Sat Feb 29, 2020 – 12:00 pm | La Casa Grande
Belly of the Beast
Directed by Erika Cohn
USA | 81 min | 2020
When an unlikely duo discovers women in prison are being illegally sterilized, they wage an impossible battle against the Department of Corrections. Filmed over seven years with intimate accounts from currently and formerly incarcerated women, BELLY OF THE BEAST interweaves this modern fight for reproductive justice while confronting more than a century of eugenics.
Director / Producer Erika Cohn is an Emmy and Peabody Award-winning director/producer who Variety recognized as one of 2017’s top documentary filmmakers to watch. Most recently, Erika completed THE JUDGE, a Peabody Award-winning film about the first woman judge appointed to the Middle East’s Shari’a courts, which premiered at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival and was broadcast on PBS’ 2018 Independent Lens series. Erika co-directed/produced, IN FOOTBALL WE TRUST, an Emmy award-winning, feature documentary about young Pacific Islander men pursuing their dreams of playing professional football, which premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival and broadcast on PBS’ 2016 Independent Lens series. She has received numerous accolades for her work, including a Director’s Guild of America award for her film, WHEN THE VOICES FADE, a narrative profile of the Lebanese-Israeli war of 2006, and has been a featured panelist/speaker at various film festivals and university conferences across the globe. Her work has been supported by IFP, the Sundance Institute, Tribeca Institute, Hot Docs, Sheffield, ITVS, Women in Film, BAVC and the CPB Producer’s Academy among others.
Erika grew up attending the Sundance Film Festival as a native Utahn, where she first began her career. Erika has received numerous accolades for her work, including a Director’s Guild of America award for her film, WHEN THE VOICES FADE, a narrative profile of the Lebanese-Israeli war of 2006, and has been a featured panelist/speaker at various film festivals and university conferences across the globe. She studied at Chapman University (California) and Hebrew University (Jerusalem) and has degrees in Film Production, Middle Eastern Studies, and Acting Performance. In 2013, Erika founded Idle Wild Films, Inc., which has released three feature documentaries and produced numerous branded content and commercial spots, including Gatorade’s “Win from Within” series, for which she received a 2016 Webby award nomination. She currently is developing her feature narrative debut. BELLY OF THE BEAST is her third feature-length documentary.