Civil Brand

Release Date: August 29, 2003
Limited release

For a women in prison film, this picture isn't very sexy.

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Civil Brand takes place in a women's prison, where an attractive young mother has just been incarcerated for murdering her abusive husband. It isn’t long before she discovers what the more seasoned prisoners already know: There's more interest in corporate profits than rehabilitation in this facility, and no one cares what happens to the prisoners as long as they continue to work. She and the other inmates, along with a young law student who works as a part-time prison guard that they have befriended, hit upon a plan to bring their plight to the attention of the outside world, hoping to improve their lot. When their plan goes awry, however, they end up taking over the prison, leading to a denouement which none of them had planned.

Civil Brand had its premiere at the 2002 American Black Film Festival, and has been making the festival circuit since. It is now scheduled for a limited release beginning August 22, 2003. For a film that has been touring the festivals for a while, there are precious few reviews; however, the one that exists is favorable. Niche films such as this, however, generally have a hard time finding an audience, even on the art-house circuit. Civil Brand will likely find its greatest success in the home video market, where niche films are often more easily accessed by their respective audiences.
(Stephanie Star Smith/BOP)

Vital statistics for Civil Brand
Main Cast LisaRaye, N'Bushe Wright, Mos Def, Da Brat, Monica Calhoun
Supporting Cast Clifton Powell, Tichina Arnold, Lark Voorhies, MC Lyte, Robert Archer Lynn, Reed R. McCants
Director Neema Barnette
Screenwriter Preston A. Whitmore II, Joyce Renee Lewis
Distributor Lions Gate
Trailer Click Here for Trailer
Official Site
Rating R
Running Time 95 minutes
Screen Count 35
  • Neema Barnette, Best Film, 2002 American Black Film Festival
  • Clifton Powell, Best Performance by an Actor, 2002 American Black Film Festival
  • Neema Barnette, Audience Award and Special Jury Prize, 2002 Urbanworld Film Festival

Awards page for Civil Brand
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture



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