Ava DuVernay’s ‘The 13th’ to open the New York Film Festival

This morning, the Film Society of Lincoln Center announced the Opening Night selection for the 54th New York Film Festival: Ava DuVernay's The 13th. The film – which is the first nonfiction film to ever open the festival – is a documentary that takes a look at racial inequality throughout the history of the United States. 

From the press release: 

Chronicling the history of racial inequality in the United States, The 13th examines how our country has produced the highest rate of incarceration in the world, with the majority of those imprisoned being African-American. The title of DuVernay”s extraordinary and galvanizing film refers to the 13th Amendment to the Constitution-“Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States . . . ” The progression from that second qualifying clause to the horrors of mass incarceration and the prison industry in the U.S. is laid out by DuVernay with bracing lucidity.

The 13th, which NYFF Director and Selection Committee Chair Kent Jones said is both a “great film” and “an act of true patriotism,” will also debut on Netflix and have a limited theatrical run beginning on October 7. Tickets for NYFF go on sale September 11.