Clio Award-winning short film documentary, “The Sentence of Michael Thompson” will screen at the South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Festival this March. Produced by cannabis brand Cresco Labs, the film is the first social justice-focused documentary produced by a cannabis company to debut at SXSW.
Focusing on Michael Thompson, the longest-serving nonviolent offender in Michigan history, “The Sentence of Michael Thompson” follows Michael’s daughter and his lawyer during his fight for clemency. Thompson was arrested for selling three pounds of cannabis to a close friend who turned out to be a police informant. He was sentenced to 42 to 60 years incarceration and remained imprisoned after Michigan legalized adult-use cannabis.
The film examines the harm the War on Drugs has caused communities and explores the paths impending national cannabis legalization may lead us. The documentary’s filmmaking team includes Kyle Thrash, Haley Elizabeth Anderson, Ian Ross, Logan Triplett, and Matt Schaff – all notable filmmakers who have showcased at SXSW, Sundance, Tribeca, and other festivals. The film’s trailer, released on Juneteenth of 2021, won the Silver Clio Cannabis Award for Film & Video creative excellence.
“Unfortunately, one of the themes central to Michael’s story is not unique; several hundred thousand Americans—predominantly Black and Latinx—continue to be incarcerated on marijuana-related charges every year. Over 40,000 people suffer in prison because of cannabis-related convictions at this very moment. Through this film, we hope to help audiences truly understand the gravity of injustice on the lives of people adversely impacted by The War on Drugs and advance the dialogue surrounding racial and social justice to help change our nation’s drug laws,” said Chima Enyia, EVP of SEED at Cresco Labs.
• Public Screening #1: March 13, 11:30 AM CST, Rollins Theatre at The Long Center
• Public Screening #2: March 14, 9:00 AM CST, Online
• Public Screening #3: March 17, 6:45 PM CST, Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, Theatre D