On Sunday, September 16, 2018 the Orange County Women's Health Project hosted an exclusive screening of the documentary Me Facing Life: Cyntoia’s Story with a talk and Q&A with award-winning filmmaker and producer, Dan Birman.

Me Facing Life: Cyntoia’s Story is a documentary film that follows Cyntoia Brown, a sex trafficking victim who was sentenced to life in prison at the age of 16 for killing a man who had solicited her for sex.  The documentary explores how social determinants such as poverty, violence, and substance abuse contributed to Cyntoia’s situation. 

This film joined the national conversation about the need to change sentencing laws in America, particularly in Tennessee where the crime took place.  New developments concerning Cyntoia’s sentencing are occurring throughout 2018.  Filmmaker and producer Dan Birman shared highlights of how his film impacted the legal system’s approach to sentencing children and caused national attention in 2017.  Read more from NYTimes, NPR or CNN

Human trafficking is a growing problem throughout the United States, including in Orange County, where in 2016 there were 284 known victims of sex and human trafficking in 2016, 92% of whom were female (see OC Register, January, 11, 2018). 

The VIPeeps Film Screening is proudly presented by the Orange County Women's Health Project Advisory Board and VIPeeps Committee.

Thank you to our VIPeeps Committee Members:

Kelly Cecutti
Justine Cuneo
Julie Hill
Hildy Meyers
Bev Sansone
Michele Silva
Kathleen Taylor

Peeps are community leaders that make our work possible. Peeps ensure that the Orange County Women's Health Project will continue to be Orange County's voice for women's health. 

Daniel H. Birman is an award-winning documentary producer and a Professor of Journalism at the USC Annenberg School of Journalism. 

He produced, directed, and wrote the world-acclaimed documentary Me Facing Life: Cyntoia’s Story, which aired on PBS | Independent Lens and worldwide in 2011.  In 2017, he and his company produced a spinoff of Cyntoia’s story, Sentencing Children, a digital series for Independent Lens and The Tennessean about the legal challenge to change juvenile sentencing laws in Tennessee.

Beyond his stories about juvenile justice, he recently completed The Earliest Americans, The Hunt for Dark Matter and Conscious Capitalism all for CuriosityStream.  He was a contributing producer for The Big Bang Machine, a special for NOVA | PBS, about one of the greatest scientific discoveries in modern times, the Higgs boson.

Birman is also known for having produced, Brace for Impact for TLC and Discovery, about Capt. Chesley B. Sullenberger’s successful emergency landing on the Hudson River, and Perfecting Flight about the legendary WWII aviator, Bob Hoover.  Both were narrated by Harrison Ford.

Earlier, Death of the Universe for Nat Geo, about how the universe will end; Europa: Mystery of the Ice Moon, for Science Channel; Medical Maverick, for Discovery Health; And the series, Alternatives: Uncovered for Discovery Health.  

In 2001, the University of Southern California invited Birman to join the Annenberg School of Journalism, where he is a Professor of Professional Practice.  He developed the nonfiction television / documentary production track and is executive producer for Impact, the school’s student-produced documentary series.