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A film about young activists who made free speech history & inspire us to take a stand

The Land of Orange Groves & Jails A Project of Documentaries

12/7 UPDATE:
We raised the $15,000 to match a $15,000 challenge grant (and received a grant from the Tides Foundation)! Total: $40,000 -
Thanks to all who donated!

Every donation makes a difference -
and will support the final edit and post costs of...

"The Land Of Orange Groves & Jails"

(sorry - the total on this page can't reflect the many donations by check which is why we have this update section!)

At The Lantern House in Venice - September 23, 2017

Huge thanks to host & Lantern House owner and curator Scott Mayers –
Thanks to harpist Maia - and Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows, Co+oportunity Market & Deli, Back On Broadway, Trader Joes, Daryl's Chocolate Chip Cookies and Baked Goods, Casablanca for food and snacks

ABOUT THE DOCUMENTARY: Free speech history unfolds in The Land of Orange Groves & Jails when I finally get my great-aunt Yetta to tell me her tale of teenage activism during Los Angeles' 1920s free speech and labor battles. Her arrest for flying a red flag at a summer camp in 1929 resulted in a ten year prison sentence – and her appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court resulted in the Court's first affirmation of free speech rights, Stromberg v California - laying important groundwork for our right to protest and dissent. This is a "David and Goliath" story of my aunt and her friends, teenagers from immigrant families, who stood up for their beliefs and inadvertently helped change the course of 1st Amendment history. At the beginning of our journey Yetta thinks her past isn't important – but by the end of the film we both see how Yetta's story set a powerful example for current activism. The title is taken from a story Upton Sinclair wrote about Yetta's strange trial.

YOUR TAX-DEDUCTIBLE DONATION - Will support the film and comes with 'rewards'!

$25: A postcard of thanks from Yetta's postcard collection

$50: A thank you postcard from Yetta's collection and shout out on the film Facebook page

$100: A postcard of thanks and a digital download of the completed film (estimated date of delivery fall 2018)

$150: Thank you postcard, digital download of the completed film (estimated delivery date is fall 2018), and a copy of the inspiring book "When We Fight We Win: 21st Century Social Movements and the Activists That Are Transforming Our World"

$250: A thank you postcard, DVD of completed film, and DVDs donated to two public libraries of your choice (estimated date of delivery fall 2018)

$300: A thank you postcard, a DVD of completed film, and your singing voice (or a friend's) added to the "birthday song" in the film soundtrack early in 2018 (estimated date of delivery fall 2018)

$500: A thank you postcard, a DVD, and two tickets to the film premiere (travel not included - estimated date, fall 2018)

$1000: A thank you postcard, DVD, and a visit to the edit room to view work in progress (date TBD by donor and Judy, estimated winter 2017-2018)

$2000: A thank you postcard, DVD, and …..A daylong tour for 6 to the site of the camp and related historic sites along the way (includes lunch; date TBD by donor and Judy) – 2 available

$10,000: A thank you postcard, DVD, and… a "Producer" credit

If you would rather make a donation by check, please make a check out to "From The Heart Productions," write "Orange Groves & Jails film" on the check memo line, and mail it to: Judy Branfman, PO Box 5351, Santa Monica CA 90409 (or bring it to the party!)

Thanks to event Co-Hosts: Scott Mayers, Linda Lucks, Cynthia Anderson Barker & Tim Barker, Lee Boek, Jerolyn Crute & David Sackman, Antonia Darder, Jan Goodman & Jerry Manpearl, Marie Kennedy & Chris Tilly, Susan Millman & Steve Clare, Sandy & David Moring, Holly Mosher & Ravi Shah, and Donna Schuele.


At the Lantern House

Here are some responses to test screenings:
From college students:

"I find it remarkable how Yetta saw her efforts as nothing more than what she had to do. Her story helps put things back in perspective for me and makes me wonder what I can do to improve society."

"The courage of these women and men is really something to look at!"

"My first response is WOW! Young activists had such a selfless view. It is very very important and inspiring."

From a professor:
"People talked about your film for months afterwards! One student was so moved that she began rethinking the prejudices of her family toward the past--and present!"

Test Screening at Occupy Los Angeles

About Judy: A first-time filmmaker, Producer/Director Judy Branfman has a broad background in the arts, including working on large character-based mixed-media installation projects about LA's garment workers and labor history, and Boston's history of community development activism – and tapestries for public and private settings. For over 25 years Judy has done arts, educational, planning, and outreach projects with non-profits, unions, and municipalities on gender, labor, immigrant-rights, and other issues. She has taught labor and social justice-related courses at UCLA, produced large community-based events focusing on LA's multi-ethnic and labor history, and loves exploring the SoCal desert.


Questions? Email Judy - orangegrovesandjailsfilm at

$10,424 Raised
20% towards $50,000 Goal

Supported by 97 Donations:

  • Ralph S.
    I Gave $500
  • Marianne B.
    I Gave $150
  • Steven Y.
    I Gave $100
  • David E.
    I Gave $100
    Go, Judy, go!
  • Victoria  L.
    I Gave $50
  • Thomas L.
  • Martha M.
    I Gave $25
  • Marcus H.
  • Eve H.
    I Gave $518
    I'm so glad you're working on this. I loved the part I saw.
  • Laura B.
    I Gave $25
    hope you come east to screen the film! laura & peter
  • Silhouette
    I Gave $100
    Holly Mosher
  • Silhouette
    I Gave $100
    To your success!
  • Silhouette
  • Robin R.
    I Gave $25
    You're in the home stretch now!!!
  • Susan M.
    I Gave $50
  • Eric T.
    I Gave $100
    Hi Judy, Thank you for your contributions to this very important topic. I am so impressed with your commitment.
  • Sheila  L.
    I Gave $100
    Sounds inspiring Judy, especially the quotes from the young folks who saw it and want to become more active in the world. Look forward to seeing it!
  • Wendy P.
    I Gave $25
  • christina c.
    I Gave $100
    Go cuz!
  • Kristen L.
    I Gave $25
    Sorry I couldn't make it last night! Glad it went well
  • Dolores D.
    I Gave $25
    What a wonderful event last night. I'm so happy you are making this important film for all times. Love Dolores
  • Cara R.
    Wishing you success!
  • Kay G.
    I Gave $50
  • Silhouette
    I Gave $25
  • Lisa L.
  • Sara  S.
    I Gave $25
  • Maria A.
    I Gave $50
  • Julie A.
  • Myla R.
    I Gave $25
    Here's my meager contribution to your very worthwhile project. Wish I could give more.
  • Iris S.
    Judy, you've persisted! Good luck with completing your film.