A feature documentary by united notions film
From inside one of Bolivia's notorious jails.

COCAINE PRISON

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About the film

From inside one of Bolivia’s notorious prisons, a cocaine worker, a drug mule, and his little sister reveal the country's relationship with cocaine.

COCAINE PRISON begins in Bolivia’s notorious San Sebastian jail, a virtual citadel inside a crumbling colonial house, following the interlinked lives of Mario, a cocaine worker fighting for freedom, Hernan, a drug mule who dreams of being a drug-boss and his younger sister Daisy, who struggles to escape the lure to traffic cocaine. In a country where the cocaine trade isn’t ruled by violence, these small fish dispel the ‘gun-toting Narco’ myth and questions the legitimacy of the War on Drugs, that’s seen billions of dollars spent on repressive policies, targeting ‘disposable’ people in cocaine producing countries… Meanwhile banks worldwide launder billions of cocaine dollars every year.

COCAINE PRISON bridges the ever-widening gap between the North and the South, offering a new perspective to the War on Drugs as it is waged in the Andes.

Bolivia’s relationship with cocaine is not like the rest of Latin America where the ‘business’ is controlled by violence. For Bolivians, cocaine is just another commodity produced for export and traded in a consumer-driven global market.

Over the past forty years Bolivia’s economy has grown dependent on the global demand for cocaine. The War on Drugs has brought violence to Latin America, but it is also created opportunity, freeing thousands from poverty in Bolivia where the price for coca-leaf has only increased since this war began.

Today more than 50% of Bolivia’s prison population is in jail for minor drug offenses; a direct result of Law 1008, a US-backed drug statute that effectively redefined trafficking to mean, “to produce, possess, keep, store, transport, deliver, administer or give as a gift.” As a result 84% of Bolivia’s inmates wait years for a trial. In the US the War on Drugs has created the largest prison population in the world, and much like Bolivia, it is largely comprised of the country’s poorest citizens.

Shot over four years, COCAINE PRISON is a character driven film told from the point of view of people who make and transport cocaine. We laugh and cry with Mario, Hernan and Daisy as they fight against the odds in a hypocritical war that extends far beyond Bolivia’s borders.

We meet Hernan the day he arrives in San Sebastian during a period of riots in the prison and follow him until the day he is released. We watch Mario fighting for freedom against the bureaucracy and corruption of the justice system. Daisy is our guide, driving the film and giving us perspective on the bigger picture. Mario and Hernan also filmed their daily lives inside the jail, giving us a real insight into their story.

The story happens within a very unique environment; the prison itself is a microcosm of Bolivia and is the backdrop for the action, it resembles a citadel inside an old colonial Spanish house with restaurants, shops, hair-dressers and where the inmates have to buy or rent their cells.

COCAINE PRISON is a film made with the people, not simply about them. The film doesn’t shy away from the complexity, that only someone from the inside can give to an audience.

 

 

 

 

 

 

See the Film

Cocaine Prison is currently in production and due for release in the first half of 2015. Before the the film premieres internationally we will be holding a special screening in Cochabamba, Bolivia. The film will be released in select cinemas in France, Bolivia, the US and Australia. To keep up-to-date with screenings of Cocaine Prison, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and sign up to our monthly newsletter.

As screening dates are announced we will update this page with information about when and where you can see Cocaine Prison.

PHOTOS

FILMMAKERS

COCAINE PRISON is the first film that links cocaine and poverty in the North and the South, exposing how the cycle of exclusion, discrimination and injustice come full circle at both ends of the cocaine trade.

Here is the team behind the film.

 

DAN FALLSHAW

DAN FALLSHAW

Producer/Cinematographer and Editor

Dan Fallshaw, is the producer, co-director, cinematographer and editor of the multi-award winning PBS documentary STOLEN (2009), a ‘political thriller’ that uncovered modern day slavery in Western Sahara. Dan is currently producing Cocaine Prison and The Bolivian Case, he is a founding member and CEO of United Notions Film.

VIOLETA AYALA

VIOLETA AYALA

Director/Writer

Violeta Ayala, is an award winning indigenous filmmaker from Bolivia who is best known for the STOLEN, which premiered at the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival, screened in 80 festivals, won 15 awards and aired on PBS. Ayala hosts a monthly blog at The Huffington Post writing about the War on Drugs.

CEDRIC BONIN

CEDRIC BONIN

Co-Producer

Cedric Bonin, has produced more than 60 hours of programming for French TV, cinema and online distribution. Seppia films have screened in festivals from Cannes, to Tribeca, Berlin and Sundance.

REDELIA SHAW

REDELIA SHAW

Us Producer

Redelia Shaw, is an African American Filmmaker and a DGA 2nd Assistant Director based in LA. Her credits include Scandal, House of Lies, The Muppets, The Office, Heroes, Private Practice and Body of Proof. She joined UNF in 2013.

