Grants & Awards
Code of the West
About the Film:
In Montana, a climactic vote is underway. The Capitol’s halls are packed with concerned citizens crying a litany of passionate appeals. Lawmakers press “yay” or “nay” buttons. The vote concludes: “House Bill 161 has passed.” The House of Representatives has voted to end medical marijuana in the state of Montana. Will the Senate and the Governor follow the course of the House of Representatives? A showdown is set. Activists statewide rally support among citizens already polarized on the issue. Chronically ill patients and growers clash with educators, parents, and clergy. The FBI raids marijuana growhouses across Montana without making drug related arrests. In this charged environment, legislators must decide the fate of the law. Sixteen states and Washington DC have legalized medical marijuana. As more states follow the trend, will Montana be the first to revert to prohibition? Set against the sweeping vistas of the Rockies, the steamy lamplight of marijuana grow houses, and the cold sterility of the hospice ward, Code of the West is a about the many lives and fraught emotions tied to the most challenging drug policy reform debate in the country today.
About the Filmmakers:
Rebecca Richman Cohen (Director/Producer) is an Emmy-nominated filmmaker and a lecturer on law at Harvard Law School. Her previous film War Don Don was awarded the Cinereach Award for excellence in vital, artful storytelling. War Don Don also won the Special Jury Prize at the SXSW Film Festival and was nominated for two Emmy awards. In 2010 Rebecca was profiled in Filmmaker Magazine’s 25 New Faces in Independent Film as an “up-and-comer poised to shape the next generation of independent film.”
Francisco Bello (Producer/Editor) is an OSCAR® and Emmy nominee. He studied at the Cooper Union School of Art, and has worked in the post-production of films by Kevin Smith, Michael Moore, and George Butler among others. Bello was awarded the first Karen Schmeer Award for Excellence in Documentary Editing at IFFBoston for his work on War Don Don, and he was also nominated for a 2011 Emmy Award for Outstanding Editing on that film. Bello also recently completed his directorial debut commissioned by HBO Documentary Films, The Spirit of Salsa which premiered at the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival. He has been awarded fellowships from the PBS/WGBH Producers Academy, the NALIP Producers Academy, Tribeca All Access, and a grant from the Urban Arts Initiative.
Festival & Award Highlights:
SXSW 2012 – World Premiere
Camden Int’l Film Festival 2012