Announced in August, Sundance Selects acquired USA theatrical rights to documentary master Ken Burns’ The Central Park Five, which Burns co-directed with his daughter Sarah Burns, and his son-in-law David McMahon.
The film made its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in May, where Burns expressed his hopes that the film gets a theatrical release (before heading to PBS) unlike his past documentaries, stating, “We want to release it theatrically because the running time makes it managable and there’s something urgent about it.“
We’ve been notified that it’ll open theatrically in New York on November 23rd, at the IFC Center, followed by Los Angeles on November 30th, at Landmark’s Nuart Theatre.
A quick recap…
The documentary, a tale of racial injustice, examines the case of the Central Park rape, in the late 1980s, that triggered strong emotions in New Yorkers, and the sensational media storm across the US that followed.
Five black and Latino teenagers were arrested and convicted for the brutal rape and assault of Tricia Meili, only to be released after the real attacker confessed in 2002.
As we noted recently, the film’s producers were hit with a lawsuit by the city of New York, who want to look at outtakes and unused interview footage from the film, that they believe could assist them in defending a still pending $50 million federal lawsuit filed by the defendents nine years ago.
Burns said that it was ironic that the city would issue the subpeonas now, since the city has spent years turning down his requests for interviews, which would have explained their actions in their defense, which he would’ve included in the film.
Naturally, the filmmakers are fighting the subpoena.
The Central Park Five is one of five nominees for best documentary feature announced yesterday by the International Documentary Association.
Check out the film’s poster and trailer below: