The critically acclaimed prison documentary The Work is set to open in New York theaters on October 20 and will expand to Los Angeles on October 27 with more cities following. The doc directed by Jairus McLeary and Gethin Aldous won the Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary Feature earlier this year at the South by Southwest Film Festival. The Orchard and First Look Media’s new entertainment studio Topic acquired the North American rights shortly after.
Set inside a single room in Folsom Prison, The Work follows three men from outside as they participate in a four-day group therapy retreat with level-four convicts. Over the four days, each man in the room takes his turn at delving deep into his past. The raw and revealing process that the incarcerated men undertake exceeds the expectations of the free men, ripping them out of their comfort zones and forcing them to see themselves and the prisoners in unexpected ways.
The doc showcases the unique approach of the non-profit Inside Circle, which helps prisoners and parolees heal from the inside. According to the organization, The Inside Circle Foundation focuses on reducing prison violence, lowering recidivism, and guiding inmates through healing that allows for meaningful lives after release.
The film marks the directorial debut of McLeary, while Aldous has directed motion capture for a video gaming company. The Work has also screened at numerous film festivals including the SF DocFest, AFI Docs 2017, Human Rights Watch Film Festival 2017, Traverse City Film Festival 2017, and Seattle International Film Festival 2017.
The Work marks the directorial debut of McLeary, while Aldous has directed motion capture for a video gaming company. Producers are Alice Henty, Jairus McLeary, Eon McLeary, Miles McLeary and Angela Sostre. James McLeary, Rob Allbee and Aldous executive produced. The deal was negotiated by DiGiacomo and Heller with Andrew Herwitz of The Film Sales Company on behalf of the filmmakers.