Guest House, a new documentary by first-time director Hannah Dweck co-directed by Yael Luttwak, will open at the Hot Springs Film Festival October 23, and the Austin Film Festival October 26.
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 other-ness so they can be free to pursue their dreams and desires. Following these women over six weeks, 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.
Grace, Maddison and Selena have been in and out of prison since their teen years. They meet at the Guest House, a residential home nestled in a quiet neighborhood in Alexandria, Virginia. The Guest House is a live-in program that supports women in the crucial six weeks after they are released from prison. At the Guest House, the women for new routines and new friendships. They master life skills--work and career, managing money, preparing meals—and build the emotional support and self-care they need to succeed.
Co-directors Dweck and Luttwak are presenting their new film, Guest House, at a time when drug sentencing and prison overcrowding are in crisis. According to data from The Sentencing Project, the number of incarcerated women rose from 26,378 to 225,060 between 1980 and 2017-- an increase of 750%. Women in state prisons are also more likely than men to be incarcerated for a drug or property offense.