Documentary Series Screens The Central Park Five

May 3, 2013 A Special Projects Committee Event

On March 27 and May 3, the DGA Special Project Committee’s Documentary Series screened The Central Park Five, the incendiary film based on Sarah Burns’ best-selling book and co-directed by Burns, her husband David McMahon and her father, Ken Burns.

The Central Park Five reveals the story of five black and Latino teenagers who were accused and convicted of the brutal attack and rape a white female jogger in Central Park in 1989. News media called it “the crime of the century.” The truth didn’t become clear until after they had spent years in prison for a crime they didn’t commit.

The Central Park Five was nominated for “Best Feature” at the 2012 IDA Awards, won the “Audience Choice Award” at the 2012 Chicago International Film Festival, and earned a “Freedom of Expression Award” from the National Board of Review.

After the March 27, screening in Los Angeles, David McMahon and Sarah Burns discussed making their directorial debuts and collaborating with the legendary documentary filmmaker Ken Burns (The Civil War, Baseball) during the making of The Central Park Five. Burns and McMahon, who were in New Hampshire, participated via a SKYPE connection with Director Jon Amiel (The Borgias), who moderated the discussion onstage from the DGA Los Angeles Theater. Burns and McMahon also sat down for a discussion moderated by director Marc Levin (Prayer for a Perfect Season) following the May 3, screening at the DGA Theater in New York.


DGA event photos by Donald Rassmussen (New York) and Byron Gamarro (Los Angeles). Archival photo by  New York Daily News Archive

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