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Riveting doc ‘Kids for Cash’ and its filmmaker come to Zeitgeist for panel

Sometimes real life is far more unbelievable and appalling than fiction. There are countless documentary films that prove this, but perhaps few more so than the new film Kids for Cash, a riveting look behind the notorious judicial scandal that rocked the nation.

A mother of one his victims confronts former Judge Mark Ciavarella outside the courtroom after his conviction
SenArt Films

Beginning in the wake of the shootings at Columbine, a small town in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania elected a charismatic judge, Mark Ciavarella, who was hell-bent on keeping kids in line. Under his reign, over 3,000 children were ripped from their families and imprisoned for years for crimes as petty as creating a fake MySpace page.

When one parent dared to question this harsh brand of justice, it was revealed that the judge had received millions of dollars in payments from the privately-owned juvenile detention centers where the kids – most of them only in their early teens – were incarcerated.

Exposing the hidden scandal behind the headlines, the film unfolds like a real-life thriller. Charting the previously untold stories of the masterminds at the center of the scandal, the film reveals a shocking American secret told from the perspectives of the villains, the victims and the unsung heroes who helped uncover the scandal.

For more information on the film, visit the official website at


Kids for Cash opens this week at Zeitgeist Multi-Disciplinary Arts Center in New Orleans. The film opens Friday, March 7 and screens at 7:30 p.m. nightly (except for 5:30 p.m. on Monday, March 10).

On Saturday, March 8, starting at 4:00 p.m., Zeitgeist will host a special screening of the film to coincide with a very unique panel discussion. Moderated by Zeitgeist Executive Director Rene Broussard, scheduled to appear on the panel are:

So come out to the Zeitgeist and take advantage of this unique film-going experience and all the Zeitgeist Arts Center has to offer. And by doing so, help support one the premier alternative arts center in the South. You can visit the Zeitgeist Multi-disciplinary Arts Center’s website here.

Admission is $8 general / $7 students and seniors / $6 Zeitgeist members and children 16 and under


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