HBO has acquired U.S. television rights to director Marc Silver’s 3 1/2 Minutes, a documentary about the shooting death of black teenager Jordan Davis and the subsequent trial of his killer, Michael Dunn. The docu premiered in the U.S. Documentary Competition at Sundance and will debut on HBO in late fall, preceded by a theatrical release.
“I am grieved that these continuing stories are everyday matters swept away,” said Sheila Nevins, President of HBO Documentary Films. “By bringing this powerful film to HBO audiences, we hope to elevate the national conversation around these tragic issues.”
The logline: In 3 1/2 Minutes, two lives intersected and were forever altered. On Black Friday in 2012, two cars parked next to each other at a Florida gas station. A middle-aged white man and a black teenager exchanged angry words over the volume of the music in the boy’s car. A gun entered the exchange, and one of them was left dead. Dunn fired 10 bullets at a car full of unarmed teenagers and then fled. Three of those bullets hit 17-year-old Jordan Davis, who died at the scene. Arrested the next day, Dunn claimed he shot in self-defense. Thus began the long journey of unraveling the truth. 3 1/2 Minutes follows that journey, reconstructing the night of the killing and revealing how hidden racial prejudice can result in tragedy.
The pic was produced by the Filmmaker Fund and Motto Pictures in association with Lakehouse Films and Actual Films. Silver wrote and directed. Carolyn Hepburn and Minette Nelson produced, and Orlando Bagwell, Bonni Cohen, Julie Goldman and Participant Media’s Jeff Skoll and Diane Weyermann executive produced.
The deal was negotiated by HBO, Josh Braun at Submarine and Jeff Ivers at Participant Media.