Powerhouse writer/director Ava DuVernay (Queen Sugar) has officially partnered with Participant Media, Harpo Films and Tribeca Productions to tell the true story of the Central Park Five jogger case.  The five-episode limited series will stream on Netflix in 2019.

The series is based on the true story of the 1989 case of five teenagers who were wrongfully convicted of raping a woman in New York’s Central Park. The series exposes the breakdown of our criminal justice system, with each part focusing on one of the five teenagers from Harlem, Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana and Korey Wise, wrongly convicted of raping Trisha Meili in Central Park. The series will take place from the spring of 1989, when each were first questioned about the incident, to 2014 when they were exonerated and a settlement was reached with the city of New York.

“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.”

DuVernay will serve as executive producer alongside Jeff Skoll and Jonathan King from Participant Media, Oprah Winfrey, and Jane Rosenthal and Berry Welsh from Tribeca Productions.

“This is one of the most talked-about cases of our time and Ava’s passionate vision and masterful direction will bring the human stories behind the headlines to life in this series,” said Cindy Holland, Vice President, Original Content for Netflix. “After powerfully reframing the public conversation about criminality and injustice in 13TH, Ava now turns a new lens to a case that exposes deep flaws in our criminal justice system.”

It should be noted that DuVernay’s last partnership wit Neflix, criminal justice documentary 13TH, was awarded a Peabody Award at this year’s 76th Peabody Awards Ceremony, and we look forward to DuVernay bringing this story into the light.

 

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The HBR Media Team is a collective group of black women filmmakers, writers, and studio/network executives who are passionate about bringing visibility to women of African descent working in film and television.

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