Troop 1500

Last updated
Troop 1500
Eand1500.jpg
Directed by Ellen Spiro
Produced byKaren Bernstein
CinematographyEllen Spiro, Deb Lewis
Release date
  • 2005 (2005)
Running time
68 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish

Troop 1500 is a documentary film which won two Gracie Awards from the American Women in Radio & Television (AWRT) in the Individual Achievement Award for Outstanding Director and Outstanding Documentary. The nationally broadcast film (PBS) follows a unique Girl Scouts of the USA troop which unites mothers and daughters monthly behind the bars at the Hilltop Unit, a prison of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, in Gatesville, Texas. All of the mothers have been convicted of serious crimes and are serving long sentences.

Contents

The troop's activities are centered on rebuilding the tenuous relationships, and addition to arts and crafts and learning life skills, the mothers and daughters bond by asking and answering tough questions of each other.

For more than five years, filmmaker Ellen Spiro worked with the leaders and girls of Troop 1500, the "prison troop," as a volunteer and mentor. She spent the first year with the troop training the girls in cinematography, sound and editing, and then she began making Troop 1500 in which the girls occupy front and center of the film, as subjects as well as crew.

Troop 1500 is an example of Spiro's innovative style of filmmaking which requires an interpersonal and intimate involvement with her subject over a long period of time.

Awards

Articles

Austin, Liz. Film Documents Scout Troop's Efforts to Break Cycle of Crime. Amarillo Globe News. 2006-3-18. Retrieved on 2007-6-24.

Evans, Kate. Troop 1500: Girls with Mums in Prison, Together. Life Matters. 2006-4-20. Retrieved on 2007-6-24.

Geisler, Erin. Troop 1500: Girl Scouts Beyond Bars. The University of Texas at Austin, Office of Public Affairs. 2005-3-14. Retrieved 2007-6-22.

Grant, Darlene. (2006). Resilience of girls with incarcerated mothers: The impact of Girl Scouts. The Prevention Researcher, 13(2), 11-14.

Guiding Kids Through Troop 1500. Official Website of the Girls Scouts of the USA. 2006 newsletter. Retrieved 2007-6-22.

Hill, Alison Michelle. Troop 1500: The Real Deal on a Reality Movie. Studio 2B: The Place for Teens. Retrieved 2007-6-22.

Holt, Cody. Job: Video Reunion. DigitalContentProducer.com. 2006-6-1. Retrieved on 2007-6-24.

Karnasiewicz, Sarah. Tough Cookies. Salon.com. 2006-3-21. Retrieved on 2007-6-18.

Kasten, Susan. Troop 1500. Beloit College Magazine. Summer 2006. Retrieved 2007-6-22.

Neff, Nancy. Beyond Bars: Special Girl Scout Troop Helps Young Women Connect with Their Mothers in Prison. The University of Texas at Austin Online Features. 2006-1-23. Retrieved on 2007-6-22.

S., Brianna. Finding and Filming Your Passions: An Interview with Filmmaker Ellen Spiro, Part I. Studio 2B: The Place for Teens. Retrieved 2007-6-22.

S., Brianna. and Filming Your Passions: An Interview with Filmmaker Ellen Spiro, Part II. Studio 2B: The Place for Teens. Retrieved 2007-6-22.

Scheib, Ronnie. Troop 1500: Girl Scouts Behind Bars. Variety. 2005-3-15. Retrieved on 2007-6-17.

Swan, Marion. Troop 1500 Documentary on Texas Girl Scout Council Premieres at South By Southwest Film Festival. Official Website of the Girls Scouts of the USA. 2005-3-3. Retrieved 2007-6-22.

Swan, Marion. Emmy Award-Winning PBS Series Independent Lens to Host Broadcast Premiere of 'Troop 1500'. Official Website of the Girls Scouts of the USA. 2006-3-9. Retrieved on 2007-6-24.

See also

Related Research Articles

Girl Scouts of the USA Non-profit organization in the USA

Girl Scouts of the United States of America (GSUSA), commonly referred to as simply Girl Scouts, is a youth organization for girls in the United States and American girls living abroad. Founded by Juliette Gordon Low in 1912, it was organized after Low met Robert Baden-Powell, the founder of Scouting, in 1911. Upon returning to Savannah, Georgia, she telephoned a distant cousin, saying, "I've got something for the girls of Savannah, and all of America, and all the world, and we're going to start it tonight!"

<i>Devils Playground</i> (2002 film) 2002 film by Lucy Walker

Devil's Playground is a 2002 American documentary film directed by Lucy Walker about the experiences of several Amish youths who decide whether to remain in or leave their community and faith during the period known as rumspringa. The film follows a few Amish teenagers in LaGrange County, Indiana who enter the "English" (non-Amish) world and experience partying, drinking, illegal drugs, and pre-marital sex. Some teens in the film profess that they will eventually become baptized as adults in the Amish community. If they are baptized, then leave the church, they will be shunned by family and friends; one girl recounts her experience of this.

Rachel Maddow American television news host and political commentator

Rachel Anne Maddow is an American television news program host and liberal political commentator. Maddow hosts The Rachel Maddow Show, a nightly television show on MSNBC, and serves as the cable network's special event co-anchor alongside Brian Williams. Her syndicated talk radio program of the same name aired on Air America Radio from 2005 to 2010.

Gail Mancuso is an American film and television director.

Ellen Spiro American filmmaker

Ellen Spiro is an Emmy Award-winning American documentary filmmaker.

<i>Are the Kids Alright?</i> 2004 television film

Are the Kids Alright? is a documentary film which explores mental health care for children and youths at risk in Texas. The filmmaker, Ellen Spiro, gained unprecedented access to troubled children and their families, as well as the judicial, psychiatric and correctional institutions. By following several different families, the filmmakers document the results of the decline in the availability of mental health services for the youth who most desperately need it.

<i>Atomic Ed and the Black Hole</i> 2001 film by Ellen Spiro

Atomic Ed and the Black Hole is a documentary released in 2001 by filmmaker, Ellen Spiro. The documentary was made for HBO's Cinemax Reel Life Series. Sheila Nevins served as Executive Producer and Lisa Heller served as Supervising Producer. Karen Bernstein served as Producer. Laurie Anderson provided her song, Big Science, for the soundtrack.

<i>Roam Sweet Home</i> 1996 film by Ellen Spiro

Roam Sweet Home is a 1996 American documentary film directed by Ellen Spiro. In road-trip style, it follows the lives of retirees who live on the road full-time in trailers, due to economic necessity, pleasure, or both.

The 10 Under 10 Film Festival was created by independent documentary filmmaker and University of Texas at Austin Associate Professor, Ellen Spiro. The intention of the film festival is to encourage raw creativity among new filmmakers without relying on huge budgets.

Ellen Kuras American cinematographer and film director

Ellen Kuras is an American cinematographer whose body of work includes narrative and documentary films, music videos and commercials in both the studio and independent worlds. One of few female members of the American Society of Cinematographers, she is a pioneer best known for her work in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004). She has collaborated with directors such as Michel Gondry, Spike Lee, Sam Mendes, Jim Jarmusch, Rebecca Miller, Martin Scorsese and more. She is the three-time winner of the Award for Excellence in Dramatic Cinematography at the Sundance Film Festival, for her films Personal Velocity: Three Portraits, Angela and Swoon, which was her first dramatic feature after getting her start in political documentaries.

Liz Garbus American film director and producer

Elizabeth Freya Garbus is an American documentary film director and producer. Notable documentaries Garbus has made are The Farm: Angola, USA,Ghosts of Abu Ghraib,Bobby Fischer Against the World,Love, Marilyn, and What Happened, Miss Simone?

Lev L. Spiro is an American film and television director. His TV episodic work includes multiple Emmy Award-winning shows such as Modern Family, Weeds, Arrested Development, My Name Is Earl, Ugly Betty, Gilmore Girls, Dawson's Creek, The O.C. and Everybody Hates Chris. His film directing includes the DGA Award nominated Minutemen, the Emmy Award-winning Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie, and the Lionsgate feature Blue Mountain State: The Rise of Thadland (2016).

Jonathan Stack American filmmaker

Jonathan David Stack is an American documentary filmmaker. He is also a co-founder of World Vasectomy Day.

Gracie Awards

The Gracie Awards are awards presented by the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation (AWM) in America, to celebrate and honor programming created for women, by women, and about women, as well as individuals who have made exemplary contributions in electronic media and affiliates. Presented annually, the Gracie Awards recognize national, local, and student works.

Linda Lorelle American journalist

Linda Lorelle is a journalist who anchored the evening news for nearly 17 years at Houston's NBC affiliate, KPRC-TV. Her accolades include an Emmy for "Beyond Brown vs. Board: The Journey Continues," a documentary on how Houston desegregated its schools, and an Emmy for her first-person account of another local news anchor's cancer. Lorelle also garnered two national Gracie Awards, given by the American Women in Radio and Television.

Jennifer Fox (documentary filmmaker) American documentary film producer and director

Jennifer Fox is an American film producer, director, cinematographer, and writer as well as president of A Luminous Mind Film Productions. She won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance for her first feature documentary, Beirut: The Last Home Movie. Her 2010 documentary My Reincarnation had its premiere at the International Documentary Film Festival in Amsterdam (IDFA) in 2010, where it won a Top 20 Audience Award.

Abigail Disney American filmmaker

Abigail Edna Disney is an American documentary filmmaker, philanthropist, and social activist. She produced the documentary Pray the Devil Back to Hell, and is the executive producer, writer, and director of The Armor of Light, which won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Social Issue Documentary.

The GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Documentary is one of the annual GLAAD Media Awards which is offered to the best LGBT-related film released for major distribution. First awarded in 1991, it was known as the GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Film (Documentary) until 1997, when the award was renamed to its current name.

Lisa F. Jackson is an American documentary filmmaker, known most recently for her films, The Greatest Silence: Rape in the Congo (2007) and Sex Crimes Unit (2011), which aired on HBO in 2008 and 2011. Her work has earned awards including two Emmy awards and a Jury Prize from the Sundance Film Festival. She has screened her work and lectured at the Columbia University School of Journalism, Brandeis, Purdue, NYU, Yale, Notre Dame and Harvard University and was a visiting professor of documentary film at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan.

Vivian Kleiman

Vivian Kleiman is a Peabody Award-winning documentary filmmaker. She has received a National Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Research and Executive Produced an Academy Award nominated documentary.