HBO Orders ‘Storm Over Brooklyn’ Documentary About 1989 Murder of Black Teenager

HBO has greenlit “Storm Over Brooklyn,” from Muta’Ali (pictured), and which was the winner of a new initiative to promote diversity in feature documentaries. The project will tell the story of Yusuf Hawkins, a black teenager who was shot and murdered in 1989 after being trapped by a group of white youths in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn.

Muta’Ali’s film will explore a crime that shocked New York and the wider U.S. Hawkins’ murder led to marches and protests that contributed to the ousting of New York City Mayor Ed Koch in favour of David Dinkins, who became the city’s first — and as of now, only — African American mayor.

“Yusuf Hawkins’ murder had a major effect on the public, and the locked away regret and sorrow questions a history that those involved have held onto for nearly 30 years,” Muta’Ali said. “We will finally see the light of day in the context of our time.”

“Storm Over Brooklyn” won a new feature documentary initiative created by U.K. and U.S.-based “LA 92” producer Lightbox, and the American Black Film Festival. It is open to African-American filmmakers and those interested in exploring non-fiction stories that speak to the African-American experience. Lightbox and ABFF develop and produce the projects with the winning filmmakers.

HBO has sponsored categories at ABFF’s awards and worked with the organization on talent initiatives. Founder and CEO Jeff Friday said the push into feature documentaries was a natural extension of their work together. “Expanding into the documentary space and production is a very exciting opportunity for ABFF and the filmmakers who come through our talent pipeline programs,” he said. “We could not have wished for a more fitting home than HBO.”

Friday, Lightbox’s Simon Chinn and Jonathan Chinn, and “LA 92” directors Daniel Lindsay and TJ Martin will executive produce “Storm Over Brooklyn.”

More TV

  • The Orville

    ‘Orville’ Creator Seth MacFarlane Talks ‘Tonal Experiment’ of Season 1

    HBO has greenlit “Storm Over Brooklyn,” from Muta’Ali (pictured), and which was the winner of a new initiative to promote diversity in feature documentaries. The project will tell the story of Yusuf Hawkins, a black teenager who was shot and murdered in 1989 after being trapped by a group of white youths in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. […]

  • Chris Chibnall, Jodie Whittaker, Mandip Gill

    'Doctor Who' Team Would Like to See 'Jane Bond' as Next Gender-Swapped Character

    HBO has greenlit “Storm Over Brooklyn,” from Muta’Ali (pictured), and which was the winner of a new initiative to promote diversity in feature documentaries. The project will tell the story of Yusuf Hawkins, a black teenager who was shot and murdered in 1989 after being trapped by a group of white youths in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. […]

  • Michael Strahan

    Michael Strahan, Sara Haines Will Host ABC’s New ‘GMA’ Hour

    HBO has greenlit “Storm Over Brooklyn,” from Muta’Ali (pictured), and which was the winner of a new initiative to promote diversity in feature documentaries. The project will tell the story of Yusuf Hawkins, a black teenager who was shot and murdered in 1989 after being trapped by a group of white youths in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. […]

  • Black Lightning -- "The Resurrection" --

    ‘Black Lightning’ Cast, Creators Talk Race and Representation at Comic-Con

    HBO has greenlit “Storm Over Brooklyn,” from Muta’Ali (pictured), and which was the winner of a new initiative to promote diversity in feature documentaries. The project will tell the story of Yusuf Hawkins, a black teenager who was shot and murdered in 1989 after being trapped by a group of white youths in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. […]

  • Durban 2018 Panel on Sexual Harrasment

    For Black Women in South African Film Biz, Equality Still a Struggle

    HBO has greenlit “Storm Over Brooklyn,” from Muta’Ali (pictured), and which was the winner of a new initiative to promote diversity in feature documentaries. The project will tell the story of Yusuf Hawkins, a black teenager who was shot and murdered in 1989 after being trapped by a group of white youths in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content