Montreal, August 29, 2012 – The heart-wrenching film, THE CENTRAL PARK FIVE, will close the 8th annual Montreal International Black Film Festival on September 30, as a Quebec Premiere. THE CENTRAL PARK FIVE, which was also selected last May for the Cannes Film Festival and the Toronto Film Festival this fall, was directed by Ken Burns, David McMahon and Sarah Burns, who have said that the film represents “the untold story of one of New York City’s most horrible crimes.”
“It is an honour to have this film make its Quebec debut at the MIBFF. We always close the festival with a hard-hitting film, and THE CENTRAL PARK FIVE is undoubtedly a film that will send chills down your spine, take you to the depths of human evil and change the way you think,” stated Fabienne Colas, President-Founder of the Festival.
In 1989, five Black and Latino teenagers from Harlem were arrested and later convicted of raping a white woman in New York City’s Central Park. They spent between six and thirteen years in prison before a serial rapist confessed that he alone had committed the crime, leading to their convictions being overturned. Set against a backdrop of a decaying city beset by violence and racial tension, the film tells the story of this horrific crime, the rush to judgment by the police, a media clamoring for sensational stories and an outraged public, and the five lives upended by this miscarriage of justice.
“This tragedy reminds us how much we struggle to come to terms with America’s original sin, which is race. One only needs to look at the history books to understand that, unfortunately, the Central Park Five are not unique in American history,” said Ken Burns. “This case is a lens through which we can understand the on-going fault-line of race in America. These young men were convicted long before the trial, by a city blinded by fear and, equally, freighted by race. They were convicted because it was all too easy for people to see them as violent criminals simply because of the color of their skin.” said Sarah Burns, who also wrote The Central Park Five: A Chronicle of a City Wilding (Knopf, 2011). “Ultimately The Central Park Five is about human dignity. It is about five young men who lose their youth but maintain their dignity in the face of a horrific and unimaginable situation.” said David McMahon.
The 8th annual MIBFF will take place from September 19 to 30, 2012, and is presented by Global Montreal.
About the Montreal International Black Film Festival – MIBFF
The Montreal International Black Film Festival (MIBFF) was created in 2005 by the Fabienne Colas Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting cinema, art and culture. The mission of the Montreal International Black Film Festival is to stimulate the development of the independent film industry and to foster the creation of films on international Black realities. The Festival wants to promote a different kind of cinema: cinema from both here and abroad that doesn’t always make it to the silver screen. We showcase groundbreaking cinema that both moves and shocks us, all while raising awareness. MIBFF films deal with issues and raise questions that are at once provocative, funny, perplexing and shocking. Join us for a fresh look at Black cinema from all four corners of the globe! www.montrealblackfilm.com .
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Director of media relations: Carla Beauvais – [email protected] – (438) 868-5450
Francophone press agent: Fadwa Lapierre – [email protected] – (514) 884-9545
Anglophone press agent: Dany Payne – [email protected] – (514) 621-8657
Ethnic and community press agent: Aimée Kassi – [email protected] – (514) 621-7178