After receiving a special Tony award for his contributions to Broadway where he gave an impassioned speech regarding Puerto Rican hurricane victims and children detained near the U.S.-Mexico border, many wondered what writer-director-actor-creator John Leguizamo would do next. He’s transitioning back to the screen, adding to the A-list cast involved in director Ava DuVernay’s series about the Central Park Five.
The real-life court case involved five black and Latino teens from Harlem accused of raping and beating a white, female jogger in Central Park in 1989. The five youths were put on trial and convicted, despite issues with the evidence and confessions coerced from underage boys who didn’t have parents or lawyers present. In 2002, their convictions were overturned when the real serial rapist confessed and DNA evidence exonerated the five. The group eventually sued the city of New York.
With this incredible story, director Ava DuVernay was able to bring this story back to life in a dramatic limited series on Netflix. NALIP is honored to give the We Are Inclusion Award to ARRAY, an independent film distribution that was founded by Ava DuVernay. Her work is a inspiration to amplified many independent films around the world by filmmakers of women and people of color.
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