Pens to Pictures is a filmmaking collaborative that teaches and empowers incarcerated women to make their own short films, from script to screen. During its inaugural year in 2016, five films were made in partnership between women in Dayton Correctional Institution (DCI) and the Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Pennsylvania artist communities. 

Founder, Chinonye Chukwu, taught an 8-week screenwriting intensive to participants, guiding them in the writing and revising of an original, short screenplay. Then under her facilitation, they collaborated with community artists, including local area film students, to help them shoot their films throughout Ohio. All pre-production logistics were confirmed by participants. After the films were shot, the footage was brought into DCI and participants worked with a professional post-production team from Ohio State University’s Wexner Center to finish their films.

These films are now screening in prisons, libraries, schools, festivals, and community spaces throughout the country this year. Films are also being screened alongside creative workshops that include:

  • Screenwriting bootcamps in juvenile detention centers
  • Legal clinics for abuse survivors, in collaboration with nonprofit organizations
  • Health fairs for formally incarcerated women

If you are part of an organization that is interested in hosting a Pens to Pictures screening event, please visit our SUPPORT page.