Unlocking the Cage

Co-presented by the Non-human Rights Project and the Strand, with proceeds going to Save The Chimps

Unlocking the Cage follows animal rights lawyer Steven Wise in his unprecedented challenge to break down the legal wall that separates animals from humans. After 30 years of struggling with ineffective animal welfare laws, Steve and his legal team, the Nonhuman Rights Project (NhRP), are making history by filing the first lawsuits that seek to transform an animal from a “thing” with no rights to a “person” with legal protections. Supported by affidavits from primatologists around the world, Steve maintains that, based on scientific evidence, cognitively complex animals such as chimpanzees, whales, dolphins and elephants have the capacity for limited personhood rights (such as bodily liberty) that would protect them from physical abuse. Using writs of habeas corpus (historically used to free humans from unlawful imprisonment), Wise argues on behalf of four captive chimpanzees in New York State.

Unlocking the Cage captures a monumental shift in our culture, as the public and judicial system show increasing receptiveness to Steve’s impassioned arguments. It is an intimate look at a lawsuit that could forever transform our legal system, and one man’s lifelong quest to protect “nonhuman” animals.

Unlocking the Cage first premiered in 2016 at the Sundance Film Festival and has been shown at dozens of film festivals across the globe. Proceeds from this screening support Save The Chimps (STC), a 150-acre chimpanzee sanctuary in Florida that includes twelve 3-acre islands for chimpanzees retired and rescued from research, entertainment, and the pet industry. Over 250 chimpanzees at Save The Chimps sanctuary are provided life-long protection and care.

Directed by Chris Hegedus and D.A. Pennebaker

USA | 2016 | NR | 91 min

The screening will be followed by a panel discussion, facilitated by Shelley Johnson, with Save The Chimps Executive Director Molly Polidoroff and representatives from the Nonhuman Rights Project. Representatives from both P.A.W.S Animal Adoption Center and Pope Memorial Humane Society will be on hand to answers questions about their organizations.






 Presented with support from:


Show Dates & Times:

6/11/17 - Sunday

5:30 pm,

$10/Adults, $5/Students

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