Wagner/Cuban’s Truly Indie self-distribution label will handle the U.S. theatrical release of the documentary “Incendiary: The Willingham Case.” Directed by Steve Mim and Joe Bailey, Jr., the film premiered at the 2011 SXSW Film Festival.
“Incendiary” documents the case of Cameron Todd Willingham, a man who was convicted and executed for the arson murders of his daughters who died in a 1991 Corsicana, Texas house fire.
Truly Indie, which also handled the releases of Neill Dela Llana and Ian Gamazon’s “Cavite,” Doug Block’s “51 Birch Street” and Matt Tyrnauer’s “Valentino, The Last Emperor,” will team with Mim and Bailey’s Yokel production company on the release of “Incendiary.”
The film opens Sept. 23 at Austin’s Violet Crown Cinema. It received the Louis Black Award at SXSW and the Sterling US Feature at AFI/Discovery Silverdocs.
Per the release:
The film pits science against speculation, steeping audiences in the practice of arson investigation, dissecting evidence, then immersing them in a struggle over the reputation of a dead man. With no surviving witnesses to the alleged crime, audiences are treated to explorations of the case background by trial attorney David Martin, Willingham advocate Elizabeth Gilbert, appeals lawyer Walter Reaves, arson expert John Lentini, family members and others, all of whom offer their own revealing insights into Willingham’s fate.
“Incendiary” plumbs the mysteries of the case, with strange detours punctuated by vignettes from public battles between the Governor’s office, the Texas Forensic Science Commission, Barry Scheck and the New York-based Innocence Project, and various anti-death penalty advocacy groups. Tensions between outsized characters add unexpectedly comic overtones to the film.