Something extraordinary (and some might say long overdue) happened on the opening night of the 54th annual New York Film Festival. For the first time ever the festival started with a documentary. Ava DuVernay had the honor of screening her latest film, 13TH, that addresses race in the criminal justice system in the U.S.
While introducing her film DuVernay named and praised Lisa Nishimura, Netflix's vice president of original documentary and comedy. Nishimura contacted DuVernay after she wrapped her film, Selma, to see if she was working on anything new or if she had something in mind. Was there a project she really wanted to do? That project turned out to be 13TH. Netfix gave DuVernay complete creative freedom, while at the same time fully supporting her with whatever she needed to realize the documentary.
After premiering the film at NYFF not many words needed to be said. The audience gave DuVernay and her team a standing ovation for their work. It's a thought provoking and moving piece of non fiction that will surely stir up conversations.
13TH will be released on Netflix on October 7th.