Network Media

The Cooler Bandits

Funded by: John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Fledging Fund, The Yip Harburg Foundation

The Cooler Bandits is a feature documentary, with companion book, about four friends in four stages of incarceration, struggling to reenter society and confront their future in the old neighborhood.

The Cooler Bandits follows the lives of Frankie, Donovan, Charlie and Poochie, four friends in Akron, Ohio, who as teens in 1991 committed a series of restaurant robberies and received stiff sentences of up to 500 years in prison. Caught up in the wave of over sentencing, mass incarceration and a system designed to brand criminals felons for life this film documents their personal journeys of survival, redemption and reintegration into society.