Screenings + Awards


2018 In The Palace International Short Film Festival – Best Student Documentary
2018 RiverRun International Film FestivalBest Student Documentary Short
2018 Thin Line Film Festival – Best Student Documentary
2018 Rosebud Film Festival Rosebud Award
2017 DC Shorts Film FestivalAudience Award
2017 Student Academy Awards – Finalist
2017 BAFTA Student Film Awards – Short List
2017 Small Axe Radical Short Film Festival – Best Documentary by a Student Filmmaker
2017 Windrider International Student Film Festival – Social Justice Award
Black Maria Film Festival – Jury’s Choice Award


Social Justice Film Festival
October 5-14, 2018  |  Seattle, WA

(In)Justice For All
October 4-13, 2018  |  Chicago, IL

Artists as Activists Symposium
September 20, 2018  |  Grinnell, IA

Indie Street Film Festival
July 26, 2018  |  Red Bank, NJ

15th In the Palace International Short Film Festival
June 23-30, 2018  |  Balchik, Bulgaria

June 10, 2018  |  Los Angeles

Toronto True Crime Film Festival
June 9, 2018  |  Toronto, Canada

Riverrun International Film Festival
April 22 & 28, 2018  |  Winston Salem, NC

Thin Line Film Festival
April 21, 2018  |  Denton, TX

Athens Film + Video Festival
April 10, 2018  |  Athens, OH

Salem Film Festival
March 24, 2018  |  Salem, MA

Redline International Film Festival
January 2018

Rosebud Film Festival
January 26, 2018  |  Washington, DC

British Documentary Film Festival
December 4, 2017  |  London, UK

Bucharest Short Film Festival
December 2, 2017

Festival de Cine y Derechos Humanos
November 23, 2017  |  Barcelona, Spain

ZINEBI Bilbao International Documentary and Short Film Festival
November 14, 2017  |  Bilbao, Spain

November 11, 2017  |  New York, NY

Cucalorus Film Festival
November 11, 2017  |  Wilmington, NC

St. Louis International Film Festival
November 9, 2017  |  St. Louis, MO

October 27, 2017  |  Palo Alto, CA

Global Voices Film Festival
September 16, 2017 |  San Francisco, CA

LadyFest Atlanta
September 9, 2017  |  Atlanta, GA

DC Shorts Film Festival
September 8 & 10, 2017  |  Washington, DC

Global Impact Film Festival
August 27, 2017 | Washington, DC

Duone the Rabbit Hole
August 18-20, 2017  |  Lake of Menteith, Scotland

Macon Film Festival
July 22, 2017  |  Macon, GA

Small Axe Radical Short Film Festival
July 14, 2017  |  Tolpuddle, UK

Montclair Film Festival
April 28, 2017  |  Montclair, NJ

Atlanta Film Festival
March 28, 2017  |  Atlanta, GA

Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival
Spotlight on Filmmakers – Featured Filmmaker
March 25, 2017  |  Sebastopol, CA

Bethesda Film Fest
March 17 & 18, 2017  |  Bethesda, MD

Big Sky Documentary Film Festival
February 18, 2017  |  Missoula, MT

Dam Short Film Festival
February 8, 2017  |  Boulder City, NV

Black Maria Film Festival
Dates TBA  |  Various Locations

Press & Resources


BAFTA Student Film Awards Shortlist Revealed
Hollywood Reporter  |  May 2017

Short Circuit
Culture Spot  |  March 2017

Going Out Guide for Montgomery County
Washington Post  |  March 2017

Local Filmmakers at Bethesda Film Fest
Connection Newspapers  |  March 2017

Big Sky Documentary Film Festival – The Sandman
We Are Moving Stories  |  February 2017

Death Row Doctor
New York Times Op-Doc  |  January 2017

A Doctor at the Center of the Capital Punishment Debate
BioEdge  |  January 2017


“Lauren Knapp’s The Sandman takes its viewers to places of the heart, soul and mind where death row inmates and the medical profession wrestle with profound end of life consequences. Meaningful conversations are bound to be the result of seeing this film and pondering difficult questions about the death penalty in our country today.” 
– Susan Davis, Thin Line Film Festival

“Powerful, potent and a clarity that is frightening and touching at the same time.”
DC Shorts

“Many of the documentaries blurred the lines between observation and staging for visual effect. There were diverse subject matters from an elderly painter of religious icons to a post-apocalyptic landscape where horses live amongst the ruins of man’s civilization. But one documentary stood out for its examination of medical ethics colliding with over-reaching state power. Given unique access to those who wield the power of life and death over one of the biggest prison populations in the US, the jury is unified in awarding best documentary to Lauren Knapp for THE SANDMAN.
In The Palace International Short Film Festival

“A brilliantly executed educational piece that will open your mind to things unimaginable.”

“THE SANDMAN is a very deep film for twenty minutes and a very interesting perspective into a subject that is so controversial. I definitely recommend this short film!”
Nightmarish Conjurings

“…[A]n emotional head-turner. No matter what side of the coin you find yourself on, you can’t help but feel the stirring affectivity behind Dr. Musso’s struggles with compassion and belief.”  


American College of Correctional Physicians

Death Penalty Information Resource Center

American Medical Association

Articles & Reporting

What I think about when I think about the death penalty
John Bessler  |  2018
St. Louis University School of Law

Death Row, Calls for Indifference, and Redemption of the Soul
Corinna Barrett Lain  |  2016
Ohio State Law Journal Furthermore

Death Penalty Drugs and the International Moral Marketplace
James Gibson, Corinna Barrett Lain  |  2015
Georgetown Law Journal

The Politics of Botched Executions
Corinna Barrett Lain  |  2015
University of Richmond Law Review

Should Physicians Participate in State-Ordered Executions?
James K. Boehnlein, MD  |  March 2013
American Medical Association

Deciding Death
Corinna Barrett Lain  |  2007
Duke Law Journal

When Law and Ethics Collide – Why Physicians Participate in Executions
Atul Gawande, MD, MPH |  March 2006
The New England Journal of Medicine

Perspectives: Doctors Speak Out
NOW on PBS  |  July 2006

The Medical Ethics of the Death Penalty
NPR  |  2006