"California State of Mind: The Legacy of Pat Brown" tells the story of how one man rose against seemingly insurmountable obstacles and shaped the future of modern California. Rather than lionizing Brown as "the Architect of the Golden State," the film also looks critically at Pat Brown's odyssey to build a "super state," raising issues that transcend eras and geographic borders. As the Vietnam War shifts the nation's consciousness, Brown is caught in the middle of the cataclysmic 1960s, with the Free Speech Movement in Berkeley, fiery race riots in Los Angeles, and the United Farm Workers Movement in the Central Valley. Brown's epic battle against capital punishment unleashes an international uproar. Finally, a telegenic Ronald Reagan steps onto the world stage promising to sweep all that away. Brown's tenure ends as a new "era of limits" begins. Told from his granddaughter's perspective, Brown's struggle to overcome humble beginnings reveals a dynamic American Dream story. A compelling journey unfolds through interviews, archival footage, home movies, and cinema vérité as the filmmaker wrestles with the inherited optimism of her grandfather's legacy. An exciting tale of the west comes into focus through the lens of the national crisis we face: failing education, crumbling infrastructure, gridlocked traffic, and water threatens to become the next oil. This intimate portrait of Pat Brown has the power to ignite optimism and provide a template for what we can and should expect from leaders today. For more information about the film and companion curriculum, visit MyCaliforniaNow.com.

View the trailer.


Sascha Rice is an award­-winning filmmaker, public speaker, teacher, and granddaughter of California's former Governor Pat Brown, niece of current Governor Jerry Brown, and daughter of former State Treasurer Kathleen Brown. Her Emmy-nominated documentary California State of Mind recently garnered a Grand Jury Prize for Cinematic Vision and has made waves across the country with screenings in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, DC, and throughout California. She serves on the Board of Advisors of the Pat Brown Institute, which is a non­partisan public policy Institute at Cal State LA. Additionally, Ms. Rice is the program director and a mentor for the Young Writers Workshop at Ivanhoe Elementary. Ms. Rice has appeared on television and numerous radio programs and her work has broadcast internationally. Ms. Rice studied at the American Film Institute and received a Bachelor of Arts from Hampshire College.

Hilary Armstrong is the Executive Producer of California State of Mind: The Legacy of Pat Brown. Hilary currently works for Rally.org, a SF based tech company that helps causes and films raise awareness and funds. Hilary was president of Fire of Life Films and the Development Director for "My California Now," the companion educational curriculum to California State of Mind. Hilary is on the California Film Commission and serves on the board of trustees of The California Museum and of the California Hall of Fame. Hilary was a founding board member of Cow Hollow Preschool in San Francisco.