16 Bars

Mon, 03/25/2019 - 7:00pm
DCTV, 87 Lafayette St, NYC

Doors 6:30pm | Screening 7pm | No admittance after 7:15pm

Winner, DTLA Film Festival 2018
Best Documentary

The Film

Directed by Sam Bathrick / 2018 / 94 min

16 Bars is a feature length music documentary that offers a rare glimpse at the human stories — and songs — that are locked away in our nation’s jails and prisons. The film follows a unique rehabilitation effort in the Richmond City Justice Center that invites inmates to write and record original music. In the jail’s makeshift recording studio, four men collaborate on an album with a Grammy-winning recording artist, Todd “Speech” Thomas, from the iconic activist hip-hop group Arrested Development. As the creative process unfurls, each is forced to face painful memories from the past, which hold a key to a new chapter in their lives.

The film is set in Richmond Virginia, where the legacy of systemic racism, a spiraling opioid crisis, generational poverty, and a lack of mental health services have entrapped many of its citizens in a cycle of incarceration, making the city itself a unique case study for rising recidivism rates in the U.S. at large. With the U.S. locking up more of its citizens per capita than any other nation on the planet, the music of the film serves as rare testimony to the raw and messy truth behind the criminal justice system’s revolving door.

Post-Screening Q&A

Sam Bathrick (Director) began his career as a refugee caseworker in West Africa, interviewing survivors of war— a job that would ignite his passion for human stories. He fell in love with New York while producing Run For Your Life, a doc about the enigmatic founder of the NYC Marathon and spent some wild years chasing musicians through the streets of cities like Tokyo, Istanbul and Miami for the PBS travel series Music Voyager. In 2017 he directed his first feature documentary 200 Miles, a Tribeca Film Festival premiere about a seemingly impossible run. Sam currently lives in Brooklyn, is a father, husband, and partner at Resonant Pictures.

Adam Barton (Producer) Over a 12-year career in NYC, Adam has worked with many of the top brands in the business, including HBO, ESPN, National Geographic, Esquire, SyFy, The History Channel and PBS. He’s played a key editorial role in several films (Redemption and China’s Unnatural Disaster) that garnered Oscar nominations, and the independent documentaries he’s co-produced (Kumare and We Cause Scenes) have played to critical acclaim at film festivals including SXSW, Hot Docs, Doc NYC and The Woodstock Film Festival. In 2017, he executive produced Election Day: Lens Across America for EXPIX.

Alex Cullen (Director of Photography) began his career taking thousands of photographs while working as as travel guide in the Andes. His documentary film Fair Chase, about a group of elite distance runners attempting a persistence hunt, premiered at the Santa Barbara Film Festival and was acquired by Netflix. He has lensed documentary projects for television, including VICE’s Emmy Nominated Woman, and film, such as 200 Miles which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival. He currently lives in Brooklyn, NY and shoots and directs both commercial and documentary projects as a partner at Resonant Pictures.


Eventbrite - DCTV Presents: Winter 2019


Please arrive 15 minutes early for guaranteed admittance. No-show tickets will be released at start time.
Doors 6:30pm | Screening 7pm | No admittance after 7:15pm


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This event is part of the Winter 2019 season of DCTV Presents, DCTV’s signature screening and event series that champions groundbreaking nonfiction film.

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