PHILLY D.A. Episode 1 & Discussion
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Welcome to the premiere episode of PHILLY D.A., presented by the Gershman Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival (GPJFF), ITVS, and Independent Lens.
A groundbreaking documentary series embedded inside the long shot election and tumultuous first term of Larry Krasner, Philadelphia's unapologetic District Attorney, PHILLY D.A. follows his experiment to upend the criminal justice system from the inside out.
Join us after the film at 8:15 PM EST for a community discussion with the series’ Co-Director, Yoni Brook, District Attorney Larry Krasner, and his former Communications Director, Ben Waxman. Civil Rights Advocate and Lawyer Rue Landau will moderate the Q&A directly following the screening.
Many thanks to Indie Lens Pop-Up for partnering with GPJFF on this incredible series premiere!
- Gershman Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival (GPJFF)
As one of the longest-running Jewish film festivals in the country and Philadelphia’s first film festival, the mission of the Gershman Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival (GPJFF) is to educate and engage diverse Philadelphia communities, Jewish and non-Jewish alike, by presenting world-class film premieres, repertory cinema, and associated programs that are inspired by Jewish history, heritage, and values.
- Yoni Brook
Yoni Brook is a twice Independent Spirit Award-nominated cinematographer and producer at JZB Projects. As a director, his films have screened at the Berlinale, New York and Toronto Film Festivals, True/False, and IDFA. His previous Sundance credits include MENASHE (A24, dir. Joshua Z Weinstein) and VALLEY OF SAINTS (World Dramatic Audience Award, dir. Musa Syeed). For PBS’s POV series, Brook co-directed BRONX PRINCESS (with Musa Syeed). He also co-directed THE CALLING, a four-hour series about young religious leaders for Independent Lens. His directorial debut, A SON'S SACRIFICE, won Best Documentary Short at the Tribeca Film Festival and IDA’s Best Documentary Short and was broadcast on Independent Lens.
- Larry Krasner
Lawrence S. Krasner was officially sworn in on January 2, 2018, as the City of Philadelphia’s 26th District Attorney. Before being elected District Attorney, Mr. Krasner served of-counsel at Greenblatt, Pierce, Funt, and Flores, LLC. Larry was born in 1961 in St. Louis, the son of a World War II veteran and author father and evangelist mother. After attending public schools in St. Louis and the Philadelphia area, Larry earned degrees from the University of Chicago and Stanford Law School with the help of student loans and scholarships. Mr. Krasner attended public school in the St. Louis and Philadelphia areas. He received his undergraduate degree at the University of Chicago in 1983 and his law degree from Stanford Law School in 1987, where he was selected to the Stanford Law Review. After multiple offers of employment in prosecutors’ and public defenders’ offices throughout the country, he worked as a public defender in Philadelphia from ’87 – ’91 and was then promoted to the Federal Public Defender’s Office in Philadelphia (’91- ’93). In 1993 he started his own private practice, specializing in criminal defense and police misconduct matters. He has remained in private practice ever since. During that time, Mr. Krasner has tried thousands of bench and jury trials in criminal and civil court in the Philadelphia area as well as other counties and states. Throughout his 30 year career, Mr. Krasner has also proudly demonstrated a steadfast commitment to social justice, having defended protesters pro bono who were involved with movements including ACT UP, Black Lives Matter, progressive clergy with POWER, Casino-Free Philadelphia, DACA Dreamers, Decarcerate PA, anti-gun clergy with Heeding God’s Call, anti-poverty and homelessness advocates with Kensington Welfare Rights Union, Occupy Philly and Reclaim Philadelphia, and Grannies for Peace, among many others. He has resided in Philadelphia for over 30 years with his wife of 28 years. His wife has been a judge of the Court of Common Pleas for 17 years. They have two adult sons.
- Ben Waxman
Ben Waxman has nearly two decades of experience working in advocacy, communications, and government. He previously held high-profile communications roles at the Pennsylvania Senate Democratic Caucus, Philadelphia Daily News, and the United Food and Commercial Workers. Most recently, he served as Director of Communications for Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner.
- Rue Landau
Rue Landau, Esquire was appointed Executive Director of the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations (PCHR) and the Fair Housing Commission (FHC) by Mayor Michael Nutter in 2008, and again by Mayor Jim Kenney in 2016. The PCHR is the quasi-judicial agency empowered to enforce the city’s civil rights laws and resolve community and neighborhood conflicts. The FHC is the city agency charged with addressing unfair rental practices in housing and other landlord-tenant disputes. Prior to her appointment, Landau was a senior attorney in the Housing Unit at Community Legal Services (CLS) in Philadelphia, where she specialized in landlord-tenant law with a focus on public and subsidized housing. Under her leadership at the agencies, Landau has overhauled and expanded the City’s Fair Practices Ordinance and Fair Housing Ordinance to add civil rights protections including wage equity, fair chance hiring for people with criminal records, reasonable accommodations for pregnant and breastfeeding women, and good cause eviction safeguards, among others. She also has overseen many efforts to strengthen existing laws to create added protections for marginalized populations such as the LGBTQ community. Recent contributions include her active role with the City’s racial equity initiatives and the ongoing work of the Mayor’s Taskforce on Eviction Prevention and Response. Landau frequently presents on civil rights issues ranging from race relations and discrimination to hate crimes and bias incidents. She has published multiple op-eds on civil rights issues and produced reports addressing significant community concerns including "Widening the Circle of Our Concern: Public Perceptions of the School District of Philadelphia's Response to Intergroup Conflicts” in 2011, and Inform, Monitor, Report: Addressing Racism and Discrimination in Philadelphia’s LGBTQ Community in 2017. In 2002, she authored the chapter Criminal Records and Subsidized Housing: Families Losing the Opportunity for Decent Shelter for the Center for Law and Social Policy's publication, Every Door Closed. Landau is the recipient of numerous awards for her community leadership and fierce commitment to civil rights, equity, and social justice, including the Cheryl Ingram Advocate for Justice Award from the Philadelphia Bar Association’s LGBT Rights Division (2019), the FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award on behalf of the PCHR (2016), the Building Bridges, Opening Doors Award from HIAS PA (2010), and “Lawyer on the Fast Track” by The Legal Intelligencer (2006).
The views and opinions expressed in this online screening are those of the presenters and participants, and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of ITVS, public broadcasting, or any entities hosting the screening.