13TH will premiere at the New York Film Festival on Friday, September 30, which is the first time a nonfiction work will open the festival. The film will launch globally on Netflix October 7, including a limited theatrical release.
The title of Ava DuVernay’s extraordinary and galvanizing documentary refers to the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, which reads “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States…” The progression from that second qualifying clause to the horrors of mass criminalization and the sprawling American prison industry is laid out by DuVernay with bracing lucidity. With a potent mixture of archival footage and testimony from a dazzling array of activists, politicians, historians, and formerly incarcerated women and men, DuVernay creates a work of grand historical synthesis.
About Ava DuVernay
Nominated for two Academy Awards and four Golden Globes, writer/director Ava DuVernay’s most recent feature “Selma” was one of 2015’s most critically-acclaimed films. Winner of the 2012 Sundance Film Festival’s Best Director Prize for her feature “Middle of Nowhere,” DuVernay’s earlier directorial work includes “I Will Follow,” “Venus Vs,” and “This is The Life.” In Fall of 2016, her first television series as executive producer, writer and director, “Queen Sugar,” debuted on Oprah Winfrey’s network, OWN. DuVernay distributes and amplifies the work of other people of color and women directors through her film collective ARRAY, named one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies in Hollywood for 2016.