a feature-length documentary in production
directed by Chinonye Chukwu
produced by Svetlana Cvetko & David Scott Smith
Eleven years ago, Beverly Fears was convicted of felony child endangerment after her two kids were found alone and hungry in a closet. The media and her community condemned her as a “monster.” She proclaimed her innocence, but some of her family and friends abandoned her. After fourteen months in county jail, unable to make bond or hire a lawyer, she finally accepted a plea bargain, even though her guilt was never proven in court. Beverly served ten years in prison.
On March 28, 2017, Beverly, at 34 years old, was released – paroled back into the same family and community that had written her off. Our cameras were there – to record her first hug with her mother in ten years – her first steps into the free world – her attempts to be fearless about the challenges coming her way.
Fears will be a feature-length documentary on Beverly’s journey of reentry: her hopes for a new life, and her wish to not become one more “statistic” from her community.