October 22, 2016
On her way to the store with a group of friends, Chrishaun Reed “CeCe” McDonald was brutally attacked. While defending her life, a man was killed. After a coercive interrogation, CeCe was incarcerated in a men’s prison in Minnesota. An international campaign to free CeCe garnered significant support from media and activists, including actress Laverne Cox. Cox signed on as executive producer of FREE CECE!, committed to exploring the role race, class, and gender played in CeCe’s case. In the end, CeCe emerged not only as a survivor, but also as a leader.
Documentarian Jac Gares pushed past the everyday narratives of victimhood surrounding the lives of transgender people, to spotlight the way CeCe and other trans people are leading a growing movement fighting for the rights of transgender people everywhere. CeCe’s powerful story highlights the groundswell of voices questioning the prison industrial complex and calling for its disassembly.
FREE CECE! is directed and produced by Jac Gares and executive produced by Laverne Cox. Slobodan Randjelovic also served as producer. Original music is by Jordana LeSesne with editing by Erik Satre.