College Behind Bars Film Screening

August 23
at 4:30pm

Purchase Tickets

or call our Box office (631) 725-9500

COLLEGE BEHIND BARS, a four-part documentary film series directed by filmmaker Lynn Novick, produced by Sarah Botstein, and executive produced by Ken Burns, tells the story of a small group of incarcerated men and women struggling to earn college degrees and turn their lives around in one of the most rigorous and effective prison education programs in the United States – the Bard Prison Initiative (BPI). 

Shot over four years in maximum and medium security prisons in New York State, the four-hour film takes viewers on a stark and intimate journey into one of the most pressing issues of our time – our failure to provide meaningful rehabilitation for the over two million Americans living behind bars. Through the personal stories of the students and their families, the film reveals the transformative power of higher education and puts a human face on America’s criminal justice crisis.  It raises questions we urgently need to address: What is prison for? Who has access to educational opportunity? Who among us is capable of academic excellence? How can we have justice without redemption? 

The series airs on PBS on November 25th and 26th.

$20 or suggested donation.  To reserve your ticket for a different donation amount, please contact the Box Office at 631.725.9500.




Lynn Novick is an Emmy,  Peabody and Alfred I duPont Award-winning documentary filmmaker. For nearly 30 years, she has been a principal creative partner of filmmaker Ken Burns, with who she directed and produced films about American history, culture, politics, sports, and music. Together they have been responsible for more than 80 hours of programming, including some of the most acclaimed and top-rated documentaries to have aired on PBS: Baseball, The Tenth Inning, Jazz, Frank Lloyd Wright, Prohibition, and The War, a seven part, 15-hour exploration of ordinary Americans’ experiences in World War II. 

Novick’s most recent film is the landmark ten-part, eighteen-hour series The Vietnam War, co-directed with Burns, produced by Sarah Botstein and written by Geoffrey C. Ward.  

In 2019, PBS will air Novick’s solo directorial debut, College Behind Bars, a four-hour documentary series, produced with Sarah Botstein, her producer and creative collaborator for more than twenty years. Ken Burns is executive producer. 

Novick is currently collaboorating with Burns, Botstein and Ward on several projects including a three part biography of Ernest Hemingway, an exploration of America’s response to the Holocaust, a series on teh presidency of Lyndon Johnson and a series on the history of crime and punishment in America. She is a magna cum laude graduate of Yale, the mother of two children, and lives in New York City. 




Dyjuan Tatro serves as the Government Affairs Associate for the Bard Prison Initiative (BPI). As a BPI alumnus, he leverages his education and experience to further criminal justice reform through increased public investments for college in prison. Prior to his work with BPI, he advised Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-18) on criminal justice policy and currently sits on the Board of Directors at The Fortune Society. Originally from Albany, NY, Dyjuan now resides in NYC where the NYC Council recently honored him for his work.  




Sebastian Yoon received a Bachelor's Degree in Social Studies in 2017 through the Bard College Prison Initiative. He was released in March of 2019. Yoon currently resides in New York City with his family.


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