Gilda Sheppard
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Gilda Sheppard is an award winning who has screened her short documentaries throughout the USA, internationally at Film Afrique at Cannes, in Ghana, West Africa, and in Berlin Germany at the International Black Film Festival. Sheppard is a 2017 Hedgebrook Fellow for documentary film and a 2019 recipient of an Artist Trust Fellowship. Since I Been Down (2020) is her first feature and first film accepted to major film festivals. Sheppard’s films offer healing, inspire hope and spotlight the triumph of the human spirit from people most vulnerable to the tests of time. Her shorts include stories of resilience of Liberian women and children refugees in Ghana; three generations of Black families in an urban neighborhood; and a film ethnography of stories from folklore started by Zora Neale Hurston in Alabama's AfricaTown.

  • Since I Been Down Trailer

    Since I Been Down 2021 Director Gilda Sheppard

    In America’s backyard, a community held captive by racist policies targeting gangs and drugs, sacrifices their youth for a false sense of justice, and safety. Nearly forty years later, a true path to justice and healing is led from inside their prison walls transforming lives, communities, victims, prisons, and our humanity while exposing how we treat children and what we can do to redeem and practice justice. A documentary told by those who live in these conditions.

    "I don't think anyone can see this film without recognizing the deep humanity in everyone….And if you are talking about transformative justice, and focusing on the potential that people have to transform themselves and the world outside of them -- look at these sisters and brothers!”
    - Angela Davis, Distinguished Professor Emerita, University of CA, Santa Cruz

    “Director Gilda Shepard is a gifted teacher, incisive scholar, committed activist, and a talented filmmaker who's dedicated her life to the education and liberation of poor and oppressed people -- especially black people in the era of mass incarceration. We all owe her a debt of gratitude for her brilliant work and steadfast commitment to justice.”
    - Michelle Alexander, Civil Rights Attorney; Author “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness”