Prison Puppies


Convicted felon Raymond Hall is halfway through his 22-year sentence when he is chosen to train Eli, a 6-week old Labrador puppy. In one year, Raymond will be tasked with turning Eli from a
cuddly little misfit into a disciplined seeing-eye dog.

When Eli enters Raymond's cell, he disrupts more than just his prison routine of discipline and boredom. Together with his teammates, Burrell and Thomas, Raymond learns the values of
nurturing and responsibility. For a year, the team trains Eli with one purpose: give freedom of movement to a blind person on the outside—the very freedom all prison inmates long for. As the team works with Eli, it grows increasingly difficult to remember that they're in prison for serious crimes. That is until one of them is released and faces the deep challenge of rejoining society.

Using Eli the puppy as our cuddly Trojan horse, Prison Puppies will bring audiences into the shoes of one of our most marginalized members of society.

Filmmaker Bio(s)

Jason B. Kohl (co-director) is a half Austrian but mostly American filmmaker from Michigan. His shorts have played major international film festivals (SXSW, Locarno, BFI London) and been finalists for the Student Academy Awards. He recently completed principal photography on New Money, his first feature film. Starring Louisa Krause and Gotham and Emmy nominee Robin Weigert, the film is planned for release in 2017.

The Focal Press recently published his first book, entitled Film School: A Practical Guide to an Impractical Decision. In the fall of 2015 he taught at Michigan State University as their Artist in Residence. He's a former Fulbright and DAAD Artist Scholar with an MFA in Directing from UCLA Film School.

Nora Mandray (co-director) is an award-winning French filmmaker based in Berlin. She creates both old and new media with a focus on documentary. Her projects have been supported by the CNC (French Film Institute) and successful crowdfunding campaigns. Her debut, the award-winning interactive project Detroit je t'aime, is a trilogy of short documentaries about the DIY revolution in Detroit—each has gone to screen independently at the Berlinale, Hot Docs, Sheffield Doc/Fest, Camden and LA Film Fest, among many others.

Nora is currently working on a new nonfiction transmedia project called Murderabilia, supported by the CNC and the French regional film board Aquitaine, about the merchandisation of mass murder in the US. She holds a double-Master's Degree from Sciences Po Paris and UCLA film school, where she studied as a Fulbright scholar. She's currently a DAAD Artist Scholar.
Film Details
  • Country(ies): USA
  • Language(s): English
  • Year: 2016
  • Running time: 90
  • Director(s): Jason B. Kohl, Nora Mandray
  • Producer(s): Jason B. Kohl, Nora Mandray
  • Cinematographer(s): Nora Mandray
  • Editor(s): Jason B. Kohl, Nora Mandray
  • Website:

FSP 1557