A Sweet Release...

Posted: August 31, 2019

Three Nova Scotia filmmakers - Nance Ackerman, Ariella Pahlke and Teresa MacInnes to have Gala Presentation of CONVICTION at FIN: Atlantic International Film Festival

Screening: Monday, September 16, 6:30 p.m.
Venue: Cineplex Cinemas Park Lane, Theatre 8
Run time: 78 min

FIN ticket link

After a successful world premiere at the Hot Docs Film Festival earlier this year, co-directors Nance Ackerman (Four Feet Up, Cottonland), Ariella Pahlke (Burning Rubber, What You Did Before You Were Born) and Teresa MacInnes (Buying Sex, Norm) are very pleased that their empowering documentary collaboration, CONVICTION, has been officially selected as a Gala Presentation at FIN: Atlantic International Film Festival, on Monday, September 16, 2019, 6:30 PM.

Following the screening in Halifax, the CONVICTION team will host a reception and an exhibition of the women’s artwork and photography at the Exhibition Room, Dalhousie School of Architecture, 5410 Spring Garden Road, Halifax.

In CONVICTION, Ackerman, Pahlke, and MacInnes, collaborate with women on the inside, Bianca Mercer, Treena Smith, Laura Toney, Caitlin Hill, as well as prison guard, Tanya Bignell, to imagine what they would have needed in their lives to avoid incarceration. They paint, draw, sing, photograph and film, envisioning a more ideal world, authoring their own narratives through art. They join advocates and Senator Kim Pate in a worldwide movement questioning the ideas of punishment and prison.

As each woman gives voice to her experiences, the ‘big picture’ comes to life in the stories they choose to share. Soon, it becomes painfully clear that these women are a stark reflection of the troubling worldwide tendency to criminalize and warehouse those most affected by poverty, addiction, childhood sexual and physical trauma, and mental illness. Not another ‘broken prison' film, this collaboration is a ‘broken society’ film—an ambitious and inspired re-build of our community, from the inside out.

“Our hope is to compel audiences to consider why we imprison the most vulnerable among us, and at what cost. Ultimately, we want viewers to engage with governments at all levels to shift the billions of dollars currently being used to imprison and punish, to supportive resources within our community,” said Ackerman, MacInnes and Pahlke in a joint statement.

CONVICTION team Ackerman, MacInnes and Pahlke

CONVICTION was written and directed by Nance Ackerman, Ariella Pahlke, and Teresa MacInnes, and produced by Teresa MacInnes from Sea to Sea Productions and Annette Clarke (The Boxing Girls of Kabul, Love, Scott, Theater of Life) for the NFB’s Quebec and Atlantic Studio in Halifax. Conviction was produced in association with documentary Channel, with the participation of Canada Media Fund, SRC and with the assistance of the NS Production Incentive & the Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit.

Film Website:

For over 20 years, Sea to Sea Productions has created powerful, thought-provoking social issue and nature documentaries that foster positive interaction and help create a more humane and compassionate world. From Serbia to the Caribbean, Canada to Sweden, Sea to Sea is the creative force behind stories that bring together divergent perspectives that tackle peace, prostitution, turtle conservation, and celebrate the oldest working hairdresser in Canada. Educating, entertaining and engaging audiences, they take pride in building community, teaming up with talented collaborators in Nova Scotia and around the world. For more information –

The NFB is Canada’s public producer of award-winning creative documentaries, auteur animation, interactive stories and participatory experiences. NFB producers are embedded in communities across the country, from St. John’s to Vancouver, working with talented creators on innovative and socially relevant projects. The NFB is a leader in gender equity in film and digital media production, and is working to strengthen Indigenous-led production, guided by the recommendations of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. NFB productions have won over 7,000 awards, including 24 Canadian Screen Awards, 21 Webbys, 12 Oscars and more than 100 Genies. To access this award-winning content and discover the work of NFB creators, visit, download its apps for mobile devices or visit NFB Pause.


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