Kemba

Trailer

Film Synopsis

Kemba is a BET Original and MPI Original film based on the life story of Kemba Smith Pradia, who is an executive producer. The film follows Kemba’s journey as a college student who falls in love with a man only to find out he isn’t who he seems. When Kemba learns of her boyfriend Khalif’s true identity as a drug kingpin, he turns abusive—grooming straight-laced Kemba to overlook his illicit dealings. Though she never dealt or handled drugs, Kemba receives a sentence of over 24 years for her boyfriend’s crimes—placing her in the middle of the government’s “war on drugs.” Never losing hope, her parents along with an attorney with the Legal Defense Fund launch a campaign for appeal and later clemency, harnessing the power of Black civic organizations, sororities, celebrities, and lawmakers to help free Kemba. Learn more at KembaMovie.com.

Screenings

Jul 24, 2024

Presented by NC Correctional Institution for Women and the Ezra Center

Raleigh, NC

Jul 24, 2024

Presented by Nurturing Wāhine Fund + Women’s Community Correctional Center

Kailua, HI

Jul 25, 2024

Presented by North Carolina Correctional Association and Department of Adult Correction: Annual Women Working in Criminal Justice One-Day Workshop

Raleigh, NC

Jul 26, 2024

Presented by Pittsburgh Housing Authority

Pittsburgh, PA

Jul 28, 2024 - Aug 1, 2024

Presented by the National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice Conference

New Orleans, LA

Aug 3, 2024

Presented by Project Give Back to Community

Richmond, VA

Aug 7, 2024

Presented by the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Stone Mountain-Lithonia Alumnae Chapter

Atlanta, GA

Aug 10, 2024

Presented by HBCU Power Awards

Grand Rapids, MI

Sep 12, 2024

Presented by Morgan State University

Baltimore, MD

Sep 19, 2024

Presented by Wiley University

Marshall, TX

Oct 17, 2024

Presented by University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law

Kansas City, MO

Nov 9, 2024

Presented by Elkins High School Volleyball Team

Sugarland, TX

Jul 4, 2024

Presented by: Delta Sigma Theta, Southern Region, 49th Southern Regional Conference

Nashville, TN

Jun 27, 2024

Presented by Amazon Music Rotation, Black Music Action Coalition & Represent Justice

Los Angeles, CA

Jun 24, 2024

Presented by: A New Way of Life Reentry Project

Los Angeles, CA

Jun 21, 2024

Presented by The Links Inc. National Assembly Conference

Dallas, TX

Jun 20, 2024

2:00 PM

Presented by: 400 Years of African American History Commission

Anchorage, AK

Jun 11, 2024 - Jun 12, 2024

Presented by The Sentencing Project, Second Look Network Conference

Tulsa, OK

Jun 2, 2024

Presented by Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Glen Ellyn Area Alumni Chapter

Maywood, IL

May 29, 2024

Presented by Legal Defense Fund, Black Women Film Network, HBCU First Look Film Festival & Cafe Mocha

Atlanta, GA

May 22, 2024 - May 23, 2024

New Jersey Department of Corrections, Edna Mahan Correctional Facility for Women

Union Township, NJ

May 10, 2024

Presented by Councilwoman Ann-Frances Lambert & the Women of Gilpin Empowerment Summit

Richmond, VA

May 4, 2024

Presented by Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Danville Alumnae Chapter, AKA Links & White Rock Baptist Church

Danville, VA

May 3, 2024

Presented by Serving All Vessels Equally

Norwalk, CT

May 2, 2024

Presented by Serving All Vessels Equally

Norwalk, CT

Apr 30, 2024

Presented by Justice Policy Institute & Georgetown University Prisons and Justice Initiative

Washington, DC

Apr 28, 2024

Presented by Dillard University, Boss Babes

New Orleans, LA

Apr 28, 2024

Presented by Danville Alumnae Chapter, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

Danville, VA

Apr 27, 2024

Presented by Seattle Black Film Festival

Seattle, WA

Apr 27, 2024

Presented by Danville Alumnae Chapter, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

Danville, VA

Apr 25, 2024 - Apr 28, 2024

Presented by Seattle Black Film Festival

Seattle, WA

Apr 22, 2024 - Apr 24, 2024

Presented by North Carolina Reentry Conference

Raleigh, NC

Apr 20, 2024

Presented by Breaking the Cycles Women’s Conference

Fairfax, VA

Apr 18, 2024

Presented by FMC Carswell

Fort Worth, TX

Apr 17, 2024

Presented by FCI Coleman

Sumterville, FL

Apr 16, 2024

Presented by Bethune-Cookman University

Daytona Beach, FL

Apr 13, 2024

Presented by Virginia State University, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Alpha Eta Chapter

