Earlier in the year, Jay Z announced a six-part docuseries, which chronicled the life and untimely death of Kalief Browder, would arrive in 2017. According to recent reports, Kalief Browder’s story of his wrongful imprisonment, which further led to his death will premiere at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival.
“After his arrest at age 16, Kalief Browder fought the system and prevailed, despite unthinkable circumstances. He became an American hero. The Festival will debut the first two episodes of this in-depth, humanizing look at a broken justice system, followed by an extended Q&A.” a synopsis on the Festival’s website reads.
Jay Z has played a crucial role in the film’s inception and production and while it isn’t confirmed if he’ll be in attendance at Park City, Utah for the question and answer segment, one can assume he’ll be on hand to see how audiences react to the first two episodes of TIME: The Kalief Browder Story.
During the press conference, Jay Z seated on a panel with Kalief’s mother Venida Browder and Harvey Weinstein, spoke highly of her son’s contribution to the conversation surrounding mass incarceration, as well as the first time he met Kalief.
“I said, ‘Chaka, I need to meet this young man, could you find him?’ Thinking that it would take a while, she called me back and my phone kept ringing,” the Tidal owner said. “She kept calling so I knew it was important. She said, ‘You’re not going to believe this.’ She was at another event and ran across a guy that was his lawyer, a really young man who was helping Kalief seek justice. It was meant to happen. Kalief came to the office and we met.”
In 2013, Browder was leaving a party in The Bronx and was quickly imprisoned on Rikers Island without having been charged and no trial date set. He spent nearly 800 days in solitary confinement and was finally released in 2013. Yet despite gaining his freedom, Browder committed suicide two years later.
“Kalief Browder is a modern-day prophet; his story a failure of the judicial process,” Jay Z said during a press conference. “A young man, and I emphasize young man, who lost his life because of a broken system. His tragedy has brought atrocities to light and now we must confront the issues and events that occurred so other young men can have a chance at justice.”
TIME: The Kalief Browder Story, a six-part series will air on SPIKE TV in January 2017.