Press Release

February 22 2024

America ReFramed Acquires the Compelling Documentary A Woman on the Outside to Open WORLD’s Newest Content Theme “Liberated Lives” Beginning March 28, 2024


BOSTON, MA – February 22, 2024 – America ReFramed, the IDA Documentary Award-winning series, announced today the acquisition of the observational film, A Woman on the Outside, to open “Liberated Lives,” WORLD’s new content theme launching March 28, 2024, as part of America ReFramed’s 12th season.

The award-winning documentary debut by directors Zara Katz and Lisa Riordan Seville and produced by Kiara C. Jones intimately chronicles incarceration’s effect on families through the story of Kristal Bush, a Philadelphia social worker and entrepreneur whose van service transports riders, mostly women, to visit loved ones in faraway prisons. But when her father and brother return home after decades behind bars, Kristal has to figure out how to reunite her own family.

A Woman on the Outside made its World Premiere at the 2022 SXSW Film Festival. Awards include “Best Documentary” at the 2022 American Black Film Festival, “Best North American Feature Documentary” at the 2022 Mammoth Lakes Film Festival, “Best Documentary” at the Diamond State Black Film Festival and Honorable Mention for “Humanitarian Excellence” at the 2022 Woods Hole Film Festival.

"We started our collaboration with Kristal with a desire to explore an experience shared by millions of American women who support a loved one behind bars,” said Lisa Riordan Seville, co-director, A Woman on the Outside. "What we discovered was not a prison story, but a story about family, love and how women care for themselves while caring for others.”

"The trust, generosity, honesty and humor Kristal and her family brought to this collaboration made this film a life-changing experience," said Zara Katz, co-director, A Woman on the Outside. "We're proud and honored to have a film about women’s lives, told through a female lens, open WORLD's Liberated Lives initiative."

“Liberated Lives, a theme curated by WORLD, is an on-going collection of films showcasing stories of individuals transitioning from incarceration to reintegration and the experiences of those who support them. Each documentary offers a unique perspective on the lives of formerly incarcerated Americans, exploring themes of societal change and the power of the human spirit. “Liberated Lives” films will be featured across WORLD’s programming, from America ReFramed and Local, USA; to Black Public Media’s AfroPoP.

In addition to the broadcasts, the theme will host virtual events on WORLD’s digital platforms on YouTube and Facebook to foster deeper engagement through interactive discussions, filmmaker insights and community dialogues. Through these films and special events, “Liberated Lives” aims to further enrich the audience's experience, encouraging a more unique and multi-faceted understanding of the challenges and triumphs faced by those reentering society.

"At American Documentary we believe that documentaries can make a difference in the way we see and move through the world," said Erika Dilday, executive director, American Documentary and executive producer, POV and America ReFramed. “Films featured in 'Liberated Lives' provide a unique opportunity for filmmakers to amplify the voices of people and families often marginalized because of incarceration, and celebrate their courage and contributions of not only rebuilding their lives, but also enriching the diverse narrative of America.”

“From broad societal changes to shifts within a family dynamic, thousands of people who make the move from behind bars must adapt in the face of discrimination as they regain a place as a participant in everyday life,” said Chris Hastings, WORLD executive producer and editor-in-chief at GBH in Boston. “Hope, bravery and trust create a throughline in the true stories we have gathered for ‘Liberated Lives.’ We hope that together the series will reveal a world of barriers rarely seen by most Americans, and open the door for empathy and conversation.”

In addition to A Woman on The Outside, another feature acquisition making its national broadcast premiere as part of “Liberated Lives” is Commuted, a first-time co-presentation partnership between Black Public Media’s AfroPoP, ITVS, WORLD and American Documentary. New Orleans-based director Nailah Jefferson and Emmy®-nominated producer Darcy McKinnon recount the story of Danielle Metz, an African American mother putting her life together after her triple-life sentence was commuted by President Barack Obama. Following her release from prison, she graduated from Southern University, an HBCU in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and was recognized by President Obama for making the school’s dean’s list in 2019. Currently Metz is a Community Health Worker for the FIT (Formerly Incarcerated Transition) Clinic. Commuted premieres April 1, 2024 and will make an encore presentation onApril 4, 2024.

