Life & Life

No Longer Available

Virtual Available In:USA
Ticket Prices
General Public:$13.00 (+ $2 online fee)
Members:$10.00 (no online fee)
Film Info
Programs:New American Visions
Spotlight: Common Ground
Women & Film
Social Justice
Women Directors
Human Rights
Black Perspectives
Live Event
Includes Q&A
Release Year:2020
Runtime:79 min
Director:NC Heikin
Executive Producer:Lee Child
Producer:NC Heikin
Nicole London
Jessica Wolfson
Cinematographer:Mike Seely
Don Starnes
David Aubrey
Screenwriter:NC Heikin
Editor:Michele Hollander
Joel Plotch
Composer:Noah Kellman
Filmography:The Flower of Kim Jong Il (2009)
Sound of Redemption
The Frank Morgan Story (2014)


WATCH THE RECORDED FILMMAKER Q&A: Join MSPIFF Programmer Craig Laurence Rice, Life & Life director NC Heikin and film's subject Reggie Austin for a conversation about the film and to take your questions.


Reggie Austin is in San Quentin prison, serving a life sentence. When a film crew goes to the prison to film a documentary and stage a concert to honor sax great Frank Morgan (who once served there), Reggie steps up to perform. It changes his life forever.

Serving 35 years behind bars for second-degree murder, Reggie Austin’s story dares to ask the question “What is a just sentence?” Denied bail 12 times over almost four decades, the concert helped Austin to convince a parole board to let him out. In San Quentin to film a documentary about saxophone legend Frank Morgan, who was in prison for his own drug addictions, director NC Heikin uncovered Reggie Austin’s story as well. Featuring incredible musical footage of the prison concert, as well as Austin’s performance at the Frank Morgan Taos Jazz Festival when he’s freed, Life & Life is a beautiful and probing documentary that pulls no punches.

Director Biography

NC Heikin NC Heikin is an award-winning filmmaker who has also had an active career in the New York theatre. She is the director of the short films “Mañana” (2009) and “O La La” (2010), as well as the documentary features Kimjongilia (2009) and Sound of Redemption: The Frank Morgan Story (2014). Life & Life (2021) is her most recent documentary.