Virtually Free sparking discussions about juvenile justice and anti-racism

Virtually Free sparking discussions about juvenile justice and anti-racism


Virtually Free sparking discussions about juvenile justice and anti-racism

In addition to winning several awards, including the Jury Award for Impact in the Social Impact Media Awards, Virtually Free has been screening around the country as part of workshops focusing on anti-racism and conversations about policing in America.  Check out this video for a taste of how engaging and thought-provoking these conversations have been – and if you are interested in booking a workshop of your own with the film and Director André Robert Lee – please let us know! Or you can reach out to Point Made Learning at

Virtually Free Shortlisted for IDA Documentary Awards

Virtually Free Shortlisted for IDA Documentary Awards


Virtually Free Shortlisted for IDA Documentary Awards

Virtually Free, Shine Global’s latest documentary produced by Susan MacLaury and Alexandra Blaney and Directed by André Robert Lee, has been shortlisted for the IDA Documentary Awards in the Shorts category. The IDA Documentary Awards is “the world’s most prestigious event dedicated to the documentary genre, celebrating the best nonfiction films and programs of the year. It seeks to represent excellence in the documentary field from around the world, by emerging and established documentarians.” Up to ten nominees in each of the feature and short documentary categories will be selected from the shortlist and will be announced on November 24th.

Virtually Free is a documentary about unlikely allies in Richmond, VA who partner to transform the juvenile justice system and stop mass incarceration. In the film, we meet Sid, Tae, and AR, three teens currently being held in a Richmond, VA detention center who are offered the chance to become activists speaking truth to power. Participating in a local arts organizations’ program, Performing Statistics, they are taught by different artists to deliver their powerful, authentic messages to the public, law enforcement, and government officials using their art, including a virtual reality jail cell they’ve helped create.

More information on how to book an exclusive virtual screening and workshop can be found at:

Watch the trailer:

Shorts Shortlist

Abortion Helpline, This is Lisa (USA / Woman Make Movies. Directors/Producers: Barbara Attie, Mike Attie, Janet Goldwater)

All That Perishes at the Edge of Land (Pakistan. Director/Producer: Hira Nabi. Producer: Till Passow)

Tutwiler (USA / Frontline, PBS, The Marshall Project, American Documentary, WORLD Channel. Director: Elaine McMillion Sheldon. Producer: Alysia Santo)

Call Center Blues (USA, Mexico / TOPIC. Director: Geeta Gandbhir. Producer: Jessica Devaney)

Eddy’s World (USA. Director/Producer: Lyn Goldfarb. Producers: Jannat Gargi, Daniel Zimbaldi)

Huntsville Station (USA / NY Times Op-Docs. Directors/Producers: Chris Filippone, Jamie Meltzer)

Hysterical Girl (USA / NY Times Op-Docs. Director: Kate Novack. Producer: Andrew Rossi)

John Was Trying to Contact Aliens (USA / Netflix. Director/Producer: Matthew Killip)

The Lost Astronaut (USA / NY Times Op-Docs. Director: Ben Proudfoot. Producers: Abby Lynn Kang Davis, Gabriel Berk Godoi)

Mizuko (USA, Japan. Directors/Producers: Kira Dane, Katelyn Rebelo)

Racially Charged: America’s Misdemeanor Problem (USA. Director/Producer: Robert Greenwald. Producers: Casey Cooper Johnson, Jim Miller)

sống ở đây (USA / University of California, Santa Cruz. Director/Producer: Melanie Ho)

To Calm the Pig Inside (Ang Pagpakalma sa Unos) (Philippines. Director/Producer: Joanna Vasquez Arong) 

Unforgivable (El Salvador. Director/Producer: Marlén Viñayo. Producer: Carlos Martínez)

Virtually Free (USA. Director: André Robert Lee. Producers: Alexandra Blaney, Susan MacLaury)

Features Shortlist

76 Days (USA, China / MTV Documentary Films. Directors: Anonymous, Weixi Chen. Director/Producer: Hao Wu. Producer: Jean Tsien)

Acasă, My Home (Romania, Germany, Finland / Manifest Film, HBO Europe. Director: Radu Ciorniciuc. Producer: Monica Lăzurean-Gorgan)

