The Corridor


Lark Theatre Sat, Oct 7, 2017 8:45 PM
Rafael 1 Thu, Oct 12, 2017 10:00 AM
Film Info
Category:Mind the Gap
Section:Valley of the Docs
Running Time:72 min.
Premiere Status:World
Director:Richard O'Connell
Annelise Wunderlich
Producer:Annelise Wunderlich
Richard O'Connell
Linda Peckham
Cinematographer:Richard O'Connell
Annelise Wunderlich
Editor:Linda Peckham
Note Writer:Monica Nolan


Orange may be the new black, but documentaries that take us behind real jailhouse walls can still provide revelations. What’s it like to go to school while incarcerated? It means that the tools in your bike repair class are locked to the table and that classrooms come equipped with panic buttons. It means that room assignments take gang affiliation into account. And it means that exposing your ignorance is seen as a weakness, “becoming prey,” as one inmate-student describes it, in a world of predators. These are just some of the challenges that face participants in the San Francisco Sheriff Department’s pioneering program to help inmates earn their GEDs. Local filmmakers Richard O’Connell and Annelise Wunderlich trace students’ progress from orientation to graduation in this timely and quietly provocative documentary. Observational footage of school and jail routine is supported by a soundtrack of articulate reflections from guards, teachers, and inmates. Intertitles of statistics underline the daunting odds these students face, and their equally impressive achievements.

*Oct 12 screening is a CFI Education screening open to school groups and general public.

Sponsored by

In association with Prison University Project.

Additional Information

Annelise Wunderlich is a documentary filmmaker and media educator living in San Francisco. She is currently the Executive Producer for KQED Learning, where she oversees educational content production for the Bay Area PBS affiliate. She also has worked as the Education Manager for ITVS, producing community engagement campaigns for the Emmy award-winning PBS series, Independent Lens, in addition to designing curriculum for programs airing on PBS series Frontline, FUTURESTATES, and Global Voices. She co-directed The Corridor, a documentary feature about the nation's first charter high school operating inside a county jail.

Richard O’Connell is a freelance producer who has worked across the media industry in both fiction and nonfiction formats. His first film Black Eyed Dog was a feature he wrote and directed, and which received national theatrical release, festival exhibition, and home video distribution. Richard worked as a producer for PBS for 15 years. He was head of production at ITVS for much of that time, where he oversaw the delivery and distribution of over 600 film projects and funding of over $150 million to Independent filmmakers. He worked with Frontline, American Masters, Great Performances, Independent Lens, and POV. In 2016, Richard produced a series of three Ted Talks on education, science, and war, and 12 accompanying short films. Also, in 2016, Richard won a National Emmy Award as a Producer on The Homestretch.