03 MAY 2018

WeTransfer presents 'Mr. Wash': A story of hope and the power of art in America’s unforgiving prison system

A new short documentary film about the artist Fulton Leroy Washington is now available on WePresent.

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Emancipation Proclamation, the last painting Mr. Wash did while in federal custody.

May 2, 2018 - Today, WeTransfer released a new documentary film telling the story of Fulton Leroy Washington, aka Mr. Wash. The film leverages WeTransfer’s unique platform for storytelling and celebrates WeTransfer’s role in bringing creative voices to the fore and sharing creative perspectives on the issues of the day. The short premiered on WeTransfer’s editorial platform WePresent following a screening at CAAM (California African American Museum) in Los Angeles - home to both Mr. Wash and WeTransfer. It can be found here: http://we.tl/mr-wash

In 1997, Mr. Wash was given a mandatory life sentence, and in 2016 was granted clemency by President Barack Obama and freed. While in prison, Mr. Wash taught himself how to paint, and crafted thousands of hyper-realistic artworks, many of which were painted of and for his fellow inmates. The documentary tells the inspiring story of Mr. Wash and his return home to his family in Compton, CA and makes the case for creativity as an optimistic force.

While researching an article on President Obama’s clemency initiative, journalist Marisa Aveling learned of Mr. Wash’s case and, inspired by his story, felt compelled to share his perspective. She then enlisted filmmaker Sean Mattison, to develop the short. WeTransfer, understanding how the film could draw attention to issues such as prison reform and the importance of optimism in art and filmmaking, joined the project as a producer in 2017. As part of their work as producer, WeTransfer commissioned respected Los Angeles-based composer Dexter Story to create a dedicated score for the film. The film was cut by NYC-based editor Winnie Cheung.

Damian Bradfield, President of WeTransfer, commented: “At WeTransfer, we have always sought to shine a light on the issues of our time, and to promote creative views on these relevant topics. Since making our home in the US in Los Angeles, we have become inspired and engaged by the issues facing our local communities, from gun violence to mass incarceration to homelessness.  When Marisa Aveling first brought this story to us and introduced us to Wash, we immediately knew it was a project we wanted to support and a story that our community would find as moving as we do.”

As part of the campaign, Mr. Wash, WeTransfer and the filmmakers are encouraging viewers of the film to donate to FAMM (Families Against Mandatory Minimums), an organization working to end the type of mandatory sentencing that put Mr. Wash behind bars for 19 years. WeTransfer will be making a donation to the organization.

Mr. Wash continues WeTransfer’s ongoing support of documentary filmmakers whose work is featured on WePresent, the editorial platform by WeTransfer that showcases creative ideas to spark inspiration and social action. Recent initiatives include ‘100 Days of Optimism,’ a partnership with Seed & Spark to support activism in filmmaking and the launch of ‘Work in Progress,’ a series by WeTransfer exploring the creative process of some of the world’s most groundbreaking artists.

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About WeTransfer

WeTransfer is the simplest way to send your files around the world. The service was founded in 2009 in Amsterdam by Bas Beerens and Nalden, who wanted to create an easy platform for people to send big files without any sign-up. Today, over 40 million active users transfer one billion files every month all over the world. It is WeTransfer’s mission to enable the effortless transfer of ideas between creative minds. We want to help our users get in, and stay in, their creative flow – that strange and beautiful state where everything comes together and great things happen.

WeTransfer has a dual revenue model, split between advertising and premium subscriptions. With WeTransfer Plus, customers benefit from bigger transfer sizes, storage and personalization options. WeTransfer also works with the world's biggest brands, including Google, Samsung, Netflix and Squarespace, to develop and deliver beautiful, full-screen advertisements on our background wallpapers.

Since day one, WeTransfer has proudly supported the creative communities by giving away up to 30% of the advertising space to showcase projects we love. Creative partnerships have been launched with some of the world's most interesting individuals and organizations, including Björk, Trevor Noah, Ryan McGinley, Moby, FKA twigs, alt-J, McSweeney's, World Press Photo, The Royal Academy of Arts, WWF and the Ace Hotel Group. On our content platform WePresent, we tell unexpected stories about creative minds from around the world. WeTransfer also supports tomorrow’s creative leaders by offering free premium accounts to all arts students in the United States.

Following a $25 million investment from Highland Capital in 2015, WeTransfer opened a US office in Venice Beach, Los Angeles, to add to the Amsterdam headquarters.

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