Comedy doc offers redemption for inmates with talent

From Julie Brayton, NBC Los Angeles:

Sure NBC has “America’s Got Talent,” a show that features dancers, singers and performers of all ages, who compete for a $1 million dollar prize.

But a new documentary takes that concept one step further, showcasing talented inmates, who hope to win a new chance at life.

It’s called The Redemption Project: Inmates Got Talent.

In the film, two fish-out-of-water comedians, Johnny Collins and Joel Jerome, visit Putnamville Correctional in Indiana and organize a talent contest as a way to rehab the prison’s inmates, according to the project’s website.

During the eight days that Collins and Jerome shot the film at the medium-security correctional facility, the pair was able to interact with convicts in a unique way.

“I wanted to go into a prison originally and do comedy in front of inmates. Comedians always marvel at doing comedy in challenging places, and then immediately we got the notion, why not include the inmates? They’re not going anywhere anyway,” said Collins.

But the project grew into something much more.

During their eight days at Putnamville Prison, the team captured interviews and performances with singers, spoken word artists and comics.

“We were stunned that some of these guys, the comedians, could actually hold their own with some of the top professionals in the country,” said Collins.

The hope of the project is that, in an ultimately comedic fashion, this documentary could help the convicts turn over a new leaf so they can become productive members of society.

Feature Trailer with More Comedic Moments from Redemption Project on Vimeo.

Continue to the full article at the NBC Los Angeles website.