After selling narrative remake rights to Sony, NYPD corruption documentary The Seven Five has sealed a distribution deal with Sundance Selects. Director Tiller Russell’s film chronicles the true crime story of Michael Dowd, a frustrated police officer who turned the 75th Precinct in crime-ridden East New York City into a playground for dirty cops in the 1980s, and whose 1992 arrest exposed widespread corruption in the NYPD.
Deadline premiered the exclusive teaser for The Seven Five ahead of its November debut at DOC NYC (watch it again below), where Dowd was set to reunite with the ex-partner who testified against him. In December, Sony landed remake rights in a competitive auction for the story that plays like a cop version of Goodfellas.
Dowd and ring of crooked cops squeezed dealers for protection money and sold stolen cocaine out of his Long Island home base between 1986 and 1992, their flashy transgressions so flagrant that then-Mayor David Dinkins appointed the Mollen Commission to investigate. That report uncovered a history of “brutality, theft, abuse of authority and active police criminality” that had been willfully ignored by the NYPD and Dowd subsequently served 11 years of a 14-year sentence for his crimes.
The Seven Five weaves together Dowd’s testimony, dramatic surveillance footage, and interviews to chronicle how one of the most corrupt police forces in 1980s New York got caught. The All3Media America film is producced by Eli Holzman, Aaron Saidman and Sheldon Yellen.
“Tiller Russell has crafted a gripping and timely documentary, expertly recounting a tale about the abuse of power,” said Jonathan Sehring, President of Sundance Selects/IFC Films.
Sundance Selects/IFC Films SVP, Acquisitions Arianna Bocco negotiated the deal with ICM Partners on behalf of the filmmakers.