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CHAINS

LOGLINE:  Framed for murder by mafia cops, wrongfully incarcerated for 19 years, Barry Gibbs was finally set free only to discover his nightmare had just begun. “CHAINS” is the story of a broken system told through a broken man. 

 
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THE LOSS OF FREEDOM CAN NEVER BE UNDONE... 

 

SYNOPSIS: Barry Gibbs will never get the images of prison out of his head. Even after winning the largest wrongful conviction settlement in New York City’s history, he is no lottery winner. After 19 unjust years behind bars, wrongful conviction took everything from him - his family, his health, his life savings, his sanity. The only thing he has left is his story.  “CHAINS” is the story of Barry’s journey after prison, the struggle to piece a shattered life back together when NYPD detectives, hired by the mafia, framed him for murder, and changed his life forever.  Beginning several years after his exoneration, this film captures the nuanced difficulty of daily life as an eccentric and neurotic Jewish man from Brooklyn tries to return to the world. An intimate and visceral perspective of life after wrongful conviction, this film illustrates the truth that settles in when the initial excitement of freedom fades. Following Barry’s larger-than-life character over 10 years, never before has a film ventured so deeply into the trauma and PTSD of wrongful incarceration, and been so simultaneously humorous and heartbreaking - so real.  

 

 

 
 
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SCENES 

 

 
 
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MA, DAD, WHERE ARE YOU ? 

This scene takes place in 2009 as Barry arrives in New Mexico, having driven all the way from New York, to visit the gravesite of his parents, whom he hadn't seen since they visited him in prison in 1995. Both his parents died within a year of his release before he was able to see them, and finding them is part of his quest for closure. 

 
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TROUBLE WITH WOMEN

This scene takes place in 2017 as Barry and his partner, Myrna, drive down to Florida. Barry discusses romantic issues he faces after spending 19 years in prison.  This scene illustrates the volatile yet loving dynamic between Barry and Myrna, and the humor that goes hand in hand with the heaviness of this film. 

 
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STILL HEALING

This scene takes place in 2017 as Barry rewatches a film Detective Louis Eppolito - the Mafia Cop who framed him - acted in. In this scene Barry rehashes what happened to him the day he was arrested, through which we get a sense of how he remains haunted by his experience, even 12 years after his exoneration.  

 

PRESS

 HUFFPOST 10/05/2017

HUFFPOST 10/05/2017

An Exonerated Prisoner Shares What Freedom Is Like After 19 Years Behind Bars

Freedom for Barry Gibbs hasn’t been easy, thankfully he has a friend in Vanessa Potkin. By Erica Euse

 Daily News 06/05/2005

Daily News 06/05/2005

Barry Gibbs, wrongly jailed for 19 years, will never forget crooked cop who put him in prison

Barry Gibbs, with his girlfriend Myrna Lichter, says he battles depression after being wrongly jailed for 19 years. By John Marzulli 

 New York Times 06/03/2010

New York Times 06/03/2010

City to Pay $9.9 Million Over Man’s Imprisonment

“They are permanent scars,” said Barry Gibbs, who says he was falsely convicted of killing a prostitute. He received $1.9 million from the state. By A. G. SULZBERGER

 

FILMMAKING TEAM

 

 
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Director / Producer 

ZOE POTKIN is a NY based filmmaker and Fellow in Kickstarter’s Creators in Residence program. She’s worked for years as a Producer and line Producer of documentary series and films, commercials and branded content for companies such as Radical Media, VICE, Pulse Films, and Yahoo! Studios.  She’s now making her directorial debut with the documentary “CHAINS” which she’s been filming over the last decade. The most recent short doc she produced “All Good Things” (2017) had its New York premiere at BAM CinemaFest. Previously, she produced the feature doc “Faultlines” (2016) for Redbull TV, and the doc series, “Twiz and Tuck” for Viceland. She co-founded the production company I AM pictures in 2010, and graduated from New York University with a BA in Documentary Film and Journalism.

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PRODUCER

ALAN OXMAN is an award winning editor and producer. Producing credits include “A Matter of Taste” and “Page One: Inside the New York Times”, both nominated for an Emmy, Edet Belzberg’s “The Recruiter” (Peabody Award), as well “Children Underground” (Special Jury Prize, Sundance). Alan was post supervisor on “Inside Job” (Academy Award for Best Documentary, 2011). Some editing credits include “Welcome to the Dollhouse” (Grand Jury Prize, Sundance), “Happiness” (International Critic’s Award, Cannes) "Storytelling" (Cannes), "Unzipped" (Audience Award, Sundance) which won the A.C.E. Award for Best Documentary Editing. He has won two Emmy Awards for Outstanding Documentary Editing on the PBS series “City Life”. Alan is Co-Founder of the post-house, Final Frame, and Founder of The Edit Center. 

