Hulu has acquired U.S streaming rights to Sabrina Van Tassel’s well timed documentary “The State of Texas vs. Melissa” which was chosen for Tribeca in 2020 and it has received a flurry of accolades, together with Raindance’s greatest documentary award.
Hulu acquired the documentary from FilmRise, which represents theatrical and digital rights to the movie for North America, the U.Ok. and Eire.
“The State of Texas vs. Melissa” is ready to have its North American premiere this 12 months at Tribeca. The Pageant has invited again the movie together with different titles from the 2020 choice.
The French premiere will happen on the Deauville American Movie Pageant. Alba Movies will launch the documentary theatrically in France on Sep. 29, following Deauville.
In addition to Tribeca, Raindance and Deauville, the movie has up to now been chosen at greater than 20 festivals, together with Cinequest, Golden Gate Movie Pageant, DocLondon, Fipadoc, Frigra and the Madrid Human Rights Movie Fest. It additionally picked up prizes at Madrid, DocLondon and Golden Gate Movie Pageant.
Set within the coronary heart of the Latino neighborhood of South Texas, the movie explores the life and trials of Melissa Lucio, the primary Hispanic lady sentenced to dying row in Texas, the state accountable for essentially the most executions in America since 1976. Lucio, who was blamed for the abuse and subsequent dying of her two-year-old daughter, has been on dying row for 13 years. The movie reveals how the system was stacked towards Lucio — from the court-appointed legal professional who didn’t convey forth sure proof, to the District Legal professional, who’s serving a 13-year sentence for bribery and corruption.
Lucio’s conviction was overturned in July 2019 by the U.S. Court docket of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, however the State of Texas instantly appealed that ruling. And in February, a courtroom of appeals reversed the 2019 grant of aid by a vote of 10 to 7 and her hopes for exoneration now lie within the U.S. Supreme Court docket, which solely takes 1% of all circumstances. Lucio may obtain an execution date any day.
“Once I began the movie I knew it was a well timed piece. Now, each choice, each article is a chance to make noise about her case,” stated Van Tassel. “That is the perfect instance of how one can convey consciousness by way of artwork and hope to make a distinction, have a decisive influence,” stated the filmmaker, who cited Ava DuVernay’s work, notably “When They See Us,” as an inspiration.
In current months, “The State of Texas vs. Melissa” has additionally garnered help from U.S. philanthropists and social justice activists, together with Jason Flom, the founder of Lava Data who’s an Innocence Venture board member and the creator of the podcast Wrongful Conviction. Flom has invited Van Tassel to participate in his podcast on June 2.
Flom instructed Selection the “terrible case of Melissa Lucio is an appalling instance of simply how damaged our felony authorized system really is.”
“She was a sufferer of a vicious and corrupt prosecutor who himself is presently serving time in federal jail; an incompetent and fairly presumably compromised protection legal professional; junk science; and above all — a society wherein the chances had been stacked towards her from delivery,” stated Flom.
Citing Cameron Todd Willingham and Robert Pruett, the New York-based philanthropist stated the “state of Texas has a protracted and tortured historical past of executing harmless individuals (…) Except the U.S. Supreme Court docket intervenes, the life of Melissa Lucio will come to a violent and tragic finish.”
“The State of Texas vs. Melissa” is launching right now (April 15) on Hulu. It’s produced by Vito Movies and co-produced by Tahli Movies, in affiliation with Andaman Movies.