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WorldScene Film Festival Curated by Detainees at Cook County Jail Aug. 9



First Festival Ever Curated by Detainees at a Major Municipal Jail Also Features Film Made By Inmates


Chicago IL/Summer- On August 9that 10:15am, the International Children’s Media Center and the Sheriff’s Anti-Violence Effort (SAVE) at the Cook County Correctional Facility, 2600 S. California, Ave., will present the WorldScene Film Festival, the first international film festival ever curated by inmates of a municipal jail, and screened in a correctional facility. A second screening of "If Only” will be held on Saturday, August 11, 7pm at 625 N. Kingsbury, Chicago, IL. The festival includes 6 powerful short films from 6 different countries, and the chance to see uplifting stories about the challenges faced by young men around the world.


This extraordinary line-up of shorts was curated over four months by more than forty detainees in the SAVE program at Cook County Correctional Facility. Audiences will find films from Mozambique, Iraq, France, the UK, the U.S. and Germany. The WorldScene Festival theme, “If Only”, was selected by detainees to reflect the many defining moments that young men encounter in their lives. Some films explore “last chances”, while others examine split-second decisions that could yield success or harsh lessons. Others celebrate the longing that fuels hope and leads to actions that engender self-discovery and understanding. “If Only” features six films from six countries, including four Chicago premieres. Festival screenings will also include the World Premiere of “Inside Out”the short film made by inmates at the conclusion of the WorldScene residency. 


PHOTO HERE WorldScene is a 14-week arts residency and job training program created with support from the Albert Pick, Jr. Fund. During the WorldScene program, participants screen 70-80 films in sessions structured to prompt honest and thought-provoking discussion that support self-determination for marginalized and court-involved youth ages 18-24. Following a two-week filmmaking workshop, WorldScene culminates in a festival featuring a final selection of films curated by the young men, themselves. In their own words:


“When I was watching these movies, I was thinking about life, and how much people put into them. So, it made me think: “How would you go about making a movie?” Not just any movie, but a great movie that’s both inspirational and has a good message. Something that people can relate to and love. ”-Kiwand Brown


“Most of these films are creative, and I believe that the world needs to view movies like these in theaters around the world. I also feel that it was good that we had the chance to be the voters and judge the movies, because we all have different visions.”-Ronald McClain


“No matter where you are, or who you’re surrounded by, you can always learn something if you take the time and are willing.”-Taquell Cross


Elli Montgomery, Director of the Sheriff’s Anti-Violence Effort (SAVE) at Cook County Jail OR Dr. Jane Gubser, Chief at Cook County Jail summarized it best: “ICMC’s WorldScene program has been life-changing for men participating in the SAVE program. Not only did it offer the men exposure to different cultures and points of view through an expertly curated selection of world cinema, it also helped build job skills that will serve them well when they are released. The guys loved it and looked forward to watching movies and working on this festival every week.”


There will be two WorldScene screenings: one on August 9th at 10:15am at the Cook County Correctional Facility, 2600 N. California, Chicago, IL and a second at ICMC headquarters at 625 North Kingsbury Street for the general public and detainees who have recently been released. Audiences at Kingsbury attend a reception prior to the screening and audiences at both sites will vote for their favorite films immediately following each program. Their participation determines the winner of the “Best of Fest” prize to be awarded to the film that receives the greatest number of votes. 


Tickets to WorldScene at 625 N. Kingsbury are $15. Reception 6pm, Screening, 7pm. To reserve seats, call

773-528-6854 or email


Press & special guests may attend the screening at Cook County Jail by requesting tickets and providing information for clearance to enter the Jail. Deadline:  July 31, 2018    Contact:


WorldScene 2018 Schedule


Thursday August 9, 10:15am Cook County Jail “If Only” (81 min)

Saturday August 11, 7pm 625 Kingsbury “If Only” (81 min)


ICMC and Cook County Department of Corrections proudly present the WorldScene Film Festival curated by detainees at the Cook County Correctional Facility. The dual screenings of "If Only" include 6 powerful short films from 6 different countries, and the chance to see uplifting stories about young men facing challenges from around the world. Celebrate the power of dreams as one boy raises money for a basketball hoop (Hoop Dreamin’, USA). See what happens when a man lies about his heritage to support himself (The Chop, UK) Cheer on a group of homeless children who want nothing more than to win a dance contest (Tropical Sunday, Mozambique.) The program includes four Chicago premieres and one North American premiere. Hoop Dreamin'(USA), Exit Right(Austria), Tropical Sunday(Mozambique), Hassan in Wonderland(Iraq/UK), Just Before LosingEverything(France), The Chop (UK).


For more information on the WorldScene Festival, please contact Rocco Thompson (773-528-6854) or e-mail:


About ICMC

The ICMC is a nonprofit cultural and educational organization dedicated to transforming the way youth use, view and engage electronic screens.


About Cook County Correctional Facility

The Cook County Department of Corrections (CCDOC) is one of the largest single site county pre-detention facilities in the United States and primarily holds pre-trial detainees.



The WorldScene Festival is supported by The Albert Pick, Jr. Fund. General operating support for ICMC arts programs is provided by the The Richard H. Driehaus Fund at the MacArthur Foundation and the Conant Family Foundation. 

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