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Producer

ADAM BOLT is an editor and producer. He edited and co-wrote the Oscar-winning documentary “Inside Job,” for which he received the Writer's Guild Award for Best Documentary Screenplay, and was nominated for an American Cinema Editors award for Best Edited Documentary (2011). He won an Emmy in 2014 for the Showtime documentary series “Years of Living Dangerously”, on which he was editor, writer, and senior producer. Other credits include Alex Gibney’s “Park Avenue: Money, Power & The American Dream,” which premiered on Independent Lens, and won a Peabody Award (2013); “Page One: Inside the New York Times,” which was nominated for two Emmys  in 2012; and the HBO documentary “The Recruiter,” which won a Columbia duPont award for excellence in broadcast journalism in 2010.

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executive PRODUCER

KATE BARRY is a film and TV Producer. Most recently she was the Supervising Producer on Michael Moore’s upcoming film “Fahrenheit 11/9” and in development on “The Shamrocks” a scripted series she created with Chris Sharp. She produced the Sundance, Ford and Impact Partners supported documentary “The Pearl” directed by Jessica Dimmock and Christopher LaMarca (2018). She is former VP of Production, TV and Branded Content for Pulse Films. She was a Line Producer for The National Geographic Channel, overseeing global productions including Emmy nominated series “Cosmos”, “Brain Games,” and “StarTalk.” Her work for HBO includes the Emmy nominated series “The Weight of the Nation,” Rebecca Cammisa’s “Atomic Homefront,” and “Words that Built America.” She consults for multiple production companies including Jigsaw Productions, Refinery29, and Moxie Firecracker. 

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EXECUTIVE PRODUCER

VANESSA POTKIN is Director of Post-Conviction Litigation at The Innocence Project. She joined in 2000 as its first staff attorney, and has represented and exonerated over 30 innocent individuals. Vanessa is a nationally recognized expert on wrongful convictions, and the use of DNA to establish innocence; she is regularly consulted by attorneys, judicial and legislative committees, and media outlets. Together with actress/ activist Viola Davis, Potkin created, developed, and Executive Produced “The Last Defense,” which premiered at Tribeca, and aired on ABC (2018). The series led to a new trial for Julius Jones, showing the power of storytelling to make change. 

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EXECUTIVE PRODUCER

KATIE COURIC is an American journalist, filmmaker, and NYT best selling author. Couric recently served as Yahoo! Global News Anchor, and has been a television host on ABC, CBS, and NBC. She hosted “Katie” her own syndicated daytime talk show produced by ABC Disney. She was co-host of “The Today Show,” anchor of CBS Evening News, and correspondent for “60 Minutes.” Couric produced the groundbreaking documentaries, “Fed-Up” (2014), “Under The Gun” (2016), “Gender Revolution” (2017), and most recently, the documentary series “America Inside Out” (2018) for National Geographic. In 2004, Couric was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame. 

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EXECUTIVE PRODUCER

TONY GOLDWYN is an Actor, director, producer and star of the award winning drama series “Scandal.”  Other film credits include “Divergent,” “Ghost,” “The Pelican Brief,” “Kiss the Girls,” “Nixon” and “The Last Samurai” to name a few. As a director, credits include “A Walk on the Moon” in addition to “The Last Kiss,” “Someone Like You” and “Conviction,” about a woman’s quest to exonerate her brother, starring Hilary Swank.  He also directed the pilot for “The Divide,” a series he co-created about the vagaries of our criminal justice system. Goldwyn spends his personal time on philanthropic efforts supporting groups including The Innocence Project. 

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SUPERVISING EDITOR

Josh Melrod is a filmmaker, writer, and graphic artist. Credits include the documentary "The Cult of JT LeRoy," (2016) which he edited and co-produced, the narrative short “SKUNK,” First Prize Cinefondation (winner 2014 Cannes Film Festival), narrative features "Northern Borders," starring Bruce Dern, and "Peter & John," starring Jacqueline Bisset, as well as forthcoming films "The Entitlement," "Time Kill Love Cruise," and "Albanian Gangster." Josh was co-director and editor of the documentary "Cartoon College" which premiered screened at dozens of festivals worldwide.  He was named among “10 Filmmakers To Watch in 2010” by The Independent.

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EDITOR

INES VOGELFANG is a film and TV editor from Buenos Aires, Argentina currently living and working in NYC. She received her undergraduate degree in Sound and Image Design at the University of Buenos Aires, and in 2017, recieved her Masters in Media Studies and Documentary Film at The New School. The most recent short docs she directed and edited "True Fútbol" and "A Selfie With Lady Liberty" were screened at International Film Festivals such as DOCNYC, Corto Circuito in NYC, The Americas Film Festival, and Offside Film Fest. She speaks Spanish, French, Portuguese and English, which enables her to edit projects all over the world. 

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PROJECT CONSULTANT

BARRY SCHECK is an American lawyer who received national attention while serving on O.J. Simpson’s “Dream Team” - helping to win an acquittal in the highly publicized murder case. Together with Peter Neufeld, Barry Scheck Co-Founded and currently serves as Co-Director of the Innocence Project, where he has been involved in the exonerations of over 300 individuals. Their work not only shaped the course of case law across the country, but their trials frequently redefine and expand the parameters of permissible defenses, and often result in enhancing public awareness of systemic problems, improving the criminal justice system, and legislative reform. 

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