Guest House follows three women working to become independent as they re-enter society after being incarcerated for nonviolent drug crimes. Grace, Maddison and Selena meet at Guest House in Northern Virginia, a live-in program that supports women in the crucial weeks after they are released from prison. At Guest House, they learn and practice life skills–work and career, managing money, and, importantly, the emotional support, introspection and self-care they will need to be successful.
Guest House is an honest portrait of women experiencing reintegration from the prison system as they work to overcome feelings of shame, isolation, disappointment and otherness so they can be free to pursue the dreams and desires they have for their lives. The house is full of diverse personalities driven by survival instincts. The women use their humor and intelligence to cope with the aftermath of a justice system that responds to drug addiction with incarceration, rather than treatment, which contributes to recidivism.
Following these women over six months, with intimate access to their routines around the clock, Guest House shows complexities and daily ups and downs during a time when these women are figuring out who they can trust, and if they can even trust themselves.
Director Q&A to follow the screening, with Sarah Lee from Spiritus Christi Prison Outreach and Shaylynn McGee, Housing Program Supervisor for Emergency Housing and Rapid Re-Housing at the YWCA.
Writer, director, producer, Hannah Dweck made her first comedy short The Business Meeting in March of 2017 and developed Dweck Productions, LLC. Since then, Hannah has directed a series of promotional videos for the Humane Rescue Alliance, in particular highlighting their HOPE Program and their capital campaign video, as well as location managing for the feature film, DeLorean starring Alec Baldwin. Dweck Productions is partnering with Hardball Entertainment to produce the narrative feature Giving Birth to a Butterfly. With a BA from the University of Rochester in English Literature with a focus on women and film, Hannah developed a passion for films and a desire to create and produce her own movies that inspire audiences through storytelling, compassion and empathy. Guest House is her first documentary feature.
Yael Luttwak is an experienced director and producer. Her first feature, A Slim Peace, explores the relationships between Arab, Muslim and Israeli women in the West Bank, and premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2007. Yael’s recent projects include directing the award winning documentary Maine Girls, following 13 immigrant and U.S.-born teenage girls as they bridge cultural divides, which premiered at the 2017 Camden International Film Festival, and producing the documentary feature Journey From Evil: Boko Haram for Voice of America/Creative Associates broadcast in 2017. Yael’s prior films include My Favorite Neoconservative, which screened at the San Francisco, Boston, and Washington, D.C. Jewish Film Festivals, and To Step Forward Myself, which premiered at the 2016 Atlanta Jewish Film Festival and won both the Audience Award and The Robinson International Short Film Silver Prize. During her first job after film school, Yael was fortunate to work as Oscar-nominated acclaimed director Mike Leigh’s researcher on his production of “Two-thousand Years,” a play at London’s National Theatre. Her first couple of short films have been widely distributed, among them Hans Rausing and Yitzhak Rabin: 1922-1995, a New Regency production. Yael is passionate about producing programs and digital content that capture stories which highlight the humanity of her protagonists while raising awareness for pressing social issues.