City Drive Films proudly announced that they have acquired US rights to the multiple-award winning documentary, “The Mind of Mark DeFriest.” Directed by Gabriel London, the critically acclaimed film chronicles the life of erstwhile Florida prison escape artist Mark DeFriest, as well as the
terrifying abuse he experienced during his decades in Florida’s prison system.
“The Mind of Mark DeFriest” will open theatrically in select cities beginning on March 6, 2015, and will air on SHOWTIME® on March 19.
The film follows is the true story of a brilliant young man’s descent into an unforgiving and brutal prison system that sought to break him. Originally found
‘incompetent to be sentenced’ by five of six psychiatrists, DeFriest, like many prisoners with mental illness, spent an incredible amount of
time in solitary confinement – 27 of the last 34 years. His crimes? Taking the tools his father, who was recently deceased, had willed to him
before the will was probated – and a string of ‘Houdini’ escapes in the early 1980s that earned him the unending ire of the system.
As the film screened at festivals in 2014, audiences began to rally around the injustice in DeFriest’s case and members of the Florida
Commission on Offender Review were compelled to see the film and the story in a new light.
“The Mind of Mark DeFriest” is a testament to how powerful a film can be in righting social justice. “For me, the dream has always been that both the film and the man
would see the light of day,” said director London. “With the support of City Drive and the platform Showtime offers, we will reach a wide
audience with the power to write a happier ending for Mark and the thousands of others like him in our prison system.”
“We are beyond excited to be associated with and working on such an important Film. Gabriel dedicated many years of his life to bring to light
this fascinating story and help secure Mark’s freedom. People need to see this Film and help reform our prison system. ” said City Drive’s
Founder/ President Daniel E Catullo III.
The film was produced by London, Daniel J. Chalfen and Charlie Sadoff. It premiered internationally at Toronto’s Hot Docs Film Festival in 2014
and in the US at the 2014 Los Angeles Film Festival. It has continued to play multiple festivals nationwide and winning awards including Best
Documentary Feature Award at the Lone Star Film Festival, the Audience Award at the Naples International Film Festival, and best Florida feature at the
Key West International Film Festival.
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