Boys State (USA / Apple, A24. Directors/Producers: Amanda McBaine, Jesse Moss)

City Hall (USA / Zipporah Films, Inc. Director: Frederick Wiseman. Producer: Karen Konicek)

Collective  (Romania / Magnolia Pictures, Participant. Director/Producer: Alexander Nanau. Producer: Bianca Oana)

Crip Camp (USA / Netflix. Directors/Producers: Jim LeBrecht, Nicole Newnham. Producer: Sara Bolder)

Disclosure (USA / Netflix. Director/Producer: Sam Feder. Producer: Amy Scholder)

The Earth is Blue as an Orange (Ukraine, Lithuania / TVP. Director: Iryna Tsilyk. Producers: Anna Kapustina, Giedrė Žickytė)

The Forbidden Reel (Canada / National Film Board of Canada. Director: Ariel Nasr. Producers: Kat Baulu, Sergeo Kirby)

Gunda (Norway, USA / NEON. Director: Victor Kossakovsky. Producer: Anita Rehoff Larsen)

I Walk on Water (USA / Grasshopper Film. Director: Khalik Allah. Producers: Sofian Khan, Vikki Tobak)

Me and the Cult Leader (Japan. Director/Producer: Atsushi Sakahara. Producers: Pearl Chan, Matsuo Etsuko)

A Metamorfose dos Pássaros (Portugal / Portugal Film – Portuguese Film Agency. Director: Catarina Vasconcelos. Producers: Pedro Fernandes Duarte, Joana Gusmão)

MLK/FBI (USA / IFC Films. Director: Sam Pollard. Producer: Benjamin Hedin)

The Mole Agent (Chile, Germany, USA / POV, Hulu, Gravitas Ventures. Director: Maite Alberdi. Producer: Marcela Santibañez)

Notturno (Italy, France, Germany. Director/Producer: Gianfranco Rosi. Producers: Camille Laemlé, Serge Lalou, Orwa Nyrabia, Donatella Palermo, Eva-Maria Weerts)

Once Upon a Time in Venezuela (Venezuela, UK, Brazil / Cargo Film Releasing. Director: Anabel Rodríguez Ríos. Producer: Sepp Brudermann) 

The Reason I Jump (USA, UK / Kino Lorber. Director: Jerry Rothwell. Producers: Jeremy Dear, Stevie Lee, Al Morrow)

Reunited (Denmark. Director: Mira Jargil. Producer: Kirstine Barfod)

Self Portrait (Norway. Directors: Katja Høgset, Margreth Olin, Espen Wallin. Director/Producer: Margreth Olin)

Softie (Kenya / POV. Director/Producer: Sam Soko. Producer: Toni Kamau)

Stray (USA / Magnolia Pictures. Director/Producer: Elizabeth Lo. Producers: Shane Boris, Ceylan Carhoglu, Ina Fichman)

‘Til Kingdom Come (Israel, UK, Norway / IPBC Kan, NDR. Director/Producer: Maya Zinshtein. Producers: John Battsek, Abraham (Abie) Troen)

Time (USA / Amazon Studios, Concordia Studio, The New York Times. Director/Producer: Garrett Bradley. Producers: Lauren Domino, Kellen Quinn) 

To See You Again (Mexico. Director: Carolina Corral Paredes. Producer: Magali Rocha Donnadieu)

The Truffle Hunters (USA / Sony Pictures Classics. Directors/Producers: Michael Dweck, Gregory Kershaw)

Unapologetic (USA. Director/Producer: Ashley O’Shay. Producer: Morgan Elise Johnson)

The Viewing Booth (Israel, USA / ro*co films, Temple University, Channel 8 (Israel). Director/Producer: Ra’anan Alexandrowicz. Producer: Liran Atzmor)

Welcome to Chechnya (USA / HBO. Director/Producer: David France. Producers: Alice Henty and Askold Kurov)

Wintopia (Canada / National Film Board of Canada. Director: Mira Burt-Wintonick. Producers: Annette Clarke, Bob Moore)

Virtually Free Shortlisted for IDA Documentary Awards

Virtually Free Trailer Premiere


Virtually Free Trailer

Hot off winning three film festival awards for Best Documentary Short – we are pleased to share the Virtually Free trailer with you!

