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Acclaimed filmmaker Ava DuVernay will add to her socially conscious repertoire of films with an upcoming Netflix miniseries about a group of five young Black men, known as the Central Park Five, who were wrongfully prosecuted for a violent gang rape of a White female jogger in New York City’s Central Park in 1989, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

DuVernay will write and direct the five-part series, which will be her second project for Netflix after her Oscar-nominated “13th documentary. The series, includes Oprah Winfrey and Harpo Films among its high-profile list of executive producers, will break down each phase of the notorious case from 1989 to 2014.

Each part of the series will focus on one of the five Harlem teenagers  — Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana and Korey Wise — who were released in 2002 after more than a decade in jail because of DNA evidence.

President Donald Trump, however, referred to the vindicated young men as guilty as recently as 2016 during the presidential election, reports The New York Times.

The story of the men known as the Central Park Five has riveted me for more than two decades,” said DuVernay, who also directed Selma and produces Queen Sugar, about the forthcoming project, in a statement. “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.”

At a time when Black Americans are raising their voices about wrongful convictions, DuVernay’s project will hopefully deepen conversations around criminal justice reform.

SOURCE: The Hollywood Reporter, The New York Times


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