Belly of the Beast, a feature documentary film which exposes a pattern of illegal involuntary sterilizations in California’s women’s prison system, premiered on June 11 as the opening night film for the Human Rights Watch Film Festival 2020 digital edition.
Pandemic-era virtual premieres are an adjustment. Having worked as one of the two main cinematographers on the film, I was sad that we couldn’t have an in-person celebration and that the film’s participants wouldn’t have the experience of a sold-out audience’s appreciation and support. What we did have, on the other hand, was the opportunity for friends, family, and colleagues all around the country to watch the film and the virtual Q&A together — ultimately, a much wider and almost certainly more diverse audience than would have been able to go to an in-person NYC screening.
Also, the Q&A with director Erika Cohn, producer Angela Tucker, and film participants Cynthia Chandler and Kelli Dillon is archived and viewable on the HRW Facebook page.