HBO Greenlights Yusuf Hawkins Documentary ‘Storm Over Brooklyn’
The U.K.-based banner Lightbox will tell the story of Yusuf Hawkins, a black teen murdered by white youth in Brooklyn, for the cable giant HBO.
The story of Yusuf Hawkins is well-known by native Brooklynites and black people around the country who have experienced similar situations in their own households. For those who are unfamiliar, in August 1989, 16-year-old Hawkins traveled down to Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, with three friends to look at a used car.
It was there where Yusuf was trapped, shot and murdered by a group of white youths because they thought that he was dating a neighborhood girl who was also white. The incident reverberated throughout New York City, as the rest of that year going into the ‘90s proved to be a wave of racial tension for the Big Apple. Now, in a report from The Hollywood Reporter, U.K.-based production company Lightbox will tell Yusuf Hawkins story in a new documentary called Storm Over Brooklyn for HBO.
Muta’Ali’s feature effort is the winning project of the inaugural Feature Documentary Initiative from Lightbox and the American Black Film Festival, as part of their joint initiative to foster diversity in the feature documentary arena. Conceived by the celebrated director, Storm Over Brooklyn, was selected from more than 300 submissions to the initiative, which was open to all black documentary filmmakers interested in exploring nonfiction stories and themes that spoke directly to the black experience.
“I’m delighted that Yusuf Hawkins, the effect his murder had on the public, and the locked away regret, sorrow, questions and history that those involved have held onto for nearly 30 years, will finally see the light of day in the context of our time,” said Muta’Ali. “It’s due to the courage of Yusuf’s loving family, as well as the visionary talent at HBO, Lightbox and ABFF.”
Storm Over Brooklyn will be executive produced by Jeff Friday, Simon Chinn and Jonathan Chinn. LA ‘92 directors, Daniel Lindsay and T.J. Martin, who won an Emmy for their feature documentary about the 1992 Los Angeles riots have also come on board as executive producers.
The second year of Lightbox’s and ABFF’s multi-year initiative will be open for entries July 18.
SOURCE: The Hollywood Reporter