“Witch Hunt” a documentary film by Dana Nachman and Don Hardy and executive produced and narrated by Oscar® winner Sean Penn will have its two-hour world premiere on MSNBC on Sunday, April 12th at 10:00 pm ET.
In Penn’s most recent Oscar-winning performance, he portrayed slain San Francisco supervisor Harvey Milk, who fought for equal rights in California. In this new documentary from MSNBC Films, he tells another California story he feels passionately about a stunning story of injustice in the state’s courts.
In “Witch Hunt” Penn tells the story of dozens of parents in Bakersfield, CA in 1984 who were falsely accused and convicted of child molestation. The lives of these families, and many others implicated in the cases, were damaged forever. Almost all of the children now say they were coerced to lie about their parents. Subsequently, their parents served anywhere from six to twenty years in prison, with the last person acquitted in 2004. The film had its world premiere at the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival with sold out screenings and standing ovations. This is the feature film directorial debut for both Nachman and Hardy who are broadcast journalists in the San Francisco Bay Area. It is also the first film from their production company KTF FILMS. MSNBC Films will have all North American television rights.
“What more could you wish for your film than to find a home on a gutsy, issue oriented, national television outlet?” states co-director Dana Nachman. “That’s exactly what we found in MSNBC. We couldn’t be happier.”
“We’re thrilled to partner with MSNBC Films in order to bring this important story to the public,” adds co-director Don Hardy. “Their proven track record of hard-hitting, social justice programming provides “Witch Hunt” the best opportunity to reach the broadest audience of millions of viewers and give them some insight into the potential problems with the criminal justice system in our country and the incredible human cost of wrongful convictions.”