Zoo Crew

A work-release program at a Tennessee jail assigns inmates animal care functions at the local zoo.

man in beige jump suit that reads Zoo Crew on the back petting goats at zoo
Independent Lens
Premiere Date
July 1, 2020
8:39 minutes
filmmaker Dilsey Davis

Dilsey Davis

Dilsey’s life mission is to use the arts, and particularly film, to advance society by building social bridges and fostering a greater understanding of the equality of all people. She recently provided story development for the FOX series, Phenoms, and production support to the HBO sports documentary, Momentum Generation. Dilsey directed the short The Gerrymandered Campus Show more for YR Media and is currently working on a feature documentary about the 1969 protest of Black students at Duke University in Durham, NC. Prior to her expansion into documentaries, she wrote and directed commercials, narrative films, and television programs. Other work includes directing the award-winning short film The Other Side, adapted from a children’s book of the same name and writing the feature screenplays, There’s My Angel, and Boys of a Dusty Hue. Most notably, she was the creator, producer and director of Nuestro Barrio, the first Spanish-language series to air on English-language television in the United States. She also developed multimedia marketing campaigns as well as national and international communication initiatives for both government and non-governmental sectors, including World Bank, The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC). Dilsey is the founder of Café con Leche Media and the co-founder of One Human Family Workshops, Inc., a non-profit organization that uses the Arts to promote racial and religious unity. She also serves on the board of the Anika James Foundation, which provides financial support for the artistic development and education of young people. She received a B.S. degree from Duke University in Biological Anthropology and Anatomy and a Master’s degree from UNC-Chapel Hill. Show less

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The Film

In Anderson County, TN, Sheriff Russell Barker has implemented a work-release program that assigns inmates at the local jail to the local zoo. The “Zoo Crew” tends to tigers, zebras, and other species at James Cox’s Little Ponderosa Zoo in Clinton, TN.