Ava DuVernay Creates Series for Netflix on Central Park Five

‘13th’ director will write and direct five-episode limited series
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Ava DuVernay is the creator of a limited series coming up on Netflix about the Central Park Five, five Harlem teens wrongly accused of rape. The series will be scripted and will feature five episodes, each one focused on one of the teens. It will span from the spring of 1989, when each were first questioned, to 2014, when they were exonerated and a settlement was reached with New York City.

DuVernay’s credits include directing the films Middle of Nowhere, Selma and 13th. 13th, about race and the criminal justice system, was made for Netflix.

“This is one of the most talked-about cases of our time and Ava’s passionate vision and masterful direction will bring the human stories behind the headlines to life in this series,” said Cindy Holland, VP of original content for Netflix. “After powerfully reframing the public conversation about criminality and injustice in 13th, Ava now turns a new lens to a case that exposes deep flaws in our criminal justice system.”

DuVernay will write and direct the Netflix series and will be an executive producer along with Jeff Skoll and Jonathan King from Participant Media, Oprah Winfrey/Harpo Films, and Jane Rosenthal and Berry Welsh from Tribeca Productions.

"I had an extraordinary experience working with Netflix on 13th and am overjoyed to continue this exploration of the criminal justice system as a narrative project with Cindy Holland and the team there," said DuVernay. "The story of the men known as Central Park Five has riveted me for more than two decades. In their journey, we witness five innocent young men of color who were met with injustice at every turn—from coerced confessions to unjust incarceration to public calls for their execution by the man who would go on to be the president of the United States."