GIRLS ON THE WALL: A Powerful Story of the Performing Arts in Prison

Emmy-award winning producer & director Heather Ross spent much of her childhood tagging along to film classes with her graduate student mother. After obtaining bachelor’s degrees in Film/Video and Psychology at UC Santa Cruz, she produced segments on all 7 continents as associate producer of the feature documentary, Naked World (HBO).  She has gone on to direct and produce programs for Discovery Channel, A & E, MTV, FX and Fox. Her first feature documentary GIRLS ON THE WALL was broadcast on PBS stations around the country, winning the 2010 Emmy for Best Documentary in the Chicago/Midwest region. She is currently developing a new doc-fiction hybrid project.

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Prison Arts Coalition,

We are pleased to reach out to you with news of our Emmy-winning documentary, GIRLS ON THE WALL. The film tells the raw and moving story of a group of incarcerated teenage girls who get a chance for redemption by writing and performing a musical based on their lives. Shot over 9 months with unprecedented prison access, this film gives a striking view into the transformational power of the arts, both on a personal and societal level. The compelling stories of the girls in the film convey a visceral understanding of the practical power and possibilities of artistic expression in correctional institutions.

In the course of our outreach efforts, I was delighted to come across PAC’s interest in the use of the performing arts in correctional institutions.  We are constantly looking for ways to improve the reach of this important film. We are particularly interested in partnering with organizations whose work touches on the surprising and moving confrontation between theater arts and the deprivation of a teenage girls’ prison. 

We would love to partner with you to heighten awareness of this film. We would welcome opportunities to host screenings, post reviews in newsletters and journals, raise funds for related programs and otherwise bring the film to those who work or teach in the realm of “arts in prison”. We continue our work to bring this film to young women who may be at-risk of entering the juvenile justice system, and would welcome any suggestions you may have to collaborate in this way. Please advise if you’d like us to provide a screener for your use.
We’d love you to consider a collaboration which would further your goals while expanding the outreach of this important film. Please feel free to contact me at with any questions or suggestions.


• 63 min. (57 min version available by request)
• Two-disc set includes discussion guide and video extras
• Aired on PBS stations across the country
• Price: $295
• Includes public performance rights where no admission fee is charged
• Visit our website for more information


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