And now is the time to book an exclusive virtual screening of the award-winning short documentary along with a workshop with Director and Educator André Robert Lee. You can share the film with your coworkers, classroom, or community.

A documentary about unlikely allies in Richmond, VA who partner to transform the juvenile justice system and stop mass incarceration. 
Directed by André Robert Lee and Produced by Susan MacLaury and Alexandra Blaney of Shine Global

Expand and deepen the way you talk about anti-racism,  policing in America, education, and the power of the arts in your community.

A workshop and screening package includes:

  • Private viewing of the 40-minute film for your community
  • Facilitated conversations and activities tailored to your groups needs and interest
  • Discussion guide and standards-based curriculum to help your community continue the conversations in a constructive way after we leave

Director André Robert Lee

André Robert Lee previously directed and produced The Prep School Negro, served as Producer on the documentary I’m Not Racist… Am I? and partnered with Shine Global (War Dance; Inocente) on an episode of “The Election Effect” for Paramount TV. He has served as a facilitator, reader, and speaker for the National Association of Independent Schools People of Color Conference and The Gates Millennium Scholars Program. André is a recipient of many awards and acknowledgements; he also teaches filmmaking at the Germantown Friends School where he is designing a film program and is a former Professor at Wharton. André leads Civil Rights Tours for students of the Carolina Friends School and with adults for The Nation Magazine.

Virtually Free + Live Panel Discussion May 28th 8pmET

Virtually Free + Live Panel Discussion May 28th 8pmET


Virtually Free + Live Panel Discussion May 28th 8pmET




Join Shine Global, Director André Robert Lee, Former Chief of Police in Richmond Alfred Durham, Activist Gina Lyles, and Moderator Lynette Tannis for a virtual screening and panel discussion.  Watch the film anytime before the panel discussion from the comfort of your own home.

LIVE Panel Discussion
Thursday, May 28th


How to Watch

1. Click here to go the screening page on Eventive

2. If your screen says “Watch Now” simply click to begin  viewing. If your screen says “Unlock” enter your email and password (you will need to create an account with Eventive if you don’t have one already) to purchase a ticket and the page will take you to the “Watch Now” screen.

3. You have until May 28th at 8pmET to begin watching the film after unlocking.  Once you begin watching, you have 48 hours to complete the film.  You can watch at anytime before the panel discussion – the film is 40 minutes long.

4.  On May 28th at 8pmET the same page will host the live Panel Discussion.  You must be signed into your account to view.  You can type questions and comments into the chat box.

5. If you’d like to make it a Movie Night, follow this timeline to join in the fun simultaneously with the filmmakers and friends across the country:

Thursday, May 28th
7:00pm EDT (NY) / 4:00pm PDT (CA)
Log in to Eventive to watch Virtually Free from the comfort of your home. The film is 40 minutes long.

7:45pm EDT (NY) / 4:45pm PDT (CA)
15 minute break – get your questions ready and re-fill your beverage

8:00pm EDT (NY) / 5pm PDT (CA)
Participate in our live Q&A and panel discussion

If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to reach out to for assistance and you can view the FAQ from Eventive


Virtually Free is short documentary about unlikely allies in Richmond, VA who partner to transform the juvenile justice system and stop mass incarceration. In the film, we meet Sid, Taee, and AR, three teens currently being held in a Richmond, VA detention center who are offered the chance to become activists speaking truth to power. Participating in a local arts organizations’ program, Performing Statistics, they are taught by different artists to deliver their powerful, authentic messages to the public, law enforcement, and government officials using their art, including a virtual reality jail cell they’ve helped create.


André Robert Lee – Director

André has taken a unique path from teaching in the NYC public school system, to graduate school, and then the Ford Foundation before finding his way to the entertainment business. André wrote, directed and produced the feature documentary The Prep School Negro (2012) which has had hundreds of screenings and workshops at high schools, colleges, universities, gatherings and conferences. He also produced the documentary feature I’m Not Racist…Am I? (2014). In the past, André served for two years on the Miramax Films Academy-driven Marketing team, was Director of Marketing for Urbanworld, and produced short films at Film Movement. André’s work as a freelance producer has included a music video for The Churchills, numerous segments for German television, and directing an episode of “The Election Effect” digital series with Shine Global for Paramount Network.


