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2010 Student Grant Winners

The 2010 winners of the Human Rights Film Series Student Grant competition are:

- Maniko Barthelemy, "The Unlikely Sex Offenders"

- Ted Roach, “120 days”

Congratulations to Maniko and Ted and we enjoyed sharing their work with you in the Spring 2011 semester!

A picture of a woman holding up her drivers license that says sex offender on it.

The Unlikely Sex Offenders

SYNOPSIS: Two New Orleans women, Timphony Russell, 40, and Christina Shank, 55, through similar circumstances are registered sex offenders in Louisiana because of how the women solicited men for sex. In Louisiana, under an 1805 law, anyone who solicits oral or anal sex commits a crime against nature. The crime is a felony. A conviction carries a possible prison sentence of up to five years, a fine up to $2,000 and a mandatory sex offender registration period that ranges from 15 years to life. State Senator John P. Morrell has introduced legislation that amends the law but even if it passes, the amendment does little for the more than 500 people like Timphony and Christina.

ABOUT MANIKO BARTHELEMY: Maniko's passion for creatively and concisely, telling human interest stories with compelling, ordinary people facing extraordinary odds is the result of her eight years of experience as a television and print journalist. This spring, Maniko will graduate with an MA in producing for film and video from American University in Washington, DC. She's currently in pre-production on the tentatively titled documentary, "No Better Off," a feature length documentary about the failure of the Louisiana juvenile justice system and its crumbling facilities that house nearly 500 youth offenders between the ages of 13 and 21. Her thesis film "From Wrong to Right," is a documentary short that examines what happens in New Orleans, when school officials allow ex-felons to teach at alternative schools.

A Latino father, mother and daughter standing in a parking lot.

120 Days

SYNOPSIS: “120 days” is a feature documentary examining the lives of one family of illegal immigrants, who have been living and working in the United States for twelve years.  After being pulled over for a ticketless traffic stop, police discover the father, Miguel, is in the U.S. illegally.  They arrest Miguel, and send him to I.N.S. detention.  His fate is decided several weeks later in the North Carolina Immigration Court.  In exchange for Miguel agreeing to leave the country voluntarily, the judge grants Miguel “120 days” to get his affairs in order before leaving his wife and their two daughters in the U.S. to continue their education.  This film documents Miguel’s last “120 days” in the United States, as he works hard, saves his money, weighs his options, but ultimately bids a long farewell to his young, tight-knit family.  “120 days” records their lives through every step along the way, putting a human face on the effects of today’s controversial immigration policies.

ABOUT TED ROACH: Ted Roach is a third year MFA Film student planning to graduate in May. He arrived at AU with several years of professional filmmaking experience, but wanted to learn more about writing, directing, and editing documentaries.  During his time at AU, Ted has produced short documentaries for NOAA, the National Park Service, AU’s Investigative Reporting Workshop, and the American News Project.  Also during this time, he has won several TIVA-DC Peer Awards, two CINE Golden Eagle Awards, a BEA Festival of Media Arts award, and a film he co-produced last year was a National Student Academy Award finalist and Regional winner.  More information can be found at:, and work samples at: