Minnow Films

Feature Films:

Short Films:


Prison Dads 2013

Minnow Films for BBC Three  

1 x 60 minutes
Minnow Films for BBC Three

Filmed over six months in Britain’s biggest Young Offenders Institution, Prison Dads follows fathers on the inside and their partners on the outside, struggling to keep together their fledgling families. Glen Parva in Leicester houses up to 808 prisoners aged 18-21 years-old. These young men are 5 times more likely to be dads than others their age.

From hearing their baby being born on the other end of the phone to meeting their son for the first time in the visit hall, the film explores the experiences of prisoners grappling with the demands of being dad behind bars. We also meet the mums who are left home alone to fend for themselves with a newborn baby or demanding toddler. Some choose to bring their child into prison to visit where they must face searches and sniffer dogs, while others decide to shield them from this experience by telling them Daddy is on a ‘naughty holiday’. For all of them, the impact of prison life on parenthood is profound.

With privileged access, and intimate stories as these young men open up about their experiences, Prison Dads is a moving film charting the successes and failures of young parents, coming to terms with bringing up their babies in extremely challenging circumstances.

Subtle new documentary that builds a full portrait of life for imprisoned Dads and the mums left to pick up the pieces. It plays with your sympathies, and the soundtrack has an unusually light hand – there’s none of that usual BBC3 reliance on soaring dance music (happy) or mopy ballads (sad)
The Daily Mail

Some are absent Fathers by choice, others by necessity, while a few – such as model prisoner Max – try to be more than just prison dads
The Guardian

Prison Dads

Filmed, Produced and Directed by
Ruth Kelly
Jenny Williams
Steve Barclay
Executive Producer
Morgan Matthews
Dominique Walker
Production Managers
Sam Payne
Nancy Nigro
Wayne Roberts