“Danielle Metz’s story reminds us of the countless individuals who are cast out of society without a clear way back, and the ripple effect on families and communities severely impacted by our aggressive criminal justice system,” said Leslie Fields-Cruz, Black Public Media executive director. “It is crucial that we continue to lift up their stories so that they are never forgotten.”

Rounding out the “Liberated Lives” lineup are the shorts What These Walls Won't Hold, Adamu Taye Chan's powerful documentary that shines a light on the transformative power of love and solidarity amidst adversity at San Quentin State Prison; and Hundreds of Thousands, directed by Christian Vasquez, which captures a family reeling from the unjust incarceration of an ailing mentally ill loved one. What These Walls Won't Hold premieres on April 11, 2024 and Hundreds of Thousands premieres April 18, 2024.

Film descriptions below:

A Woman on the Outside
(Premieres March 28, 2024 at 8PM ET)
Directors: Zara Katz, Lisa Riordan Seville
Producer/Writer: Kiara C. Jones
Editor: Suzannah Herbert

Year: 2023 I Country: USA I Runtime: 87min I Language: English

Filmed over four years, A Woman on the Outside follows Kristal Bush, a young woman in Philadelphia who saw nearly every man in her life disappear to prison. A social worker and guardian to her brother’s young son, Nyvae, she channels that struggle into keeping families connected with her van service, which drives families to visit loved ones in far-off prisons. When her father and brother come home after decades behind bars, Kristal and Nyvae grapple with what it means to have the men back as they try to escape the criminal justice system’s gravitational pull. Passionate, funny and resilient, Kristal remains determined to carve out a different future -- for herself and for Nyvae. Part cinéma vérité, part family album, A Woman on the Outside is a tender portrait of one family striving to love in the face of a system built to break them.

Commuted presented in partnership with AfroPoP
(Premieres April 1, 2024 at 8PM ET)
Director: Nailah Jefferson
Producer: Darcy McKinnon
Year: 2023 I Country: USA I Runtime: 90min I Language: English

Commuted is an intimate look at the life of Danielle Metz and the familial impacts of long-term incarceration. In 1993, Danielle was a 26-year-old mother with two small children, who was labeled a drug kingpin by the US Government, which charged her as a part of her husband’s drug ring. She was sentenced to triple-life plus 20 years for nonviolent drug offenses and sent more than 2,000 miles from her family in New Orleans to serve out the remainder of her life in California at the Dublin Federal Correctional Institute. After serving 23 years in prison, Danielle’s sentence was commuted in 2016 by President Obama as part of the Clemency Initiative to address historically unfair sentencing practices during the “war on drugs.” Now back home, Danielle is trying to start life over again in her 50s while working to help other women avoid her fate. Perhaps Danielle’s toughest challenge is living the dream that kept her going while in prison — that of being a united family again with her two children.

What These Walls Won’t Hold
(Premieres April 11, 2024 at 8PM ET)
Director: Adamu Taye Chan
Producer: Christian Lee Collins
Co-Producers: Lonnie Morris, Rahsaan Thomas, Thanh Tran, Edmond Richardson
Production: Year 2022 I Country USA I Running Time 43 min I Languages English

Set against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic at San Quentin State Prison, What These Walls Won’t Hold chronicles the organizing and relationships of people who came together beyond the separations created by incarceration, to respond to this health crisis. Filmmaker Adamu Taye Chan, who was incarcerated at San Quentin during the height of the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020, documents his path through incarceration and beyond.
A Q&A panel with the filmmakers will follow the premiere.

Hundreds of Thousands
(Premieres April 18, 2024 at 8PM ET)
Directors: Christian Vasquez, Stevie Walker-Webb
Consulting Producers: Caitlin Mae Burke, Merrill Sterritt
Production: Year 2022 I Country USA I Running Time 18 min I Languages English

In Hundreds of Thousands, a family reeling from the unjust incarceration of an ailing mentally ill loved one, calls on their faith and the strength of community to right a systemic wrong. Music, love and creativity are used to permeate the isolation of a solitary confinement cell, and a public performance on prison grounds is used to challenge the state to do better. A Q&A panel with the filmmakers will follow the premiere.

