• Press Releases

Participant Media Locks Down Its Social Action Campaign For ‘Snitch’

In the film Snitch, which was inspired by real events, Dwayne Johnson plays a father whose teenage son is wrongly accused of a drug distribution crime and is looking at a mandatory minimum prison sentence of 10 years. For its Social Action campaign for Snitch, “Sentence Change,” Participant Media is teaming with Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM) and the Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth to create awareness, insight and outreach around the issues of mandatory minimum drug sentencing and the fair sentencing of youth, and tools to get involved. The Summit Entertainment-Exclusive Media-Participant Media film opens in theaters today.

Chad Boettcher, Executive Vice President of Social Action & Advocacy, says, “The U.S. currently has 4.6% of the world’s population but houses 25% of the world’s inmates—60% of whom are nonviolent offenders. And one of the leading causes for the pipeline of nonviolent drug offenders into the prison system is mandatory minimum sentencing and snitching. We found when talking with the experts, that this issue rarely comes to light, so building on the narrative from the film the campaign aims to inform the public and give them ways to make lasting policy change.” The campaign also builds on the coalition’s previous work, specifically around the passage of California’s Senate Bill 9 to reform fair sentencing for youth, on empowering organizations and individuals to support policy change in these arenas.

“Participant Media was an invaluable partner as organizers and the broader community worked toward the passage of SB 9 in California,” said Jody Kent Lavy, Director & National Coordinator of the Campaign for Fair Sentencing for Youth. “Participant developed media materials that educated people and inspired them to act. We look forward to partnering with them on this campaign and, together, bringing about greater change throughout the country.”

Monica Pratt Raffanel, FAMM Director of Communications, added, “Too few people in America know about the dirty little secret of mandatory sentencing laws, but SNITCH is blowing the lid off of it. Participant Media is using the best and most innovative tools to create an interactive experience that educates the viewer about snitching and mandatory minimums and engages them in FAMM’s efforts to repeal mandatory sentencing laws.”

In addition to issue-based research and educational screenings and panels, Participant’s campaign includes a Social Action website – www.takepart.com/snitch — featuring:
· A shocking animated video about the issues
· An interactive infographic that highlights the costs and effects of mandatory minimum drug and “substantial assistance,” (aka snitching)
· A petition to reform mandatory minimums
· A curriculum for law and criminal justice students
· An editorial series providing context and personal stories of those affected by these issues
· A mini-documentary called “Path for Hope : Ending Juvenile Life without Parole”
· And a multi-platform Fair Sentencing Media Kit designed to increase awareness and legislative action around ending Juvenile Life Without Parole sentencing including original videos, infographics and fact packets.

About Snitch
In the fast-paced action thriller Snitch, Dwayne Johnson stars as a father whose teenage son is caught in possession of a package that, unbeknownst to him, contains enough narcotics to warrant a mandatory minimum prison sentence of 10 years. Desperate and determined to rescue his son at all costs, he makes a deal with the U.S. Attorney to work as an undercover informant and infiltrate a drug cartel on a dangerous mission – risking everything, including his family and his own life. The film is directed by Ric Roman Waugh from a script written by Justin Haythe and Ric Roman Waugh.

About Participant Media
Participant Media is an entertainment company that focuses on documentary and non-documentary feature films, television, publishing and digital content about the real issues that shape our lives. For each of its projects, Participant creates social action and advocacy programs to transform the impact of the media experience into individual and community action. Participant’s online division and Social Action Network is TakePart. Founded by Jeff Skoll in 2004, Jim Berk serves as CEO. Participant’s films include The Kite Runner, Charlie Wilson’s War, An Inconvenient Truth, Good Night, and Good Luck, The Visitor, Food, Inc., The Cove, The Crazies, Countdown to Zero, Waiting for “Superman,” Fair Game, PAGE ONE: Inside The New York Times, The Help, Contagion, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Middle of Nowhere, Lincoln, Promised Land, No and Snitch.

About FAMM
Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM), a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, fights for fair and proportionate federal and state sentencing laws that embrace judicial discretion while guarding public safety. Please visit us atwww.famm.org.

About Campaign for Fair Sentencing of Youth
The Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth is the national campaign working to end the practice of sentencing children to life in prison without the possibility of parole. The CFSY provides technical assistance on strategic communications, litigation and advocacy to attorneys, advocates, organizers and others working at the state and federal levels. In addition, the organization engages in public education and communications efforts to provide decision-makers and the broader public with the facts, stories and research that will help them to fully understand the impacts of these sentences upon individuals, families and communities.