• Media

IDA Laurels_Bestshort 2015

Best Short Film, the 31st Annual IDA Documentary Awards


• Movie Interviews: NPR Weekend Edition
In Animated, Oscar-Nominated Doc, A Man Turns His Brother In For Murder
February 27, 2016, Karen Michel

• KALW- Cross Currents interview

Oscar-nominated documentary looks at life after the death penalty
Feb 11, 2016

• Forum, KQED Friday Edition
• An Agonizing Decision in Oscar-Nominated ‘Last Day of Freedom’Fri, Feb 5, 2016

• Andrea Chase – radio interview
Killer Movie reviews, Behind the scenes with Andrea Chase
January 11, 2016

• Interview with Mike Kaspar
Film School Radio
January 8, 2016

Filmmakers interview for the California Report Magazine, NPR
(Originally aired Friday, October 9, 2015)


• #Cinelove: 2015’s Memorable Documentary
Karen Cirillo, Docuphile
January 6th, 2016

• Oscar Shortlisted Doc Short ‘Last Day of Freedom’ is a Gentle Animated Look at Complex Issues
Sydney Levine – Sydneys’ Buzz|| IndieWIRE
December 31, 2015

• Animated short ‘Last Day of Freedom’ in contention for Academy Award
Matthew Carey nonfictionfilms.com,
December 13, 2015

•The Animated Movies of 2015: What a Trip
Christopher Campbell, Film School Rejects
December 10, 2015

• This Animated Documentary Won the IDA Award for Best Short
Paula Bernstein, Filmmakers Magazine,
December 8, 2015

• Watch: ‘Last Day of Freedom’ Is a Searing Study of Our Most Pressing Social Issues
Matt Brennan | Thompson on Hollywood! IndieWIRE
December 8, 2015

• Documentary Awards: ‘The Look Of Silence’ ‘Last Day Of Freedom’, ‘Listen To Me Marlon’ Win IDA Nods
By Kinsey Lowe, Deadline.com
December 5, 2015

• A bold decision to animate
Michael Ordoña, San Francisco Chronicle, (and a link to PDF version)
December 2, 2015

Race, Representation, and Rotoscoping: An interview
Emma Miller for Full Frame and The Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University

• Battle Scars: Military Veterans and the Death Penalty
Death Penalty Information Center, November 2015

IndieWIRE article, Behind-the-scene clip

October 1, 2015: Watch: Exclusive Behind-the-Scenes Clip From Award-Winning Short ‘Last Day of Freedom’

 • Press/ Resources

From Equal Justice USA –
Death penalty documentary garners Oscar buzz
Eleni Angelides, 10/29/2015

Fusion on Last Day of Freedom
Documentary on race, class and death penalty makes Oscar shortlist
By Jorge Rivas,October 27, 2015

Story of an Execution Becomes Art in ‘Last Day of Freedom’
On KQED Truly CA website
• About KQED Truly CA

• Quotes

… The most idiosyncratic and moving documentary, rendered in black-and-white line drawing, is the agonizing story of Manny Babbitt […]  As directed by Dee Hibbert-Jones and Nomi Talisman, Mr. Babbitt’s story is told by his brother Bill, who had to decide whether to cover for his brother or turn him in. It will break your heart.
New York Times

...The closest to a work of art itself is “Last Day of Freedom,” which uses rotoscoped animation to enrich a heartbroken man’s personal narrative about his post traumatic stress disorder-suffering Vietnam vet brother, the crime he committed, and the decision that sealed his brother’s fate. Tinged with a loved one’s regret, haunted by the societal forces of neglect and misunderstanding, it’s a quietly devastating work from first-time filmmakers Dee Hibbert-Jones and Nomi Talisman.
Los Angeles Times

My personal favorite of these five shorts, Last Day of Freedom is a real outlier among not only the nominees this year, but also most nominees in this category’s history in being animated. […] On top of that, the Academy could hardly choose a more topical winner in the wake of the prominence of Black Lives Matter and our criminal justice system in the American political dialogue.

…And in year of #OscarsSoWhite, that Last Day of Freedom also comes with a #BlackLivesMatter subtext makes this one seem like a slam-dunk […] blisteringly attests to the inhumanity of the death penalty and the legal system’s racial bias, and through a dexterous use of animation that reflects Babbitt’s existential anguish.
Slant Magazine Review

… The standout in the documentary category is the animated “Last Day of Freedom.” An African-American named Bill Babbitt is portrayed in simply drawn lines as he tells the story of his brother, Manny, who served in Vietnam and received a Purple Heart, only to be executed later on for murder after his PTSD went untreated. The film is not only timely in its example of both the military’s neglect of battle-worn soldiers and racial injustice (“Brother, these are good cops,” Bill had told Manny), but Bill is also a wonderful storyteller, keeping you engaged with his emotional and nearly poetic recollections. And then, well after he wins you over, additional facts revealed before the closing credits will break your heart.
The Wrap

l love “Last Day of Freedom.” It boasts beauty and importance equally, and at the same time, pulses at an excruciating pace. Talisman and Hibbert-Jones breathe palpable empathy into their animation, and Babbitt’s internal conflict feels as real as the societal problems it reflects
The Observer

… Last Day of Freedom is a gem of a documentary both in style and content. Directors Dee Hibbert-Jones and Nomi Talisman use bare-bones animation to tell this story in a surprisingly evocative way
Santa Fe New Mexican

Of the five films, the 32-minute “Last Day of Freedom” makes the biggest creative departure
LA Biz Journal

The Documentary nominees are also naturally very issues-oriented, though the use of animation to tell a tragic, true story about crime, punishment and PTSD makes Last Day of Freedom especially intriguing
The Chicagoist

For any regular Netflix head, it is hard not to notice the number of viewers focused on shows circulating around incarceration and the criminal justice system. Perhaps this is attributed to the growing success of the Black Lives Matter movement or from decades of activists’ work to eliminate jails. Whatever the cause, shows exploring the flaws of the criminal justice system, like Making a Murderer, are growing in popularity, but none can be more compelling or righteous than the Last Day of Freedom […] Despite what one thinks of the death penalty, this is not a movie to miss.
Samantha Alsina, ULoop

And while there has been much furor over the lack of Blacks in this year’s Oscar line-up, “Last Day of Freedom” has been nominated as Best Documentary Short Subject. It covers the tragic story of Black Veteran Manny Babbitt and his downward spiral after serving time in Vietnam.
By Elaine Hegwood Bowen, MSJ, Chicago Crusader,

WATCHING “Last Day of Freedom” by Dee Hibbert-Jones and Nomi Talisman — a powerful animated documentary film that’s driven by the most haunting interview with the brother of a man who was executed at San Quentin prison in California.
Nikki Silva of The Kitchen Sisters New York Times

Last Day of Freedom, 32 mins., rotoscoped hand-drawn animated film in black and white with voiceover narration. This Best Documentary Short Oscar nominee is innovative, artful, emotionally powerful, and politically significant and not surprisingly many critics seem consider it the favorite.
Crish Knipp, Filmleaf

As the audience listens enraptured and dreading the outcome, the medium allows a distance between the story and the listener which is needed in order to absorb every detail, and one does not want to miss a word.
I would put my money on this film at least as one of the five nominations to be announced on January 14. As far as I can see so far, it should be the winner.
IndieWIRE Sydneys’ Buzz