America ReFramed, a series co-produced byWORLD andAmerican Documentary, airs every Thursday at 8pmET/7C on WORLD. America ReFramed is available,,WORLD’s YouTube Channel and on all station-branded PBS platforms, and thePBS Video app, available on iOS, Android, Roku streaming devices, Apple TV, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, Samsung Smart TV, Chromecast and VIZIO. Episodes of America ReFramed also roll out weekly on-air and online onLink TV (Direct TV channel 375 & Dish Network channel 9410).

A tentpole program of public television’s WORLD, America ReFramed brings to life compelling stories, personal voices and experiences that illuminate the contours of our ever-changing country. Since 2012, the anthology series has premiered 179 films from more than 380 filmmakers, including works from established artists like Shola Lynch, Deann Borshay Liem and Marshall Curry and featured broadcast debuts of Nicholas Bruckman, Ursula Liang and PJ Raval. More than half of these documentaries were helmed by female filmmakers and a third are credited to BIPOC filmmakers. The series has centered the stories of the LGBTQ community, people with disabilities, the incarcerated and formerly incarcerated, veterans, seniors, immigrants and people from myriad backgrounds.


About America ReFramed
America ReFramed is a co-production of WORLD and American Documentary, Inc. The series curates a diverse selection of independent documentaries that brings to national audiences compelling stories which illuminate the changing contours of our ever-evolving country. Viewers are immersed in stories that span the spectrum of American life, from the streets of towns big and small to its exurbs and country roads. The documentary series presents an array of personal voices and experiences through which we learn from our past, understand our present and are challenged to seek new frameworks for America’s future.

America ReFramed received a Peabody Award for Deej and an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award for Class of ‘27. The series has earned several Christopher, GRACIE, Telly and Cine Golden Eagle Awards, as well as multiple nominations for Emmy, Independent Documentary Association and Imagen Awards.

About American Documentary, Inc.

American Documentary, Inc. (AmDoc) is a multimedia organization dedicated to creating, identifying and presenting contemporary stories that express opinions and perspectives rarely featured in mainstream media outlets. AmDoc is a catalyst for public culture, developing collaborative strategic engagement activities around socially relevant content on television, online and in community settings. These activities are designed to trigger action, from dialogue and feedback to educational opportunities and community participation.

Major funding for POV is provided by PBS, the Open Society Foundations, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Wyncote Foundation, Reva & David Logan Foundation, Park Foundation, and Perspective Fund. Additional funding comes from the National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, Sage Foundation, Chris and Nancy Plaut, Ann Tenenbaum and Thomas H. Lee and public television viewers. POV is presented by a consortium of public television stations, including KQED San Francisco, GBH and THIRTEEN in association with WNET.ORG.


WORLD shares the best of public media in news, documentaries and programming. WORLD’s original series examine the issues and amplify the voices of those often ignored by mainstream media. The multiplatform channel helps audiences understand conflicts, movements and cultures from around the globe. Its original work has won a Peabody Award, an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Award, an International Documentary Association Award, a National News and Documentary Emmy Award, two Webby Awards and many others honoring diversity of content and makers. WORLD is carried by 194 member stations in markets representing 77% of US TV households. Funding for WORLD is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Wyncote Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. WORLD is produced by GBH in partnership with WNET and is distributed by American Public Television (APT). Find out more at

About Black Public Media

Black Public Media (BPM) supports the development of visionary content creators and distributes stories about the global Black experience to inspire a more equitable and inclusive future. For more than 44 years, BPM has addressed the needs of unserved and underserved audiences. BPM-supported programs have won 5 Emmys, 9 Peabodys, 3 Anthem Awards, 14 Emmy nominations, and an Oscar nomination. BPM continues to address historical, contemporary, and systemic challenges that traditionally impede the development and distribution of Black stories. For more information, visit and follow BPM on Instagram and Facebook and @BLKPublicMedia on X.