Ava DuVernay To Produce Limited Series On The Central Park Five
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Now that Ava DuVernay’s hit this sweet spot in her career, she’s been luxuriating in it. And we’re not mad at her. Particularly when her art is so often infused with messages of activism. After her last project, 13th, a documentary on mass incarceration in this country, expose some truths and begin some much needed conversations, she’s back with another project that will likely do the same.
According to Variety, the director is working on a limited series about the Central Park 5.
It’s a five part scripted series that will debut in 2019. DuVernay is said to be writing and directing all five parts.
DuVernay will partner with Participant Media, Tribeca Productions and Harpo Films for the series. Oprah Winfrey, Jeff Skoll, Jonathan King, Jane Rosenthal and Berry Welsh are set to serve as executive producers with DuVernay.
As you know, DuVernay and Winfrey are not only friends this will be the fourth time they’ve worked together after doing so for Selma, OWN’s “Queen Sugar” and the upcoming A Wrinkle In Time.
This will also mark the second time DuVernay has worked with Netflix. Her 2016 documentary 13th appeared on the streaming service.
“I had an extraordinary experience working with Netflix on ’13th’ and am overjoyed to continue this exploration of the criminal justice system as a narrative project with Cindy Holland and the team there,” said DuVernay. “The story of the men known as Central Park Five has riveted me for more than two decades. In their journey, we witness five innocent young men of color who were met with injustice at every turn — from coerced confessions to unjust incarceration to public calls for their execution by the man who would go on to be the President of the United States.”
The story of the Central Park Five sounds like something out of a Law and Order episode but it is true. (Most of those Law and Order story lines are based on true events anyway.) It involved five teenage boys from Harlem Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana and Korey Wise. The five were wrongly convicted of raping Trisha Meili in Central Park in 1989. It wasn’t until 2002, after another man confessed to raping Meili and DNA evidence confirmed his claims, that the five were released from prison.
The series will focus on each of the five boys and will span from the spring of 1989, when they were first questioned about the incident to 2014 when they were exonerated and received a settlement from New York City.