The Return


2016 Season
Los Angeles

The Return examines this unprecedented reform through the eyes of those on the front lines—prisoners suddenly freed, families turned upside down, reentry providers helping navigate complex transitions, and attorneys and judges wrestling with an untested law. At a moment of reckoning on mass incarceration, what can California’s experiment teach the nation?

Kelly Duane de la Vega and Katie Galloway
Country of Production: 
Filmmaker Bio(s): 
Kelly Duane de la Vega

Loteria founder DUANE DE LA VEGA‘s documentaries have screened at film festivals worldwide, opened theatrically and broadcast nationally on POV/PBS and the Documentary Channel. Her work has received the Writer’s Guild of America’s Best Documentary Screenplay Award, Gotham Independent Film’s Best Documentary Award, Tribeca Audience Award and multiple national Emmy nominations. Duane de la Vega’s film BETTER THIS WORLD won Best Documentary Feature at SFIF and Sarasota Film Festival, received an IDA Creative Achievement award and was selected to screen at NY MoMA’s documentary fortnight. MONUMENTAL screened at the Lincoln Center, was acquired by the Smithsonian for its permanent collection, EL POETA called “dramatic and inspiring” by the LA Times broadcast on PBS’s Voces. She has produced short format work for The New York Times, Mother Jones, IFC and Discovery, among others. A Sundance & HBO/Film Independent Fellow, she has guest lectured at various universities and taught Documentary Forms at UC Berkeley.



Katie Galloway

Galloway’s films explore the intersections of institutional power, civil & human rights, and political activism — with a particular focus on the American justice system. In addition to THE RETURN, her recent work includes the critically acclaimed feature documentary EL POETA (PBS VOCES, 2015) – an examination of the international drug war through the eyes of Mexican poet turned international protest leader Javier Sicilia; ERIC & ANNA, a post-911 love story featuring a teen FBI informant and a question of entrapment (The Interept/Field of Vision, 2015); A RIDE HOME FROM PRISON, a brief meditation on what it means to “reenter” life outside prison after decades behind bars (NYT Op-Docs, 2015) and several short format series.  THE RETURN (2016, with Duane de la Vega) completes her triptych of feature length documentaries on the American criminal justice and mass incarceration systems for the acclaimed national independent film series P.O.V., which also broadcast BETTER THIS WORLD (2011, with Duane de la Vega) — the story of two young men charged with domestic terrorism and their relationship with a radical mentor and undercover FBI informant and PRISON TOWN, USA (2007, with Po Kutchins) which looks at the impact of the prison building boom on rural America. Prior to her work for POV Galloway produced and reported an award-winning trio of films on the justice system for PBS FRONTLINE including SNITCH, THE CASE FOR INNOCENCE and REQUIEM FOR FRANK LEE SMITH (2001). A two-time Sundance Fellow, HBO/Film Independent Documentary Fellow and recent Filmmaker in Residence at UC Berkeley Journalism School’s Investigative Reporting Program, Galloway has won the Writer’s Guild of America’s Best Documentary Screenplay Award, Gotham Independent’s Best Documentary Award, four national Emmy nominations, Best Documentary Awards at San Francisco International, Tribeca, Sarasota and other top film festivals. Galloway holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from UC Berkeley with a focus on Political Behavior and Public Law and a M.S. in Journalism from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She has taught documentary production, history and theory at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and at UC Berkeley’s Department of Media Studies. She lives in Berkeley with her husband and four sons.