5th Annual Justice on Trial Film Festival Opens w/ “When Love Kills: The Falicia Blakely Story”

September 15, 2017

September 17, 2017

6:00 PM To 10:00 PM

One LMU Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90045


$150 for opening night; $25 for 2-day pass (Saturday and Sunday)



Event Description

The Fifth Annual Justice on Trial® Film Festival (JOTFF) opens with a star-studded red carpet on Friday, September 15, 2017 at 5 p.m. The 3-day film festival is hosted by JOTFF Founder and CNN Hero Susan Burton of A New Way of Life Re-Entry Project (ANWOL) and Loyola Marymount University on the LMU Campus at One LMU Drive in Los Angeles, CA 90045.

JOTFF speaks to the challenges of individuals caught up in the judicial system, particularly people of color and women, which are the fastest growing incarcerated population. The 3-day festival is open to the public and is media friendly.

“The Justice on Trial Film Festival is devoted to films that examine America’s broken criminal justice system,” said Susan Burton, the JOTFF Founder dubbed the Modern-Day Harriett Tubman. “Current political tension presents an opportunity for progressive change.”

JOTFF creates an opportunity to project the stories of those impacted by the injustice of mass incarceration, providing a voice that is often deafened by the negative images and stereotypes presented in the media.

The opening night ceremony and VIP reception are sponsored by TV One and Ebony Magazine. Among those confirmed for the red carpet event will be the director and cast members of the feature film, “When Love Kills,” Director Tasha Smith (For Better Or Worse, Empire,) andTami Roman (Basketball Wives, Belle’s). Celebrities invited to the opening night are filmmakers; Jimmy Jean-Louis (Claws); Vivica A. Fox (Empire, Chocolate City:Vegas; Independence Day: Resurgence); Patrick Faucette (All Eyez on Me, Haves and Have Nots); Liana Mendoza (Better Call Saul, Hey Mr. Postman); Omar Gooding (Family Time, Hey Mr. Postman); Paula Jai Parker (Ray Donovan, Hey Mr. Postman); Darius McCrary (Love Under New Management: The Miki Howard Story, Star); Shawn Hazz McDonald (Chocolate City, Keys); Ernest Thomas (The Gospel Truth, Chocolate City:Vegas, Chocolate City); Tammy Townsend (K.C. Undercover), Melvin Jackson, Jr. (The New Edition, The Wire), and more.

Casting Director Leah Daniels-Butler will host the VIP reception. When Butler’s not busy helping to shape the many fictional characters international audiences, she dedicates her time to helping shape the futures of real women in her community who are in need of second chances. She sits on ANWOL’s board.

The festival’s theme is “Exposing Injustice…Exploring Solutions,” and features nationally known panelists who will lead discussions on Saturday, September 16 and Sunday, September 17 about civil rights, social injustice and second chances. The panelists are Social Justice Advocate Susan Burton (Becoming Ms. Burton: From Prison to Recovery to Leading the Fight for Incarcerated Women); Criminal Justice Reform Activist Shaka Senghor (Writing My Wrongs: Life, Death and Redemption in an American Prison); and Civil Rights Attorney Benjamin Crump (Attorney for the families of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice and others whose sons were killed by cops); A New Way of Life Associate Director/Social Justice Advocate Tiffany Johnson and Women’s Rights Activist/Criminal Justice Reform Advocate Donna Hylton (A Walk to Freedom).

More than one million women sit behind bars, and despite this fact, when talking about prison reform, they are nearly completely overlooked. Studies show that Hispanic women are incarcerated at nearly twice the rate of white women, and Black women are incarcerated at four times the rate of white women.

With millions of Americans outraged by the current political climate, the festival’s film screenings, speakers and panelists will offer attendees insight and opportunities to create impactful change within their communities.

“My passion for advocacy has given me the privilege to fight for justice on behalf of the marginalized in our country, a calling to which I remain dedicated,” said Crump who can be seen in the upcoming feature film, “Marshall,” about a young Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American Supreme Court Justice.

The festival will culminate in an awards ceremony. The JOTFF screening committee, comprised of entertainment industry professionals and criminal justice subject matter experts, reached consensus in determining the “Best Short” and “Best Documentary” screened at the festival. Both awards will be presented to film makers by Leah Daniels-Butler during the festival’s closing ceremony.

Attendees include students from surrounding colleges and universities, local and national community based organizations, the entertainment industry, film schools, and law firms and schools.

Sponsors include TV One and Ebony Magazine. Gift bag T-shirts sponsored by Shantaya Pace-Kitchen for The League of Extraordinary Black Girls.

Media sponsors: The Compton Herald, Untouchable Magazine, Los Angeles Wave Newspaper, Global Street Wave and News4UsOnline.com.

Invited press include: Los Angeles Sentinel, The Watts Times, Pace News, Our Weekly, LA Weekly, KPFK, LA Times, EUR Web, Hollywood Unlocked, The Shade Room, The Inland Valley News, NAACP The Crisis Magazine, The Voice, Viewpoint Newspaper, and more.

To purchase tickets, contact www.justiceontrialfilmfestival.net or call 323-563-3575.  Check film schedule on the website for start and end times.

For press credentials, talent submission consideration, an interview request or speaking engagement for Ms. Burton or any of the panelists, contact Marie Lemelle, publicist for ANWOL at 213-276-7827 or info@platinumstarpr.com.


A New Way of Life Re-entry Project



How to Register?

To purchase tickets, contact www.justiceontrialfilmfestival.net or call 323-563-3575.

Contact Information


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