A new documentary will chronicle the wrongful rape conviction of Anthony Broadwater.
From Red Badge Films and Red Hawk Films, “Unlucky” will follow the story about the Syracuse man who spent more than 16 years in prison, and another 20 being labeled as a registered sex offender, before being exonerated of the 1981 rape of best-selling author Alice Sebold.
Sebold wrote about the rape in her 1999 novel “Lucky,” based on her sexual assault as a freshman at Syracuse University. In the book, she details her experiences in overcoming trauma by helping convict the man she believed attacked her.
Broadwater was absolved of his rape conviction last week. A film adaptation of “Lucky” played a part in proving his innocence once Timothy Mucciante, an executive producer on the movie, left the project after raising concerns about discrepancies between the book and the screenplay.
“Unlucky” delves into Broadwater’s wrongful conviction, as well as Mucciante’s mission to help clear his name. Mucciante got involved in the case first as an executive producer for the film adaptation of Sebold’s book “Lucky,” but says he soon realized glaring red flags in Sebold’s story. He recalls later departing the movie after disagreements with the director, who wanted to change the race of the assailant from Black to white. (The assailant in the original story was Black.)
Though Mucciante was no longer involved with the feature film version, he hired a private investigator to look into his questions about the book and the script. When it became evident that Broadwater was innocent, people raised money and hired attorneys in an effort to overturn his conviction.
The documentary will also cover Broadwater’s work to rebuild his life that was lost through prison time and the stigma of a rape he didn’t commit.
Scott D. Rosenbaum is writing, producing, and directing “Unlucky” with Red Hawk Films production partner Tony Grazia. Broadwater, his legal team, the private investigator and key players in the incident are participating in the film, which is currently shooting.
Sebold has since apologized to Broadwater, decades after misidentifying him as her rapist.
In a Medium post, she wrote, “First, I want to say that I am truly sorry to Anthony Broadwater and I deeply regret what you have been through. I am sorry most of all for the fact that the life you could have led was unjustly robbed from you, and I know that no apology can change what happened to you and never will.”