Alfred Durham – Former Chief of Police in Richmond, Virginia

Alfred possesses over three decades of service in law enforcement. After serving four years of active duty with the United States Marine Corps, he began his law enforcement career with the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington, DC in 1987. Before becoming Chief of Police in Richmond, VA in 2015, he served as assistant chief of police in Washington, DC and spearheaded the planning and execution of the 55th Presidential Inauguration in January 2005 among other roles in law enforcement. Alfred retired from the Richmond Police Department in December 2018 and currently serves in a role as director of investigative and security services for the National Football League.


Gina Lyles – Engagement Director at Performing Statistics

Gina Lyles is the Engagement Director of Performing Statistics. Co-Directing the project with Mark Strandquist, Creative Director, and Trey Hartt, Project Director. She supports the human-to-human connections that ground Performing Statistics in authentic relationships with youth, credible messenger mentors, and partners. Gina leverages her own life experiences as a self-described, “school-to-prison pipeline survivor” in and out of the foster care and juvenile justice systems since the age of eight, to navigate and empower youth caught in the school-to-prison pipeline. She began her journey with Performing Statistics at ART 180 as a program assistant for a hip hop class using her skills as an emcee and rapper to support kids at the middle school level. She soon was leading her own hip hop music and writing programs. When Performing Statistics was founded in 2014, Gina was the first program leader assisting in the implementation of the earliest creative programs and was promoted to Program Coordinator in 2015 after the project received its first major grant. After just a year, Gina became Program Manager and helped grow the project with a particular emphasis on the youth development and credible messenger mentoring aspects. Gina left ART 180 in 2019 to launch her own business, So Focused Consulting, LLC, before becoming the Performing Statistics Engagement Director.

Lynette N Tannis – Moderator

Dr. Lynette N. Tannis is an adjunct lecturer on education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) where she teaches the newly designed course Educating Incarcerated Youth: Practice, Research, and Policy. She also conducts research for HGSE’s Juvenile Justice Education Research Initiative. Her work as an adjunct lecturer, researcher, and independent education consultant focuses on ensuring all students – free or incarcerated – receive a high-quality education. Dr. Tannis is the author of Educating Incarcerated Youth: Exploring the Impact of Relationships, Expectations, Resources and Accountability (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014) and is recognized as a juvenile justice education expert. Her work is featured in the Harvard Educational Review (2017), the National Association for Public Defense (2016), educationpost (2015), Education Week (2014), and the Harvard Ed. Magazine (2015, 2014, 2013). Dr. Tannis holds both a Doctor of Education degree (2013) and a Master’s of Education Policy and Management degree (2010) from Harvard University, a Master’s degree With Distinction in Educational Administration from Kean University (2003), and a Bachelor’s degree Cum Laude in Elementary Education from Greensboro College (1995).

Innovation in Outreach Grant Award from Chicago Media Project for Virtually Free

Innovation in Outreach Grant Award from Chicago Media Project for Virtually Free


Innovation in Outreach Grant Award from Chicago Media Project for Virtually Free


Shine Global is the recipient of the Innovation in Outreach Grant Award from The Chicago Media Project for Virtually Free.  The grant supports innovative approaches to impact and outreach campaigns.

Every year about 300,000 kids are confined in juvenile detention in the US. This in itself is a horrifying thought, thinking of kids spending any amount of their lives in jail.  But when you learn that incarcerating kids doesn’t actually stop crime, and in fact sets kids up to continue in the system, spending their lives incarcerated as adults as well, we knew this was something we had to help change. 

Shine Global makes films to raise awareness, promote action, and inspire change and Virtually Free, directed by André Robert Lee, is Shine’s upcoming documentary about unlikely allies in Richmond, VA who partner to transform the juvenile justice system and stop mass incarceration.  With this filmthe focus of Shine’s outreach efforts will be on reaching audiences beyond traditional film distribution such as police departments, underserved communities, community arts programs, and legal justice advocates.  We’ll be working with our partners to create the tools and experiences to go along with the film.  Our ultimate goal for the impact campaign is support the movement to stop incarcerating kids and for communities to instead create alternatives to incarceration.