NEW YORK, July 19 (UPI) -- The Film Society of Lincoln Center says The 13th, Selma director Ava DuVernay's documentary about racial inequality, will be the opening night selection of the 54th New York Film Festival.
Making its world premiere at Alice Tully Hall, The 13th will be the first non-fiction work to open the festival. This year's edition of the festival is scheduled to run Sept. 30-Oct. 16.
The 13th will debut on Netflix and open in limited theatrical release on Oct. 7.
"While I was watching The 13th, the distinction between documentary and fiction gave way and I felt like I was experiencing something so rare: direct contact between the artist and right now, this very moment," New York Film Festival Director and Selection Committee Chair Kent Jones said in a statement Tuesday. "In fact, Ava is actually trying to redefine the terms on which we discuss where we're at, how we got here, and where we're going. The 13th is a great film. It's also an act of true patriotism."
"It is a true honor for me and my collaborators to premiere The 13th as the opening night selection of the New York Film Festival," added DuVernay. "This film was made as an answer to my own questions about how and why we have become the most incarcerated nation in the world, how and why we regard some of our citizens as innately criminal, and how and why good people allow this injustice to happen generation after generation. I thank Kent Jones and the selection committee for inviting me to share what I've learned."
"Ava gives us a remarkable and ambitious framework for understanding why the U.S. represents 5 percent of the world's population, yet is home to nearly 25 percent of the world's prisoners. Her work has been tireless and passion-fueled and has resulted in a sweeping view at a tenuous time. We are honored to provide a global platform for this deeply urgent work," remarked Lisa Nishimura, Netflix's vice president of original documentary programming.