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About this submission

A formerly homeless mother turned organizer fights for childcare and dignity for parents on the edge, while bringing light to the need for quality childcare and early education for all families.

Story Background and Inspiration
As a solo mother and filmmaker who was laid off at 9-months pregnant, I learned how devastating it is to try to access child care and get back to work without sufficient means. It was during this time of struggle, when I got on ‘The Waiting List’ for childcare subsidies and first met Clarissa Doutherd. Since first meeting Clarissa I have begun learning about the broad reaching impacts of our current childcare system and the gender, race, and class bias that drive it. This film is intersectional with my recent film Life After Life as both discuss the role of poverty (driven by lack of jobs, childcare, housing, food security, and healthcare) in the path to prison and the obstacles post-release.

My team and I saw an opportunity for us as independent filmmakers to take a lead role in creating media that uplifts the inclusive family. The idea of family for all. There is an extreme tendency to victimize or demonize struggling parents and families. This film endeavors to show both show the humanity and heroism of the mothers and families showing up for their children however they can while leading this work. The oppressed are so often made responsible for finding solutions for failed systems of governance. The Waiting List brings light to the daily reality, struggles and triumphs of women and parents leading one of the most important and least known movements in American history at a time when our children’s future is on the line. Thank you to C.B. Smith-Dahl (Cinematographer) for starting this journey with me in 2016, Kevin Jones (Editor) for helping me craft beautiful scenes to introduce Clarissa, and to Sara Maamouri (Editor) for coming on board to bring this project home. Our team is comprised of women, parents, and people of color invested in bringing this story and issue to the forefront.

Tamara Perkins
Oakland, CA, USA
Tamara Perkins (Director | Producer | Writer) is an award-winning filmmaker and changemaker focused on stories that inspire transformative change through dialogue, healing and advocacy through her company Apple of Discord Productions. Perkins' films (Life After Life (2018), Rebound (2021), Clarissa’s Battle (2022)) were each inspired by a personal connection to the subject matter and provide an often overlooked proximity in storytelling. Her recent feature speculative fiction script melds present day social, moral, and ethical questions with a Woman-driven SciFi Thriller which was awarded the 2022 Stowe Story Fellowship. As a national speaker, Perkins’ repertoire spans filmmaking to prison reform and human rights. A recipient of Evident Change’s Media for a Just Society Award, Perkins' work provides a catalyst for learning and advocacy for some of our nation's most misunderstood and overlooked issues. She founded Apple of Discord Productions in 2006, connecting media, activism and healing through programs such as the Wisdom Project and San Quentin Media Project -- which trained at-risk youth and incarcerated men in filmmaking as a tool for transformation.

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