From This American Life to the 2017 Sundance Film Festival

Matt Ruskin's drama Crown Heights premieres tonight in Park City.

World premiering tonight at the Sundance Film Festival, Crown Heights reconstructs the harrowing true story of Colin Warner, whose wrongful conviction for a murder in the Brooklyn neighborhood becomes the lifelong cause of friend Carl King.

The drama, written and directed by Matt Ruskin, stars Lakeith Stanfield (pictured) in the lead role. As Ruskin tells Filmmaker magazine, it all started with a radio broadcast:

“After hearing Colin and Carl’s piece on This American Life, I was really blown away by them. I couldn’t get their voices out of my head. For Colin to emerge from two decades of incarceration with his humanity and his dignity intact, it’s extraordinary. And for Carl King to have such a sense of injustice that he would never give up on his friend, even after 20 years, it really stuck with me.”

Ruskin says that among the inspirations for the film’s look were Bruce Davidson’s book Subway, which he calls his “favorite time capsule of 1980s New York.” Listen to the original 2005 This American Life broadcast here.

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