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Ticket 2016

Unlocking the Cage


DIRECTORS: Chris Hegedus, D A Pennebaker

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DIRECTORS: Chris Hegedus, D A Pennebaker
PRODUCERS: Chris Hegedus, Frazer Pennebaker, Rosadel Varela
EDITOR: Pax Wassermann

Acclaimed filmmakers D A Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus follow animal rights lawyer Steven Wise in his unprecedented attempt to break down the legal wall that separates animals from humans by filing the first lawsuits seeking to transform a chimpanzee from a “thing” with no rights to a “person” with legal protections.

Unlocking the Cage plays like a legalthriller filled with heart and compassion in the face of overwhelming opposition. Supported by affidavits from primatologists around the world, Wise maintains that cognitively complex animals—such as chimpanzees, whales, dolphins, and elephants—have the capacity for limited personhood rights that would protect them from physical abuse.

D A Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus were the honorees in the 2013 Hamptons Take 2 Documentary Film Festival. They are one of the most respected teams of documentary filmmakers working in the cinema vérité style. Their films have frequently received accolades and awards: The War Room (a behind-the-scenes look at Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign) was nominated for an Academy Award and the HBO special Elaine Stritch at Liberty earned three Primetime Emmy Awards. In 2012 the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences recognized Pennebaker’s body of work with an Academy Honorary Award for lifetime achievement. In 2001 Hegedus was awarded the Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement for