Sundance Selects has acquired U.S. rights to Shawn Rech and Brandon Kimber’s “A Murder in the Park” for release later this year.
Producers are Andrew Hale and Rech. The film made its world premiere at the 2014 DOC NYC festival.
The story follows death row inmate Anthony Porter, whose life is saved through the efforts of a Northwestern University journalism class two days before his execution. The reinvestigation into the crime for which Porter was convicted — a 1982 double homicide in a Chicago park — led to the discovery of Alstory Simon, whose confession exonerated Porter.
However, the filmmakers contend that Porter is actually guilty. Simon spent 15 years in prison before being freed last October by the state, which found that coercive tactics that were used in obtaining the confession were “unacceptable by law enforcement standards.”
“Rech and Kimber have crafted an expertly made, utterly captivating examination of the ethics and inconsistencies of our justice system,” said Jonathan Sehring, president of Sundance Selects/IFC Films.
The deal was negotiated by Arianna Bocco from Sundance Selects/IFC Films with Josh Braun and Matt Burke of Submarine Entertainment on behalf of the filmmakers.