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HBO Documentary Films Announces Tommy Oliver’s 40 YEARS A PRISONER, Debuting December 3 On HBO

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Film Will Have Its World Premiere At The 2020 Toronto International Film Festival

Executive Produced By Confluential Films, Freedom Road Productions, Get Lifted Film Co., And The Roots

HBO Documentary Film’s 40 YEARS A PRISONER, chronicling the controversial 1978 Philadelphia police raid on the radical back-to-nature group MOVE and the aftermath that led to a son’s decades long fight to free his parents, will debut THURSDAY, DECEMBER 3, exclusively on HBO. The film illuminates the story of a city grappling with racial tension and police brutality with alarming topicality and modern-day relevance. 40 YEARS A PRISONER was directed, produced and shot by Tommy Oliver (“1982”) through his company, Confluential Films, with original music by The Roots. The film was executive produced by Derek Dudley, and Shelby Stone for Freedom Road Productions, John Legend, Mike Jackson, and Ty Stiklorius for Get Lifted Film Co., and Keith Gionet and Adam Platzner for Confluential Films. The film was edited by Joe Kehoe and Tommy Oliver.

An official selection and special presentation of the 2020 Toronto International Film Festival, 40 YEARS A PRISONER will be available on HBO and to stream on HBO Max.

“I spent three years of my life making a film about the indominable will of a son to free his parents who were fighting against police brutality, systemic racism, and wrongful incarceration in the 1970s,” stated director Tommy Oliver. “Three years of work that I would have happily tossed away if our country was in a responsible place where things like police shootings of unarmed Black people weren’t daily occurrences and where phrases like “ I can’t breathe” weren’t treated as memes…but that’s not the world we  live in and as long as it’s not, it’s the role of the artist to shine as bright of a light as possible on those things. 40 YEARS A PRISONER is my light.”

The film follows Mike Africa Jr., the son of two MOVE members imprisoned for the death of a police officer during the raid, who commits his life to fighting for the release of his parents who he has only known through prison walls. The documentary features eyewitness accounts and archival footage of the escalating tension that results in the controversial confrontation between police and MOVE members.

The film is an HBO Documentary Films presentation of A Confluential Films Production in association with Freedom Road Productions and Get Lifted Film Co.

Tommy Oliver’s Confluential Films is a film & TV production devoted to championing projects that are inclusive and celebrate our shared human experience. The company has projects set up at Netflix, Sony, CBS, HBO, Lionsgate, OWN, and more, and is deeply committed to authentic storytelling, where those who should be telling a given story, will be the only ones doing so on anything where we’re making.

Freedom Road Productions is a film & TV production company with principals Derek Dudley and Shelby Stone. They launched the critically acclaimed Showtime series, “The Chi,” which just finished airing its third season this summer to rave reviews and record viewership. Freedom Road is currently in development on a limited series based off the Zora Neale Hurston novel Barracoon, among a variety of other diverse and original feature documentaries, feature films and television series.

Get Lifted Film Co. is led by Emmy® and Tony Award-winning producer Mike Jackson, EGOT recipient and award-winning producer John Legend, and CEO of the entertainment management and social-impact company Friends At Work, Ty Stiklorius. Get Lifted has developed television projects with major networks including ABC, NBC, FOX, HBO, Showtime, Netflix and MTV. Additional collaborations with HBO include “Atlanta’s Missing and Murdered: The Lost Children,” “Southern Rites” and “United Skates.”

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