By Kathryn O’Kane
Season 5 of Death Row Stories premieres this Sunday, April 19 at 9 PM ET/CT on HLN. The series features work by six NYWIFT members including board member Kathryn O’Kane and members Bari Pearlman and Marcella Steingart who directed episodes; Cindy Kaplan Rooney and Yvette Wojciechowski who edited; and researcher Dana Brandes-Simon.
Told by current and former death row inmates, each episode of Death Row Stories seeks to unravel the truth behind a different capital murder case and poses tough questions about the U.S. capital punishment system. The popular documentary crime series is produced in conjunction with Jigsaw Productions and Sundance Productions.
Steingart’s episode “Tale of the Tape” airs Sunday, April 19 at 10 PM. 19-year-old Jermaine Wright confesses to a murder and is sentenced to die. His lawyers work desperately to destroy the validity of the taped confession.
Pearlman’s episode “Predator or Prey” airs Sunday, April 26 at 9 PM. In the shadow of his impending execution, a Philadelphia man finally reveals the years of sexual abuse that led him to extreme measures when he was only 18.
O’Kane and Wojciechowski’s episode about the wrongful conviction of Corey Williams airs on Sunday, May 10 at 9 PM. When a Louisiana house party ends in murder, a teenager goes on trial. As evidence emerges, so does the truth.
And Kaplan Rooney and Brandes-Simon’s episode “The Wrong Gun” airs on Sunday, May 17 at 9 PM. After a drug deal in TX turns deadly, Nanon Williams receives the ultimate punishment. Fateful mistakes are revealed in his case.
Learn more about Death Row Stories.
Two NYWIFT members have joined forces with a team of immigrant women filmmakers to tell the story of WORK, a short film written and directed by Aoife Williamson. WORK, a comedy-drama, follows Lilith, a musician scrambling to create a song in one day to submit for a job that could sky-rocket her music career. It just so happens that this day is a very busy day at her money job... and it just so happens that her “money job” is as a sex worker, named Eve.READ MORE
Hailed by historian Robin Kelley as “one of the most powerful and inspiring documentaries of our era,” NYWIFT member Kavery Kaul’s Long Way from Home is the moving and provocative story of three remarkable girls entering ninth grade at top schools steeped in bias towards race, class, and culture. Though the film was made nearly 15 years ago, the issues still resonate in today’s climate of racial injustice and civil unrest. Kavery sat down to discuss how she put together this incredible portrait and what – if anything – has changed in our culture in the years since.READ MORE
Recap: NYWIFT Talks Black Lives Matter and Just Mercy with Scott Budnick, April Grayson and Donna Hylton
NYWIFT Executive Director Cynthia López moderated the July 1, 2020 installment of NYWIFT Talks with the team behind Just Mercy, a powerful and thought-provoking true-story film which follows young lawyer Bryan Stevenson and his history-making battle for justice. The film stars Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Foxx, and Brie Larson, and was available to rent for free across all platforms earlier this Summer in response to the Black Lives Matter movement following the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery.READ MORE
Filmmaker Sue Williams has a love affair with the city of Hong Kong. So when a friend introduced her to the Cantopop superstar Denise Ho, she knew she had the subject of her next film. But, what happens when current events upend the planned story arch of your film at the end of production?READ MORE