A24’s ‘Sing Sing’ With Colman Domingo To Screen At New York Correctional Facility Where Film Is Set

EXCLUSIVE: A24 will hold a special screening Sing Sing, the Greg Kwedar film starring Colman Domingo, af the correctional facility in Ossining, New York on June 20, the distributor said, followed by a Q&A and series of additional showings for the general population inside the facility and outside guests.

Sing Sing is based on the true story of John “Divine G” Whitfield (Domingo), who’s imprisoned for a crime he didn’t commit but finds purpose behind bars by acting in a theater group alongside other incarcerated men including wary newcomer, Clarence “Divine Eye” Maclin (played by himself).

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They were part of program called RTA, or Rehabilitation Through the Arts. Launched at Sing Sing in 1996, RTA has grown from a single theater workshop to a comprehensive arts program in multiple prisons in New York State and is a world leader in arts-in-prison programming, the organization said. Less than 3% of RTA members return to prison vs the national recidivism rate of 60%. The group’s interim director Leslie Lichter called Sing Sing “a powerful film that captures the incarcerated community and life in prison uniquely and authentically.”

Sing Sing filmmakers and cast will join current and former RTA members and Charles Moore, RTA’s director of Programs & Operations, at the discussion after the June 20 screening.

Sing Sing premiered at the 2023 Toronto International Film Festival where Deadline’s review called it “a love letter to the transformative power of performing arts.” It won the Audience Award at SXSW.

“It has been the honor of a lifetime to help tell the story of the men inside the RTA program at Sing Sing, and since we began on this project over eight years ago we’ve held onto the dream to bring the film back inside to the very place where so many of our alumni cast discovered the transformative power of the arts. We hope the incarcerated men out in that audience find inspiration, encouragement, and walk away with a greater imagination of what’s possible. And yes, we’re bringing lots of tissues,” said producers Kwedar, Clint Bentley and Monique Walton.”

“I guess the most incredible thing is to be received so well. We, the men and women who lived it, find our peace knowing the world can hear us. To go back in and have the opportunity to show my brothers that, life after prison is possible. To be able to demonstrate, that society can receive us as we are, broken and healed. To show them they do have redeeming qualities, that have a place in society is what drives me to continue spreading the word. We exist. We are coming home. And we can help,” said Maclin.

Clint Bentley and Kwedar adapted the script to the film from Brent Buell’s play, Breakin’ The Mummy’s Code and John H. Richardson’s The Sing Sing Follies.

Sing Sing was produced by Black Bear, Edith Productions, and Marfa Peach Company, and fully financed by Black Bear.

Theatrical release is set for July 12.

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