Petersburg, VA

Apr 13, 2024

Presented by: Denton Black Film Festival Institute

Denton, TX

Apr 12, 2024

Presented by the Tulsa Health Department

Tulsa, OK

Apr 12, 2024

Presented by Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Washington DC Alumnae Chapter

Washington, DC

Apr 11, 2024

Presented by the Ohio Reformatory for Women

Marysville, OH

Apr 10, 2024

Presented by: Scotland High

Laurinburg, NC

Apr 6, 2024 - Apr 7, 2024

Presented by A New Way of Life, Justice On Trial Film Festival

Los Angeles, CA

Apr 5, 2024

Presented by the National Returning Citizens Conference

Arlington, VA

Apr 1, 2024 - Apr 30, 2024

Presented by Female Film Club

London, United Kingdom

Mar 29, 2024

Presented by Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Greenwood-Itta Bena Alumnae Chapter

Greenwood, MS

Mar 28, 2024

Presented by the National Association of Black Social Workers Annual Conference

New Orleans, LA

Mar 24, 2024

Presented by Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, North Dallas Suburban Alumnae Chapter

Dallas, TX

Mar 20, 2024

Presented by the Legal Defense Fund

Atlanta, GA

Mar 16, 2024

Presented by Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Albany Alumnae Chapter

Albany, NY

Mar 15, 2024

Presented by Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Prince George’s County Alumnae Chapter

Capitol Heights, MD

Mar 13, 2024

Presented by Howard University Journalism Class

Washington, DC

Mar 9, 2024

Presented by Delta Days at the Nation’s Capital

Washington, DC

Mar 8, 2024

Presented by Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, New York Alumnae Chapter

New York, NY

Feb 24, 2024

Presented by Virginia Black Film Festival

Hampton, VA

Feb 22, 2024

Presented by American Black Film Festival’s 2nd Annual Social Justice Now Film Festival

Los Angeles, CA

Feb 22, 2024

Presented by Ambitious Girls

Sherwood, AR

Feb 22, 2024

Presented by Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Suffolk Alumnae Chapter

Suffolk, VA

Feb 20, 2024

Presented by University of Southern California Cinematic Arts

Los Angeles, CA

Feb 15, 2024

Presented by MPI Original Films

New York, NY

Feb 13, 2024

Presented by Pan African Film Festival

Los Angeles, CA

Feb 9, 2024

Presented by Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, St. Louis Metropolitan Alumnae Chapter

St. Louis, MO

Feb 5, 2024

Presented by Congressman Bobby Scott’s Office

Washington, DC

Feb 5, 2024

Presented by the Federal Bureau of Prisons

Washington, DC

Jan 25, 2024

Presented by Harris Stowe State University

St. Louis, MO

Jan 14, 2024

Presented by St. Augustine Film Festival

St. Augustine, FL

Take Action

Request a Speaker

Request a representative from the film to speak at your screening event!

Credits

CREW

  • Kelley Kali, Director

  • Christine Swanson, Writer

  • Rob Pfaltzgraff, p.g.a, Producer

  • Lana Link, p.g.a, Producer

  • Stacey Parks, p.g.a, Producer

  • Nick Reid, Executive Producer

  • Kemba Smith, Executive Producer

  • Constance Orlando, Executive Producer

  • Maureen Guthman, Executive Producer

CAST

  • Kemba by Nesta Cooper
  • Khalif by Siddiq Saunderson
  • Gus Smith by Sean Patrick Thomas
  • Odessa Smith by Michelle Hurd

 

Impact Campaign

Kemba is a fictionalized account of the life of Kemba Smith Pradia. Though she never handled any drugs herself, in 1995 Kemba was sentenced to over 24 years in prison for conspiracy to distribute drugs, due to mandatory minimum sentencing laws. She was pardoned by President Clinton in 2000.

Kemba’s sentence is typical of so many women who are impacted by mass incarceration. Since 1980, women’s incarceration has grown by over 700%—faster than any other population in the country. Women, and in particular women of color, are disproportionately incarcerated through harsh drug law enforcement and sentencing. Like Kemba, over 85% of women entering the justice system are survivors. Whether due to substance use or partner or caregiver violence, there is a profound lack of awareness and support offered in response to the coercive dynamics facing too many women.

Represent Justice is committed to addressing the justice system’s impact on young women of color and highlighting the harms caused by extreme sentencing. The Kemba impact campaign will mobilize audiences across the country to participate in the movement advocating for sentencing reform. The time to act is now, while an increasing number of jurisdictions are either passing or considering legislation to offer shorter sentences to survivors of family violence, intimate partner violence, and human trafficking who have committed offenses closely linked to their victimization experiences.

In early 2024, Represent Justice will partner with Kemba and the film’s team to launch an impact campaign, leveraging the attention of the Kemba broadcast on BET+, BET, BET Her, and BET International. Prior to the broadcast, the film is screening at film festivals and special preview events.