SELMA MUTAL

SELMA MUTAL

Music Composer

Selma Mutal is a Peruvian music composer. Her credits include “The Milk of Sorrow” (Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Picture and winner of the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival) as well as “Undertow” (Audience Award at Sundance).

SLOANE CORNELIUS

SLOANE CORNELIUS

Outreach Coordinator

Sloane Cornelius, is an Oglala Sioux social justice activist who is currently working part-time towards her degree in Non-Profit Management and Justice studies.

JENNIFER MACARTHUR

JENNIFER MACARTHUR

Impact Producer

Jennifer MacArthur, is a multi-platform communications and engagement strategist who has advised on over 25 film and media projects, including: Traces of the Trade (POV, 2008), Gideon’s Army (HBO, 2013), Dirty Wars (IFC, 2013), Valentine Road (HBO, 2013), Sandy Storyline (2013) and American Promise (POV, 2014).

CRISTIAN ANTELO

CRISTIAN ANTELO

Online Media Manager

Cristian has an MBA and is quickly becoming a documentary film devotee. He’s busy developing, designing and creating all our new websites.

DAN FALLSHAW

DAN FALLSHAW

Producer/Cinematographer and Editor

Dan Fallshaw, is the producer, co-director, cinematographer and editor of the multi-award winning PBS documentary STOLEN (2009), a ‘political thriller’ that uncovered modern day slavery in Western Sahara. Dan is currently producing Cocaine Prison and The Bolivian Case, he is a founding member and CEO of United Notions Film.

VIOLETA AYALA

VIOLETA AYALA

Director/Writer

Violeta Ayala, is an award winning indigenous filmmaker from Bolivia who is best known for the STOLEN, which premiered at the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival, screened in 80 festivals, won 15 awards and aired on PBS. Ayala hosts a monthly blog at The Huffington Post writing about the War on Drugs.

CEDRIC BONIN

CEDRIC BONIN

Co-Producer

Cedric Bonin, has produced more than 60 hours of programming for French TV, cinema and online distribution. Seppia films have screened in festivals from Cannes, to Tribeca, Berlin and Sundance.

REDELIA SHAW

REDELIA SHAW

Us Producer

Redelia Shaw, is an African American Filmmaker and a DGA 2nd Assistant Director based in LA. Her credits include Scandal, House of Lies, The Muppets, The Office, Heroes, Private Practice and Body of Proof. She joined UNF in 2013.

SELMA MUTAL

SELMA MUTAL

Music Composer

Selma Mutal is a Peruvian music composer. Her credits include “The Milk of Sorrow” (Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Picture and winner of the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival) as well as “Undertow” (Audience Award at Sundance).

SLOANE CORNELIUS

SLOANE CORNELIUS

Outreach Coordinator

Sloane Cornelius, is an Oglala Sioux social justice activist who is currently working part-time towards her degree in Non-Profit Management and Justice studies.

JENNIFER MACARTHUR

JENNIFER MACARTHUR

Impact Producer

Jennifer MacArthur, is a multi-platform communications and engagement strategist who has advised on over 25 film and media projects, including: Traces of the Trade (POV, 2008), Gideon’s Army (HBO, 2013), Dirty Wars (IFC, 2013), Valentine Road (HBO, 2013), Sandy Storyline (2013) and American Promise (POV, 2014).

CRISTIAN ANTELO

CRISTIAN ANTELO

Online Media Manager

Cristian has an MBA and is quickly becoming a documentary film devotee. He’s busy developing, designing and creating all our new websites.

OUR FRIENDS

  • COCAINE PRISON wins production funds from SUNDANCE
  • COCAINE PRISON on IMDB

 

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The Drug Policy Alliance (DPA)

The Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) is the leading US organization promoting drug policies that are grounded in science, compassion, health and human rights.Our supporters are individuals who believe the war on drugs is doing more harm than good. Together we advance policies that reduce the harms of both drug use and drug prohibition, and seek solutions that promote safety while upholding the sovereignty of individuals over their own minds and bodies. We work to ensure that our nation’s drug policies no longer arrest, incarcerate, disenfranchise and otherwise harm millions – particularly young people and people of color who are disproportionately affected by the war on drugs.

http://www.drugpolicy.org/

 

 

Andean Information Network (AIN)

The Andean Information Network promotes human rights and socioeconomic justice in Bolivia and more humane and effective illicit drug control policies.  AIN provides information and analysis to NGO colleagues, the media and international policymakers on developments in Bolivia and the impact of U.S. government and European policies. Working closely with civil society organizations in Latin America and in the United States, AIN promotes policy dialogue and the development of pragmatic alternatives that address the underlying economic, social, political and cultural needs of Bolivia.

http://ain-bolivia.org/

CONTACT