First Run Features will release the timely documentary WHEN JUSTICE ISN'T JUST on iTunes beginning August 30, and on DVD beginning September 13, 2016. The film, directed by Oscar-nominated and NAACP Image Award winner David Massey, addresses the concept and reality of justice in the United States, particularly in regard to racial disparities in the American criminal justice system.
Filmed in cities across the country, this dynamic documentary explores why so many unarmed black people have been targeted and killed by law enforcement officers, an issue that has taken center stage in the national consciousness. The filmmakers talk to legal experts, activists and law enforcement officials who speak to the inequality within our criminal justice system. The film asks the crucial question of how to prevent more violence in this country, including Black on Black deaths. Activists, law enforcement officials, legal scholars, and the family members of victims offer a range of responses.
At its heart, WHEN JUSTICE ISN'T JUST confronts our broken criminal justice system, focusing on the incarceration rate of people of color. As the Black Lives Matter movement — and citizens nationwide — question the accountability of our justice system in cases of police violence, WHEN JUSTICE ISN'T JUST is an essential addition to the ongoing discussion about reform and renewal.
David Massey and producer Dawn Alexander have screened their film throughout the country. As Massey states, "we as filmmakers couldn't sit on the sidelines without documenting one of the most important human rights issues facing America and the black community today."
WHEN JUSTICE ISN'T JUST features a broad array of people, including Civil Rights Attorney Benjamin L. Crump, Dr. Cornel West, Black Lives Matter's Dr. Melina Abdullah, Criminal Attorney Tom Mesereau, LAPD Deputy Chief William Scott, Dr. Marc Lamont Hill and many more.
David M. Massey, Director/Producer
David Massey is an Academy Award®-nominated filmmaker with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications & Education from Ohio Dominican University and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Advanced Film & Television from the American Film Institute. He is the first African American in the history of the Academy Awards to be nominated for an Oscar in the Live-Action Short Film category. Massey has produced and directed several films, commercials and television shows including, Last Breeze of Summer (Showtime), NAACP Award winner Men of Courage (PBS and BET), Dare to Struggle... Dare to Win, Fespaco and They Are Not All Lost. Massey's latest projects include: Island Song, 66-0 Compton's Living Legends, and Lost & Found.
Presently, Massey is the co-chair of the Black Association of Documentary Filmmakers, West (BAD-West) in Los Angeles and an adjunct professor at Pasadena City College. He has been the recipient of several prestigious awards, including The Martin Ritt Scholarship; the Eastman Kodak Second Century Honoree; induction into The Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame; The National Education Association for the "Advancement of Learning through Broadcasting"; the National Black Programming Consortium "Prized Pieces"; PBS "Innovator Teacher's Award"; and the Heartland Film Festival's Crystal Heart. Additionally, Massey is a voting member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Dawn Alexander, Producer/Writer
Dawn is the Producer/Writer and mother of a young African American male, and as such created this project with a deeply felt commitment to his safety and the safety of other young black men in America. WHEN JUSTICE ISN'T JUST is her most recent attempt to address Justice, since: "Justice can only exist within the coordinates of equality, and is the constant and perpetual disposition to render every person his due."
Dawn is also currently the Producer and Writer of the award winning documentary They Are Not All Lost, which focuses on youth of color who overcome adversity and achieve success in life. She also produced the short film Baby Girl as well as several award-winning commercials and public service announcements for TBWA/Chait/Day and Grey Advertising.
Dawn is a winner of the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame Award for her screenplay Madness. With an MFA from UCLA, Dawn was a finalist with the Carl Sautter Memorial Scriptwriting Competition. She is also a line producer for the television show American Gladiator, and as well on several music videos directed by F. Gary Grey (Straight Outta Compton, The Italian Job) and director Paul Hunter (Bulletproof Monk).
WHEN JUSTICE ISN'T JUST
A film by David Massey
2016, USA, Documentary, English, color, 42 minutes