Sundance ’17 | Most Anticipated Films (Crown Heights)

We continue our series of the Most Anticipated Films that will premiere at Sundance and next up is the tragic tale of Colin Warner in director Matt Ruskin’s drama, Crown Heights.

Ruskin’s story based on the life of a Brooklyn man wrongfully convicted of murder is set in the neighborhood where Colin Warner lived as a young man in 1980 when he was wrongfully accused, then convicted, of fatally shooting 16-year-old Mario Hamilton outside of Erasmus High School in Flatbush.

After serving 20 years in jail, based on false testimony, Warner, now in his 50s, was exonerated and released in 2001.


The on-screen adaption of the story, based on an episode of This American Life made about the case, stars rising star and two-time Black Reel Award nominee Lakeith Stanfield — seen recently in Straight Outta Compton and the FX series Atlanta — as Warner. Stanfield’s first starring role is a perfect opportunity to show future casting agents that he has the chops to make the career transition from supporting roles to potentially lead roles.

The film is the type that if it generates strong reaction could bode well for future distribution opportunities.

Former NFL player Nnamdi Asomugha plays Carl King, a friend of Warner’s who fought to prove his innocence and Natalie Paul (of HBO’s miniseries Show Me a Hero) plays Warner’s childhood friend.

Check out Stanfield, below, as he introduces himself to many unfamiliar with him and his work . . .