,’ four women who were charged with the raping of two young girls in Texas in the late 80s. It has been a controversial case that to date, is still awaiting a final decision by the judicial system.

Southwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonio Four gives a very private and investigative look into the years that these four women spent behind bars, and the years that they have spent looking to exonerate their names. The documentary uses home video footage from over two decades ago, as well as current footage, and attempts to paint a very clear picture for its audience. (RAK: 4/5) Read full review.

Trapped by Dawn Porter

Directed by Dawn Porter, Trapped is a powerful documentary that investigates the state legislature’s war on abortion clinics in Mississippi, Texas, Alabama and other US states. The film exposes the nature of the legislative war on these clinics and allows the audience to glimpse into what the individuals running the clinics go through.

RAK: (4/5) Read full review.


© FF2 Media (5/15/17)


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Brigid Presecky began her career in journalism at Chicago's Goodman Theatre. In 2008, she joined FF2 Media as a part-time film critic and multimedia editor. Receiving her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from Bradley University, she moved to Los Angeles where she worked in development, production and publicity for Berlanti Productions, Entertainment Tonight and Warner Bros. Studios, respectively. Returning to her journalistic roots in Chicago, she is now a member of the Chicago Film Critics Association and certified Rotten Tomatoes Film Critic.
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